Extend my Airport Extreme with an Express

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by The General, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. The General macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    How do I set this up? I want to plug my Airport Express into my Airport Extreme with Ethernet and have them both emit the same wireless network. Is that possible? I've been able to figure out how to do it without plugging it in with ethernet, but that seems kind of pointless, here's why:

    1. My Extreme is on the South wing of my house.
    2. I have low reception on the North wing of my house, where my room is.
    3. I use AirTunes in my room, so I want my Express in my room.
    4. If the only way to do it is how I have it now (set it to "join a wireless network"), then I might as well just connect to the Extreme wirelessly myself, because I get a poor signal and slow connection. My house is really big.

    Is there a way to do this? Or at the very least have to wireless networks, airport north and south, and have them both be able to talk to eachother as if they are one LAN?
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    This is entirely possible, just set both SSIDs to the same thing, and all network security settings the same, just make sure the channels are different and the farther apart the channel numbers are the better to avoid overlap.
    and in the express setup on the internet page, set connection sharing to "off (bridge mode)"
    Your wireless devices should seamlessly and automatically switch between the 2 as the move from one end of the house to another.

    In my old place i used to do this with a Linksys router as my main station, and an express at the back of my house connected via ethernet.
  3. The General thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    Are you sure this will work even though the MAC addresses are different? I won't end up with two of the same network? Also, when I setup a network with the Airport Express, it seems to be its own LAN which cannot talk to the Airport Extreme's LAN.
  4. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Do you want to set up a WDS network?

    I think you want to do what I did a few years ago. My modem is on the north side of the house, and so was my Airport, and as a result, the coverage was ****** on the south side of the house. So, I used my old Airport and set it up as a WDS remote. What that does is it extends the network so the south side of the house gets better coverage. The only thing the WDS remote needs is power. It corresponds with the WDS main (in the north side of the house, in my case) wirelessly to provide better internet.

    It's a great system. I haven't tried AirTunes on my Express (my WDS remote), but I would assume that it works. I'll try and find you a link on how to set it up.
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  6. The General thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    That shows the devices connected with wifi, that seems kinda of pointless when I can connect them with ethernet...

    Is this possible?


    My end result should be this:

    The "wifi barrier" would just be the fact that the red line is like 300 feet wide.
  7. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Why do you need them to connect via ethernet? And what exactly is your "red line"?
  8. The General thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    300 feet of distance, the Airport Express has like no reception with the Airport Extreme.
  9. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    I believe the reach of them is a maximum of 150 feet. You might be able to extend them more by decreasing the multicast rate to 1 mbps, but I'm not entirely sure if that would work, let alone well. I'm not entirely sure if hardwiring them would work, either, but you can look in to that if you'd like (and have a 300 foot ethernet cable.)

    What might be a less stressful solution is investing $99 in another AirPort Express and using it as a relay WDS. Three AirPorts together should be able to get across 300 feet.
  10. The General thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    What I'm saying is that having them connect to each other with Airport seems kind of pointless when I can connect them with ethernet fairly easily. And buying another $99 Airport Express to supplement WDS which is flawed by design by not supporting Ethernet connected relays seems futile. My house is already wired with ethernet.

    Well how about this - If I were to set up to separate networks, Airport North and South, is there a way I'd be able to have them operate on the same LAN?

    EDIT: I just had an epiphany. Plug my iMac in wired, turn the Extreme to 5Ghz N mode, since there's 3G in my house anyway. Forget the iPhones, we have 3G here anyway. Okay, whatever.
  11. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Fair enough. My only remaining question is, how big is your house?
  12. The General thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
  13. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Is it a long and narrow house? Mine is 6000 sq. ft. and Google Earth tells me now that our house is 80 feet long.
  14. The General thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    It's a single floor, kind of U shaped with a 60 or 80 foot wide courtyard in the middle. I was kind of exaggerating about the 300 feet. It's a very strange house, I don't really like it that much. It's 7800 square feet that aren't used very well. It takes me like ten minutes to get from my room to the Airport Extreme on the South Wing. :rolleyes:
  15. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    It will work, I've done it in my house. I would make it flash if i could since you missed it in my first post.
    It's how businesses are able to cover large areas.
    My setup was even used a linksys router and an airport express.
    you wouldn't want the macs to be the same, the wireless client (laptop) would get confused as to who it was talking to.
    Plus this way if someone is on the north side, and another on the south side, they don't interfere with each others wireless bandwidth.

    Just make sure that.

    1. The airport express is in "off (bridge mode)" - this will fix the problem of the express being it's own lan. it will even then let the extreme handle DHCP
    2. The SSIDs are both set to the exact same thing "The General"
    3. Wireless security settings are exactly the same.
    4. Channels are different. preferably, spaced out so they don't overlap, but in automatic it should be ok.

    I still don't understand people love of WDS, true you avoid having to run wire, but it does take a speed hit compared to a hardwired second base.

    If you try a wifi detection program like iStumber, you will see 2 "the general"s if you are in range of both, but in the airport menu, you will see only 1

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