Help using an Airpot Express to Extend my Wireless network connected via ethernet

gibbo132

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 8, 2010
139
0
Hello,

I have just got a new Orange router and want to use my Airport Express to extend the WiFi signal to parts of the house that get little or no signal.

I have my Orange Bright Box by the incoming ADSL port and set up fine, I then have an ethernet cable that comes out of the back of the Bright Box and goes into the lounge, this is where the AEX is located.
My understanding is that the AEX will only extend the WiFi of a non Apple router via ethernet. So in theory this should work, however in AirPort utility I have a flashing orange light saying status extended network, is this correct?
It is not extending the range of my network though as I still cannot get signal in places that would now be in range!

Any help would be appreciated as I am really pulling my hair out over this!

Chris
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
Ok, I should clarify that you can't wirelessly extend a non-Apple wireless network with an AE. You may be able to use it as an access point with a hard-wired connection back to your router.

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4029448?start=0&tstart=0
Theoretically, a router with a Broadcom chip should be compatible with the Airport Express in terms of allowing it to extend a wifi network without having it hardwired.

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/WDS
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,331
243
Not entirely sure about the new ones, but the setup you're describing, ethernet to AE for wifi, is sorta the default setup. In that case it's acting as a router having received traffic from your other router, and it creates it's own wifi network with password, name, etc. If you go this route you have to do some things to avoid having routing issues to and from the internet/other network because of double NAT or IP addresses. Using a different range of IP addresses and/or fiddling with NAT settings should work.

I leave mine in that setting because then it just works when I use it elsewhere by plugging into somebody's ethernet on their network.

You might be able to set up what they call a "roaming" network by entering the same name and settings on the AE as you use with the other router, although I'm not sure this works on the new AEs and not sure it will work with non apple stuff. Here's the instructions: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4260
 

gibbo132

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 8, 2010
139
0
Not entirely sure about the new ones, but the setup you're describing, ethernet to AE for wifi, is sorta the default setup. In that case it's acting as a router having received traffic from your other router, and it creates it's own wifi network with password, name, etc. If you go this route you have to do some things to avoid having routing issues to and from the internet/other network because of double NAT or IP addresses. Using a different range of IP addresses and/or fiddling with NAT settings should work.

I leave mine in that setting because then it just works when I use it elsewhere by plugging into somebody's ethernet on their network.

You might be able to set up what they call a "roaming" network by entering the same name and settings on the AE as you use with the other router, although I'm not sure this works on the new AEs and not sure it will work with non apple stuff. Here's the instructions: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4260
Thanks, it is actually not the new AE I have had it a couple of years now and have been using it as the main router for the house as the one Orange gave us before was rubbish!

I think I have mine set up like it says in the instructions so I guess it is working!
 

Braniff747SP

macrumors 6502
May 30, 2010
259
3
Los Angeles, California, USA
Airport Expresses can only extend wireless signals from other Apple devices.
Not true, at least not for the older generation. I've got an Airport Express extending a signal from the ISP-issued garbage router. However, I can't get my old Airport Extreme to repeat the same signal; I believe that the Extreme can only repeat Apple devices.
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
Not true, at least not for the older generation. I've got an Airport Express extending a signal from the ISP-issued garbage router. However, I can't get my old Airport Extreme to repeat the same signal; I believe that the Extreme can only repeat Apple devices.
I might be mistaken here, but if I remember correctly the Airport Express has always had a Broadcom chipset whilst the Airport Extreme didn't get a Broadcom chipset until the 5th (current) generation. Since repeating wifi-signals is based on WDS and WDS is rarely supported between different manufacturers, I'm guessing your ISP-issued router has a Broadcom chip in it just as your Airport Express (which your Airport Extreme doesn't).

It would be interesting if you could borrow a current generation Airport Extreme from someone and try it out :)