Bridge Airport Extreme to non Apple router

Nathe

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 25, 2011
48
1
Staffordshire, UK
I've been having some difficulty getting my Airport Extreme to bridge my existing wireless network (from my ISP supplied wireless router/modem) in a way that suits my requirements.

My ISP router lives in the lounge, and my Airport Extreme lives in my home office, within wireless range of the ISP router. I want to connect the two routers without the need for cables going between the rooms.

What I'm trying to achieve, is to have my ISP router to create the wireless network and provide DHCP (and have some things connected to it on the LAN), then have my Airport Extreme connect to this existing wireless network and then provide LAN connections to my servers in the other room. I've configured the Airport Extreme using the Airport utility in this fashion, and it shows a connection but the servers connecting via LAN from the Airport aren't getting IP addresses in the correct address range or any LAN/internet connectivity.

Am I setting the Airport up incorrectly? I read elsewhere on the Apple support forums that an Airport Express cannot work in this way with a non Apple router - is this true?

Any help greatly appreciated :confused:
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I've been having some difficulty getting my Airport Extreme to bridge my existing wireless network (from my ISP supplied wireless router/modem) in a way that suits my requirements.

My ISP router lives in the lounge, and my Airport Extreme lives in my home office, within wireless range of the ISP router. I want to connect the two routers without the need for cables going between the rooms.

What I'm trying to achieve, is to have my ISP router to create the wireless network and provide DHCP (and have some things connected to it on the LAN), then have my Airport Extreme connect to this existing wireless network and then provide LAN connections to my servers in the other room. I've configured the Airport Extreme using the Airport utility in this fashion, and it shows a connection but the servers connecting via LAN from the Airport aren't getting IP addresses in the correct address range or any LAN/internet connectivity.

Am I setting the Airport up incorrectly? I read elsewhere on the Apple support forums that an Airport Express cannot work in this way with a non Apple router - is this true?

Any help greatly appreciated :confused:
In AirPort Utility 6, restore factory settings and configure it to "Join the Network". When configured in that mode, the Extreme will wirelessly connect to the ISP router and enable the USB port for printer and hard drive sharing, and the LAN ports for connecting to your computers.

Out of curiosity, why do you not want the Extreme to be the main router?
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,197
1,028
I've been having some difficulty getting my Airport Extreme to bridge my existing wireless network (from my ISP supplied wireless router/modem) in a way that suits my requirements.

My ISP router lives in the lounge, and my Airport Extreme lives in my home office, within wireless range of the ISP router. I want to connect the two routers without the need for cables going between the rooms.

What I'm trying to achieve, is to have my ISP router to create the wireless network and provide DHCP (and have some things connected to it on the LAN), then have my Airport Extreme connect to this existing wireless network and then provide LAN connections to my servers in the other room. I've configured the Airport Extreme using the Airport utility in this fashion, and it shows a connection but the servers connecting via LAN from the Airport aren't getting IP addresses in the correct address range or any LAN/internet connectivity.

Am I setting the Airport up incorrectly? I read elsewhere on the Apple support forums that an Airport Express cannot work in this way with a non Apple router - is this true?

Any help greatly appreciated :confused:
Extend mode: can't be used with non-Apple router with much success.

What you are doing is "Join". You want your Airport to "JOIN" your other network. And make sure the Airport's own DHCP server is disabled, tell it to pull Internet from DHCP.

Your network link will be at the least common denominator, your ISP provided access point. Which is probably 2.4ghz N.

You'd gain a lot of potential speed, shutting down the wireless in your ISP router. Running it to an Airport Extreme as your DHCP provider. Then using your second Airport Extreme to link to it.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Extend mode: can't be used with non-Apple router with much success.

What you are doing is "Join". You want your Airport to "JOIN" your other network. And make sure the Airport's own DHCP server is disabled, tell it to pull Internet from DHCP.
The DHCP and NAT server is automatically disabled when put into "Join" mode on an AirPort.
 

eduardrw

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2013
252
3
The way you are trying to extend your ISP routers WIFI is typically hit and miss.
Sometimes it works if the chipsets in both routers are compatible. Sometimes it does not.

You could always put your ISP router in bridge mode and use the Airport Extreme as your router and WIFI. Then use a refurbished $75 Airport Express to achieve the "extension" of your WIFI network.
This works guaranteed and gives you 2.4 and 5GHz N throughput.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
The way you are trying to extend your ISP routers WIFI is typically hit and miss.
Sometimes it works if the chipsets in both routers are compatible. Sometimes it does not.

You could always put your ISP router in bridge mode and use the Airport Extreme as your router and WIFI. Then use a refurbished $75 Airport Express to achieve the "extension" of your WIFI network.
This works guaranteed and gives you 2.4 and 5GHz N throughput.

OP isn't trying make an extension but rather a Wi-Fi to Ethernet bridge to avoid running cable.
 

Nathe

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 25, 2011
48
1
Staffordshire, UK
Thanks for the help everyone, it sounds like what I'm trying to do can't be done with my current equipment. Time to dig out the credit card and hit up Amazon!
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Thanks for the help everyone, it sounds like what I'm trying to do can't be done with my current equipment. Time to dig out the credit card and hit up Amazon!

No. You can have the Extreme join the ISP router and act as a wireless to Ethernet bridge.
 

Nathe

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 25, 2011
48
1
Staffordshire, UK
No. You can have the Extreme join the ISP router and act as a wireless to Ethernet bridge.
That is how I've been configuring it. The servers connecting to the LAN ports on the Airport extreme do not get an address assigned on the right network. If I set their IP manually, I cannot connect to them.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
That is how I've been configuring it. The servers connecting to the LAN ports on the Airport extreme do not get an address assigned on the right network. If I set their IP manually, I cannot connect to them.

