Extending my Airport Extreme with an Express or another Extreme?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by AndrewMRiv, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. AndrewMRiv macrumors regular


    Oct 29, 2013
    I have the Airport Extreme with AC in my brother's room but I wish to get a better signal in my garage.

    I'm going to get either another Airport Extreme or an Airport Express to extend its range.

    Which should I get? Is it worth spending that much money on another extreme to be put in extender mode since it would have AC and be able to extend both the 2.4 and 5ghz?

    Or would I be okay getting the airport express?

    Thank you.
  2. Mikael H macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2014
    It all boils down to this: Will usage in your garage require AC speeds, or are N-standard speeds OK for you?

    I have decided to extend my network only using Express routers (but they connect to an Extreme which is connected to the Internet):
    Example 1: my media player is in the next room from the Extreme, but it's impractical to pull an ethernet cable to it. On the other hand, the bandwidth required for streaming is well within N-class network specifications, and so I don't need anything more expensive.
    Example 2: I extend my internet connection wirelessly to a second house. I only have a <8 Mbps ADSL connection, and that's so far below the N-class network speeds I achieve, that an Extreme would be a complete waste of money.
  3. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Well wireless extension halves all available bandwidth coming from the extending AirPort so it would be best to run Ethernet (Cat 5e or Cat 6) to the other AirPort from the existing Extreme.
  4. crazyxzer0 macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2008
  5. Mikael H macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2014
    ...Just make sure you can return the products if they don't work in your home. At least here in Sweden, houses are often built with three-phase power, with power drawn from different phases in different parts of the house, to balance the load. In effect, this means that you may get very bad throughput if any between two power outlets.
    Even if this would not be an issue, my experience is that the signal between power-line adapters can be very sensitive to electro-magnetic noise. Turning on a vacuum cleaner or a mixer may influence throughput hugely.

    So yes: if you can, install real ethernet cable. If you can't install network cable and your house design permits it, try power-line adapters. Wirelessly extending the network is a last resort, but in some conditions it's simply the least bad alternative.

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