Extending wifi with Airport Extreme & Express

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by FurbyUK, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. FurbyUK Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Location:
    Up North
    #1
    Currently, in my parents house, we have an Airport Extreme connected to the Sky router (Since they mandate that you have to use their router or else!).

    With the Airport Extreme, there's fluctuating signal upstairs. The Extreme is in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs (Close to the sky router, there's not really anywhere else it can go). I have a spare Airport Express I was thinking about taking over and using that to improve the signal upstairs, but not 100% sure on the best way to go about it.

    My 2 thoughts are:

    1. Use the Express to extend via wifi on the landing at the top of the stairs, I believe it can wirelessly connect to the Extreme with no other assistance?

    2. Get a power line ethernet plug, then plug the Express into the other one upstairs.

    Which is the best option, or is there a better alternative?
     
  2. deany, Dec 29, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016

    deany macrumors 68030

    deany

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Location:
    North Wales
    #2
    Hi
    If you want the best possible reliable signal it may envolve tacking some cat 6 along the outside wall from downstairs to upstairs.
    My windows are wooden framed and have a bit of 'give' so I can close the window on the cable without damage or draft.
    This may not be possible but if you have a short cat 6 you could try otherwise drilling is envolved.
    I use an apple 'roaming' network with 4G router to TM to Airport Express from one side of house to the other using cat 6 tacked outside and the wifi is very good and reliable thoughout the house. (C1870 very thick walls).

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00J3V38QA/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204616

    ps I just used a step ladder.
     
  3. FurbyUK thread starter Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Location:
    Up North
    #3
    Running extra cable around the house is not an option. That's why I was pondering the 2 mentioned options.
     
  4. elf69 macrumors 68000

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #4
    power line kits are awesome!

    I have a kit at home, wired downstairs to the sky box and a wireless unit upstairs.

    My brother has two wired units, in by his router an the other by his TV.

    just pair them up (best in same room) then once paired go go plug them in an done!
     
  5. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #5
    I'll second the Powerline option. I set my mother up with some and they work flawlessly. The units I bought produce their own wireless network; I'm not sure how stable they'd be for heavy wireless traffic compared with Apple routers, but they do well for the basic internet things that I'd imagine most people's parents do. If you already have an Airport Express then you can go with the ethernet-only option, otherwise I think it'd be fine (and cheaper) to just get the units that make their own network.

    Powerline will be inferior to the ethernet cabling (as was suggested above), but superior to wifi bridging... and of course, no need to rewire your house for it.
     
  6. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #6
    As long as the outlets are on the same circuit the Powerline stuff should work.
     
  7. elf69 macrumors 68000

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #7
    my power line kits work one on downstairs ring main with it own RCD and one on upstairs ring main with own RCD.

    works but at a reduce speed as they are on extension leads.
    Dont do this if you can avoid it.

    In the wall I get 15mbps of the 18mbps the router gives.
    on extensions (at both ends) this dropped to 3-4mbps.

    It only for the macbook air as all other device can connect direct to the sky box.
    The first gen air cannot connect upstairs.
     
  8. FurbyUK thread starter Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Location:
    Up North
    #8
    Would using them to extend an existing network work though? Currently the extreme maintains a network, which is solid downstairs, but flakey upstairs, the idea is to use the express to extend it and I thought that using the powerline (eying up the gigabit one) to the Express to be on the same network and extend it that way.

    Or can the express only extend the network wirelessly. That's my real question and Apple's support docs aren't clear.
     
  9. elf69 macrumors 68000

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #9
    yes two ethernet adaptors with your express plugged in upstairs as an access point will work fine.
    Check if the express can be use as access point if so your made :)

    I have done this both at home in past and with customers houses.
     
  10. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #10
    The best experience is to hardwire them together.
    I went the wireless extension route for quite some time and for me it was a bandaid.
    You can definitely wireless extend from one airport to the next, regardless of extreme or express. You just have to remember that when you extend you want to place the extender in a spot where it has a very good signal from the main router. If you place the extender in a place with bad wifi signal you are just extending that bad signal further.
     

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