Considering a second Airport Extreme but need advice


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 14, 2013
I've currently got Virgin TV, Broadband and Phone. The Fibre comes into my house by the TV which is where I've got the newest AE connected to the Virgin Shi*tty (ahem, super) Hub. The super hub purely delivers the broadband to the AE.
From the AE i've got a HDD connected by USB and 3 Ethernet cables going to the TV, Xbox & Bluray.
I've also got an Airport Express in the back room connected to my stereo.

I'm in the process of switching my fibre provider to BT but it will be coming into my house by the front door which is no where near my TV. The problem is:

If I move my Extreme to the front door I cannot connect my TV/Xbox/BR to it. (although it would improve WiFi signal upstairs).

If I bought another Extreme and connected that to the new Fibre, could I use that for WiFi and have the original AE by the TV connect to the new one (over wifi) and still use the Ethernet cables and the External HDD?


macrumors 603
Feb 15, 2009
Toronto, Canada
I'd get a Powerline network adapter and run it from the BT modem to the AEBS. Make sure to put it in Bridge or Gateway mode and shut off its WiFi.


macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2007
Leeds, UK
I agree, best is a powerline adapter then branch from there or keep the airport express there in the hall for better wifi then powerline off from an Ethernet port on the AE to a switch behind the TV and plug the xbox, tv etc into that (this is my current set up and it's great).

I also have 2 airport expresses one which is upstairs (as thick walls reduce my wifi greatly and it's connected via usb to my old laserjet) and a 'floater' express for use when i may require a stronger signal (BBQ's in the back garden in the summer streaming off spotify to a set of speakers connected to the express etc)


macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
You can use two Extremes in bridge mode. In fact you can use more than two Extremes if desired.

Powerline - great option but like everything else it has caveats. Depending on how your home is wired will determine at least part of the speed and consistency. The ideal is when the power is all on the same fuse and if not, it depends on your fuse box and "noise" along the way.

Obviously, using Ethernet cable is your best bet. I would research some of the Powerline options out there. Maybe browse SmallNetBuilder web site and look up info on some of the tested models. Opt for the faster models that test/prove to be solid performers. I think that if you succeed with Powerline connection, you can use it along with your present AE set up and have some wireless in the mix. Just set it up correctly.


Mar 7, 2007
Midwest America.
If you have two panels, or the breakers are far apart, powerline becomes a no-go. Especially in the first example.

I'd seriously look into running cat5e wire between the two Airport Extreme. You *could* 'extend' your network over the wireless, assuming that the connection is good enough.

Here, I have three, and ran cat5e cable between them, and they ROCK! Hard wiring is always faster, and between AP's, it's the only way. People have come up with some very creative ways to hide wire.


as thick walls reduce my wifi greatly
I love the people that are sold wireless by idiots at Wort Try, or their 'smart relative' who is 'really good with computers'.

Then they called small companies like mine. 'But Matt at Worst Try said this was all I needed, but it's not working!'

Going through two solid poured walls, and three lath/plaster walls isn't going to happen. No matter what Matt says.


macrumors 68000
May 8, 2008
Hilo, Hawai'i
I'll second the caution about powerline links. I ran one for a friend, where the incoming cable connection was on the 2nd floor at the front of the house, and a good signal was needed on the first floor, back of house. They had a modem-wireless router from Time-Warner. Arris.

I'm pretty good with snaking ethernet cables around, but this house defeated me -- and as a rental, I could do only so much.

So we used a Netgear powerline setup but it only ever sort of kind of worked. Partly this was because it was an older house with some AC rewiring, and there was no way to get both ends on the same circuit. It was a disappointing waste of money.

Finally on my last visit to them (I live far away) I got them a new Airport Extreme and a new Airport Express, bridged the Arris to the Extreme, and that was the end of all the problems. The wireless link between the two units was solid, and the Express distributed the signal downstairs and even out back to another structure a good 100' away. It was much better than I expected.

As others have said, wired is best if you can manage it.