Extending Wifi with AirPort Extreme

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by MultiFinder17, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    Hello! Question about my home network for you all.

    I have a Time Capsule as my primary router, creating my wireless network in the living room. As my apartment is not wired for ethernet, I have an AirPort Express in my office set to capture the signal and put it out over ethernet, which feeds into an AirPort Extreme that's being used as a switch for gigabit ethernet between the machines in my office.

    The office is right next to my bedroom, and the signal isn't super great in the bedroom. I would like to use the AirPort Extreme to broadcast the same network signal as the Time Capsule in order to extend the wifi into the bedroom by using a roaming network as described here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204616

    Whenever I set the Extreme to broadcast the same network as the Time Capsule, anything that tries to connect to it gets a self-assigned IP and no internet. If I walk over to the Time Capsule and connect to that, it works fine. Any idea why the Extreme isn't putting out a usable wifi signal?

    Attached are a couple of pictures of the setup and settings. Many thanks!

    Time Capsule Settings:
    Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 11.43.34 AM.png Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 11.43.37 AM.png

    Extreme Settings:
    Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 11.43.19 AM.png Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 11.43.24 AM.png

    Network Map:
    Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 11.18.25 AM.png
  2. techwarrior macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2009
    Use "Create a Wireless Network" for the main router, and any Access Point that is Wired to the main network, this is referred to as a Roaming network. Further, subordinate Access Points should have the Network setup in Bridged Mode, meaning it uses the WAN port as a LAN and simply passes all traffic through this port including DHCP. If not setup as Bridged Mode, the WAN port thinks it is connected to the public internet and the AP tries assigning IP Addresses to clients, and "routes" traffic using NAT to the main router. Typically, this creates a loop due to routing discovery protocols used on WAN ports, and the network is unstable as the routers are constantly resetting to try to clean things up.

    It sounds like you are trying to create an Extended network. The secondary Access Point will use it's wireless radio to connect to the router, then accept connections from local hosts. This is accomplished using the "Extend a Wireless Network" option. However, if the signal is weak where the second Access Point is located, it will remain slow, or slower when clients connect to it, you are "sharing" the WiFi signal between clients, and uplink to the main router and traffic will be no faster than the WiFi link between the router and remote Access Point, meaning no faster than the clients connected directly to the main router WiFi from that location.

    If running Cat5e\6 cable to the other room(s) is out of the question, your best option may be to get a power line Ethernet device like TP-LINK AV1200 Powerline Adapter to run Ethernet to the other room(s), then setup the additional Access Point(s) in bridged mode and create a roaming wireless network. The TPLink should give you the equivalent of 300Mbps or more (they claim up to 1GBps or more) over power lines to the remote rooms.

    I have Time Capsule as my main router\WiFi base station. I have two ethernet cables running to my remote AP Express access points, one uses a direct ethernet connection, the other uses the above TP Link to an upstairs bedroom. Both AP Express are setup in Bridged Mode, with "Create a Wireless Network" and use the same SSID and password as the main Time Capsule. This enables me to connect to any of the three Access Points using the same WiFi credentials, and my devices will roam, or connect to whichever device offers the best service at the location. Speed test results are similar in all locations throughout my home.

    Lastly, I have seen two schools of thought on dual band WiFi. I use different SSID, but same password on each band (2.4 and 5 Ghz). Others suggest using the same SSID and password for both bands and let the client devices pick the best signal. I am not sure which is a better way to go, so you might need to experiment with this.

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