Did you try a factory reset? Also, what version of AirPort Utility are you using?
 

Nathe

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 25, 2011
48
1
Staffordshire, UK
Did you try a factory reset? Also, what version of AirPort Utility are you using?
I managed to screw it up first time around using the extend network option (which caused the Airport to disappear completely from Airport Utility). It has since been factory reset using the reset button on the back before using the join network option. I'm on Airport Utility 6.3.2.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I managed to screw it up first time around using the extend network option (which caused the Airport to disappear completely from Airport Utility). It has since been factory reset using the reset button on the back before using the join network option. I'm on Airport Utility 6.3.2.
Try it again. The extend option will not work and shouldn't even show.
 

glenthompson

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2011
1,929
128
Florida
If you can figure anyway to run cable between the two that will provide the best results. My cable modem and router is in the garage where the builder put all the network, phone and cable connections. I have a Cat5 run to my Extreme which is in the center of the house and provides good wifi throughout. It also allows more hardwired connections.
 

mmomega

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2009
3,178
1,377
DFW, TX
If you can figure anyway to run cable between the two that will provide the best results. My cable modem and router is in the garage where the builder put all the network, phone and cable connections. I have a Cat5 run to my Extreme which is in the center of the house and provides good wifi throughout. It also allows more hardwired connections.
Connecting the two via ethernet is definitely going to yield the best results.

Sure extending via wifi is a convenience but you are short changing yourself.

Just for example: You have 30 Mbps download. Your main WiFi router will output 30 Mbps very close to the router, the further away you are the slower your bandwidth gets until there's no signal.
Let's just say at 30' away you are receiving 5Mbps out of 30Mbps. If you place your AEBS at that 30' mark and extend the signal you are extending that 5 Mbps signal.

If you run an ethernet cable from your router to the AEBS to the same 30' mark, your AEBS now is outputting 30Mbps from that point forward rather than repeating a lower.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mark-Technology

Nathe

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 25, 2011
48
1
Staffordshire, UK
There's currently not a way to run a cable between the two without wires trailing across rooms/hallways. In the end I bought a cheap TP link wireless extender/bridge which achieved exactly what I was after.
 

andycarver

macrumors member
Feb 11, 2012
52
13
QLD, Australia l
No. You can have the Extreme join the ISP router and act as a wireless to Ethernet bridge.
Sorry to dig this one up.

I have managed this with an express but not an extreme.

Any thoughts?

Tplink modem router with DHCP and NAT. express has joined (like the extreme) but i recall originaly setting up with airport utility ver 6.

Could this be the answer?

P.s both are first gen N the express provided an IP from its one port the extreme provides no ip s from no ports. I have yet to try the WAN port.
 
Last edited:

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Sorry to dig this one up.

I have managed this with an express but not an extreme.

Any thoughts?

Tplink modem router with DHCP and NAT. express has joined (like the extreme) but i recall originaly setting up with airport utility ver 6.

Could this be the answer?

P.s both are first gen N the express provided an IP from its one port the extreme provides no ip s from no ports. I have yet to try the WAN port.
This mode is only officially supported on the Express. I had luck with it on the 2nd gen. Extreme but it is buggy even then. I never got the chance to try it with another generation Extreme. The Express will work fine and the "Join" mode is supported in both AirPort Utility 5.6 and 6.x.
 

andycarver

macrumors member
Feb 11, 2012
52
13
QLD, Australia l
Weird. Where is the documentation for that?

P.s I bridged it off the express connection and turned off Wifi. All Is ok. Just an little pointless that's all.
 

Stocks

macrumors member
Feb 4, 2015
93
0
There's currently not a way to run a cable between the two without wires trailing across rooms/hallways.
That's why you call me in :D

For a $99 service call I guarantee I'd find a way to run that cable concealed in your walls, ceilings, floors, etc. :p
 

Maars99

macrumors newbie
Dec 21, 2015
3
0
In AirPort Utility 6, restore factory settings and configure it to "Join the Network". When configured in that mode, the Extreme will wirelessly connect to the ISP router and enable the USB port for printer and hard drive sharing, and the LAN ports for connecting to your computers.

Out of curiosity, why do you not want the Extreme to be the main router?
 

Maars99

macrumors newbie
Dec 21, 2015
3
0
I am looking for a robust way to connect to a hotel network using WiFi so my computer, apple tv and iPhone are on a single network. The bridge needs to be able to log into hotel access point then sign onto the internet where I need to enter the room number and last name to confirm. Can this be done using any of the technology you have introduced here? Robust meaning it works every time everywhere!
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I am looking for a robust way to connect to a hotel network using WiFi so my computer, apple tv and iPhone are on a single network. The bridge needs to be able to log into hotel access point then sign onto the internet where I need to enter the room number and last name to confirm. Can this be done using any of the technology you have introduced here? Robust meaning it works every time everywhere!
Since you have an Express and the Extreme, I would setup the Express to "Join" the network put out by the ISP router in the hotel. Then, run Ethernet from the LAN port on the Express to the WAN port on the Extreme and configure the Extreme to "Create a Wireless Network" with DHCP & NAT mode turned on. You may get a double NAT warning for this configuration, but you should be able to ignore it without any negative consequences.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,137
8,806
California
The AirPort Extreme does support QoS, however it is automatic and not user configurable.
I've seen you mention this before. Do you have documentation this is the case, because I have never seen anything about the AE having any kind of QOS?