How to add 6th gen Airport Extreme (802.11ac) to an existing network with 4th gen Extreme (802.11n)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by saintforlife, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. saintforlife macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    We have had a 4th gen Airport Extreme for 4 years now. We recently moved into a bigger home and are not getting a good wifi signal on the 2nd floor of the house. So I just went ahead and bought the latest 6th generation Airport Extreme (802.11ac).

    Now, I would like to connect the new Extreme to the cable modem to create our wifi network and place our existing older Extreme on the 2nd floor to extend the network. Is there anyway I can use the same network name and password (that we have used for years) for the new Extreme while changing the old Extreme from being the 'main router' to a 'wifi extender'? This will help me from having to reenter the network name and password on all our devices. If this possible, how would I go about doing this?
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Yeah, but Apple uses some of it's own setup for this I think. See this:

    But consider first whether it can get reception up there. Wifi to wifi isn't as quick as using ethernet to connect to the new AEBS and then passing on that signal.
  3. saintforlife thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    So you mean instead of wirelessly extending the signal, connect the two AEBS using Ethernet in 'Bridge' mode? Are there any disadvantages to extending the signal in wireless mode?

    Also, does it matter which AEBS (new or old) I connect to the cable modem? Is the rule of thumb to always connect your 'best/latest' router to the modem?
  4. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    1. Using Ethernet would give the best possible performance as it will offer up to a gigabit backend connection to the main router, which network traffic and internet browsing will likely never saturate. Wireless connections are always iffy and best to avoid.

    2. You want the newest router to be connected to the modem as it offers the best WAN to LAN performance.

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