Can an airport extreme (2nd generation) function as both a wi-fi router AND switch?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by why is you lion, Nov 17, 2014.

  1. why is you lion macrumors newbie

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    Nov 17, 2014
    #1
    Hi! I'm fortunate enough to live in a country with widespread gigabit internet connectivity, and I have just applied to have fibre-optic gigabit internet installed in my two floor apartment.

    However, my home's networking arrangement is a little odd. See the attached crude diagram for reference.

    I understand that the 2nd gen Airport Express has full support for gigabit connections (although wi-fi speeds will hit a theoretical 54Mb/s at most). I have two different networks set up in my home— one upstairs, and one downstairs.

    I am fine with having two different networks. That isn't the issue here. I know that if I want to maximize what I get out of the gigabit connection I need to use ethernet. I am planning to run a cable from one of the LAN ports on the first airport extreme in the diagram to the WAN port on the second airport extreme, which will then have a cable running from a free WAN port to a switch downstairs. These first two airport extremes manage the same network upstairs (the second airport extreme extends the network created by the first airport extreme).

    What I need to know is if the second airport extreme can act as the final router in the network, as well as a switch. So far I only know that the router can act as both a router and a switch if it is the one creating the network (i.e creating it from the WAN port input).

    Diagram of my current home network: [​IMG]
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #2
    Why not use one of the AEBS's in bridge mode and create one network for both upstairs and downstairs. It would be simpler and would not introduce unnecessary networking confusion.
     
  3. why is you lion thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 17, 2014
    #3
    we used to do that. performance wasn't great, I saw great performance gains once I switched to my current layout.
     
  4. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #4
    Ok, why do you have two AEBS's connected to each other and then to the switch? Why not eliminate one AEBS and connect the other one to the switch - removing one AEBS from the equation?
     
  5. why is you lion thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    I'm not too sure if the range of the upstairs network would be as large as it is if I got rid of the second one.

    Then again, if the network created by the first ABE can reach the second ABE (which then extends it), I suppose the range shouldn't be an issue. It might take a bit of work to find a cable that long though.
     
  6. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #6
    You can run an Ethernet cable for up to 100 meters or 328 feet. You can get them real cheap from monoprice.com
     
  7. why is you lion thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 17, 2014
    #7
    most modern ethernet cables have support for gigabit speeds right? I'm just worried about finding one with that kind of speed AND length.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  8. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #8
    Yes. CAT5e or CAT6 will be more than sufficient.
     

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