I need help extending my wireless network using Airport Express

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Alexzander1026, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. Alexzander1026 macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2008
    Hello all,

    I'm new to the Mac world and I have been having some problems that I can't seem to be able to solve. I am in the military and in the barracks, so naturally I am trying to share with as many people as possible. I have created a network using a Time Capsule and everything seems to be working fine on this end. I have also joined an Airport Express to my network and set it to extend my existing network (I did select "Allow this network to be extended" on the TC). Everyone that is in range is able to connect to the network, however, and this is the main problem, it seems that anyone that is connected to the AE has little to no capabilities on the network regardless of signal strength, i.e. internet is extremely slow or non-existant. I have blazing speed with my MB in my room however when I walk to the other end of the hall (into the extended network) my ability to surf the web slows to a snails crawl. Can anyone help me to figure this out? Let me know if you need more background information. Thanks to anyone that can help!

  2. mousemd macrumors member

    Nov 21, 2002
    me too. My network slows to a crawl. At first, I thought the problem was related to my fios router, but when I removed the express from my network, everything worked great.

    Let me know if you find an answer. FYI: I had upgraded everything to the latest firmware/software.
  3. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    HHmmm, I'm curious too. I've been working on setting up just such a network and had not heard anything like this.

    Have you checked the Apple Support website?
  4. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    Man, this is scary! I recently replaced my old wireless router, a Belkin Pre-N, with a Time Capsule. I had bought the Belkin because if its great range in b/g mode. It was so good, in fact, that I had wireless coverage throughout my house, including upstairs rooms that are at the far west end of my house, while the TC is located on the far east end of its first floor.

    When I replaced the Belkin with a TC I lost all of that range. Now, connectivity is dicey for any device that isn’t in the same room as the TC. Thus, I have considered adding an Airport Express in the west side of my house in order to extend the network. But if it’s going to slow the network to a crawl I won’t do it, obviously.

    There is an Apple Store less that two miles from my house, so I could buy an Airport Express there secure in the knowledge that I would have 14 days to return it for a full refund if it didn’t work right. Still, I would prefer to avoid the potential hassle until someone can provide insight into the cause of at least a couple of Airport Express installations being so slow.
  5. Tom Foolery macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    airport express is designed to be small and portable not fast. so a little bit of a slow down in speed should be expected but it sounds like somethings else is going on here. try calling apple. they will probably be able to help you.
  6. spainer450 macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2008

    same problem...We have rock walls and the time capsule wasnt strong enough so I purchased an airport express which increased signal strength throughout the house but slowed the internet dramatically. I also have an airport extreme that I used before the time capsule as a base station and was unaware that they too can be manually set up to extend networks. Even with both working to extend I had poor performance. I called technical support and they told me to get all of the units that we going to be used to extend the network and place them in the same room as the time capsule in order to change some preferences. I first updated the firmware on the extreme and express then I went into airport utility and clicked on my time capsule manual setup and under the wireless tab changed the channel from auto to 10. They said different channels transmit different frequencies and that I could try any channel but would try 10 as a starting point (it was originally set on auto:6) once I made that change I took the express and extreme back where they were plugged in and waited until they started up... Problem solved and fast internet everywhere. As I understand it, the network strength may appear strong because you are next to your express but if the express if having interference between it and the time capsule by microwaves, tvs, telephones, alarms, etc, then the express will not be fast. Hope this helps
  7. snipes300 macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2008
    Compatibility problem

    I had the same problem and i went back to apple and the said that to extend your network you should use another TC not a AE as there is come sort of compatibility problem
  8. Bhowell macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2008
    Austin, Texas
    Wow that doesnt sound like something Apple would let happen. It also seems like an upsale gimmick. I would talke to someone else.
  9. spainer450 macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2008
    With the updated firmware on AE and TC there are no compatibility issues
  10. akchang macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2008
    AE and TC are compatible

    I extended my network using an Airport Express and there were no problems. I say "were" because this weekend, my signal strength on the TC has fallen off a lot. I've tried so many things.

    * Turn off AE
    * N only
    * Turn off Security
    * Change channels

    Firmwares seem up to date it seems to affect both the Macbook and the Macbook Pro. I'm going to try another router tonight and a non-apple laptop. Luckily I have way too much computer gear lying around.
  11. itworksde macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2008
    Hi Alex,

    If signal strength is good on the Airport Express but network performance is very bad, then you might need to check the configuration between the airport express and the time capsule. I assume you have the internet connection (DSL???) plugged into the Time Capsule. Check the MTU value is the same on both devices. A value 1500 is fine for LAN access for example but if you are connecting to the Internet with a provider via tunnel PPPoE it could be too high. This is the case on my connection and with an MTU value 1492 my performance is super. At 1500 it is extremely slow. So in my case the provider is tunneling my Internet packets which means each packet is placed in a wrapper. Since the total size of my packet + wrapper must be 1500 I need to reduce the MTU value so my packets sent out on the internet to allow room for the wrapper. Therefore 1492 is the largest MTU I can use.

    1. Click on the Airport signal strength icon on the top of your screen and select "Open Network Preferences"
    2. Select the "Ethernet" tab.
    3. Select Configure "Manually"
    4. Change the MTU value if needed. It should be the same on both devices. If not, I would set the Airport to the same size as the Time capsule your case.

    Good luck

  12. fa.ce macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2006
    AExtreme + AExpress + TC: will work alltogheter ?

    I've an Airport Extreme + AirPort express.
    I need to extend more my signal.
    I'm thinkng to buy a Time Capsule and use AExtreme + AExpress to extend signal ?
    It will work ?
    Or it shoudl be better to buy also another AExpress and use 2 AExpress to extend signal (and dismiss AExtreme) ?
  13. akchang macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2008
    You can use your existing AExtreme to extend the network with the AExpress. No need to buy an extra AExpress unless you want to extend even more.

    The settings for the AExtreme and the AExpress should be the same for extending the network.


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