How to setup two networks airport express

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by dpriest, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. dpriest macrumors member

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    Nov 18, 2014
    #1
    I have an airport extreme hardwired in my basement. I want to have great wifi throughout my house so I bought an airport express that I can hardwire upstairs via ethernet. In my house, I have a switching hub in my basement. My modem and my airport extreme are connected through the hub. I have cat5 cables running into every room in my house and I have the room where I am hard wiring my airport express running through the switch as well. I heard it is better to setup 2 separate networks between the extreme and express than to extend my network since I have the ability to hardwire each device. I am not sure how to do this using airport utility. Is my thought process correct and can somebody please help me with this? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #2
    The network should ideally go modem --> AirPort Extreme --> Switch --> Express. Simply plug the Express into the switch and configure it. In AirPort Utility it will say "Configure AirPort Express to extend 'Extreme name here' over Ethernet". Click okay and let it roll. Then change any other settings as needed.
     
  3. dpriest thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    That's exactly the way I configured it, however when I had good wifi with my macbook pro in the house closest to the extreme. When I went to the other end of the house where the express is, I could not connect to the network at all. I unplugged the express, reset it and plugged the power cord back in and the ethernet cable and all was fine. In this configuration, are my wireless devices suppose to connect to the network (device) with the strongest signal? So when the signal is stronger with the extreme it connects to it and vice versa?
     
  4. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #4
    Yes. Verify there is a solid line from the Express to Extreme to be sure it is using Ethernet to connect.
     
  5. Bruno09, Mar 2, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015

    Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #5
    You should create a "roaming network".
    This is the best setup for what you are after.
    The 2 Airport must be connected via Ethernet.

    In a roaming network, the wireless client automatically connects to the access point it gets the best signal from.

    Roaming network, 4 conditions :

    1. same SSID (wifi network name)
    2. same security (WPA2)
    3. same password
    4. different wifi channels

    The first 3 conditions are requested.
    For the 4th one, you can either set the 2 Airport on channel "auto" (they will choose 2 different channels) or choose them manually.

    Normally, the "Configure AirPort Express to extend 'Extreme name here' over Ethernet" does create a roaming network.
    Just check that it actually did by checking the settings of both Airport devices.
     
  6. dpriest thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 18, 2014
    #6
    I am not sure how to setup the roaming. Maybe I need to reset both the extreme and express and start over. If I am following you correctly, I first setup the extreme. Next, I setup the express which seems straightforward. Is it better to choose the channels manually or on auto?
     
  7. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #7
    You do not need to reset the Extreme.

    Just reset the Express and use the setup assistant to "Configure AirPort Express to extend 'Extreme name here' over Ethernet".
    (The Express must be connected to the Extreme via Ethernet).

    This will create the roaming network.

    Then just check with Airport Utility that the Express does have the same SSID, security, password than the Extreme.

    Choose channels auto for both devices : they will automatically use 2 different channels.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202056
     
  8. dpriest thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    I think I have been doing it the incorrect way in there past. Do I need to take my airport express down the basement and physically connect it to the extreme via ethernet and configure with airport utility and after it has been configured, bring it back upstairs, plug it in with an ethernet cable and it should be fine?
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #9
    No. Plugging it into a network drop upstairs so long as it is behind the Extreme is the same as plugging it into the back of it.
     
  10. dpriest thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 18, 2014
    #10
    Something is very inherently wrong. When I connect the express to extend my network, it causes the whole internet to go down...even wired directly from the modem. When I start fresh and reset the extreme and the express is unplugged, I can successfully set up a wireless network again and everything works fine. It is the airport express that kills everything.

    A few months ago when I set up the airport express to extend the network by wiring it, there were no problems and I had great wifi all over the house. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I just started noticing a few weeks ago that my macbook pro had great wifi when I was closer to the extreme, but when I was then closer to the express, I was no longer able to connect to the internet via wifi at all, which is what prompted me to start this topic. What is going on??
     
  11. dpriest thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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  13. dpriest thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    I am configuring it the way it was recommended. I am using airport utility to configure the express as extending the current network with both SSID the same at wpa2 personal. I named both Networks Household Network. After I click done and I am getting a green light on the express as well as the extreme, the internet goes down. I opened up the express again in airport utility and clicked on the Wireless tab. The mode is set to Create a Wireless network even though airport utility said it was extending the current network. Switching the mode to extending the current network and updating the settings did not fix the problem.

    I also noticed that the ipv4 address and subnet mask are different for the express than the extreme which also may be playing a part in this. Under Wireless options, both 2.5 and 5GHz channels are set to auto for both extreme and express. The 5GHz network name box is not checked so the name is greyed out. I have to say that I do not understand what a lot of these terms mean and if I am setting this correctly.
     
  14. Bruno09, Mar 3, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015

    Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #14
    The Express must "Create a wireless network".

    Do not use the "Extend a wireless network" feature.
    (this is for extending wirelessly)

    The Express must have :

    Internet : connect using DHCP
    Wireless : create a wireless network, same SSID, security and password as the EXtreme.
    Network : router mode : off (bridge mode)

    It is normal that the IPV4 addresses are not the same.
    The subnet mask should be identical for both devices.
     
  15. dpriest thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 18, 2014
    #15
    Now, just connecting the express to the network caused the internet to go down. I plugged in the express to the network, powered it up and reset it until yellow blinking light. The internet went down again, but when I unplugged the express and reset the extreme, the network is back up. Something with the express is causing the internet to crash. All of this is going through an Intel Express 140T standalone hub. I never had this problem before and am not sure why now. How do I upload an image to this site? I took pictures of my setup and that may be helpful.
     
  16. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #16
    You need to host your pictures online, then insert the URL of the picture in your message.

    There are many images hosting sites, example : http://postimage.org

    We would need to see the Internet, Wireless, Network tabs for both devices.
     
  17. dpriest thread starter macrumors member

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    #17
    Nevermind Bruno09. Everything is working!!!! :) I plugged in and reset the express again and configured it exactly the way you said. I guess I misunderstood earlier advice from yesterday on selecting "Extend network".

    So I understand, how does it work now when a wireless device such as iPhone, iPad, macbook pro roam from one end of the house to the other. Is there a wireless baton handoff where the wireless device switches to the device with the stronger signal?
     
  18. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #18
    Good news !!

    Yes exactly, any wireless client automatically connects (and switches when it moves) to the access point (Extreme, Express) it gets the best signal from.
     
  19. dpriest thread starter macrumors member

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  20. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #20

    If the Express was not behind the Extreme physically then "Extend over Ethernet" would not work.
     
  21. dpriest thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 18, 2014
    #21
    One little thing I noticed. The subnet mask is a bit different for both devices. The extreme is 255.255.252.0 and the express is 255.255.255.0 Will the affect performance at all and if so, how can I get the two to be identical?
     
  22. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #22
    How is the network arranged in order of device?
     
  23. dpriest thread starter macrumors member

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    #23
    In Airport utility, it goes extreme and then express in that order.
     
  24. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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  25. dpriest thread starter macrumors member

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    #25
    Please explain what static ip config means and how to do it.
     

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