Join Existing Wireless Network - Airport Extreme Base Station

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Crispy3M, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. Crispy3M macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #1
    Hi Folks,

    My setup:

    - Duplex and using owner supplied WiFi
    - Apple TV2 on existing owner supplied WiFi
    - Airport Express on existing owner supplied WiFi
    - New Airport Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi

    What I want to do:

    I want to have the Airport Extreme Base Station join the existing wireless network just as the ATV2 and Airport Express did. I then want to plug in my Segate 1TB HDD to the Airport Extreme and use it as a NAS for backups as well as streaming movies from my Segate HDD to my ATV2.

    The problem:

    I run Airport Utility and answer the questions...

    Q1. Select what you want to do with Airport Extreme
    A1. I want Airport Extreme to join my current network

    Q2. Select what you want to do with the Airport Extreme
    A2. I want Airport Extreme to wirelessly join my current network

    Select the wireless name and select the security

    Confirm the Settings and continue (Update)

    The Airport Extreme then reboots and the indicator light just flashes yellow and Airport Utility can no longer find the Airport Extreme. The only way to revive the AEBS is to do a hard reset via the pin hole on the back.

    ***Update***

    I connected the Airport Extreme to my MBP via a network cable and updated Firmware to 7.5.2, reset the AEBS to factory default and ran the Airport Utility again. Now the AEBS has a green indicator light and I can find it using Airport Utility.

    Questions:
    How do I now access the USB HDD from my MBP?
    How do I now access the USB HDD from my ATV2?
    How do I access the AEBS at all?

    Additional info:

    I have no access to the Wireless Router in the owners dwelling

    Cheers,

    C3M
     
  2. laurenr, Apr 26, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011

    laurenr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Assuming the owner has the Airport Express configured for a wireless network, you would need to set up the Airport Extreme to "Extend a wireless Network". I have a similar setting on my home network:

    MR1.jpg

    You are selecting therefore, to extend the above network, so would choose the Owner's named network. HOWEVER, on the Owner's network setup, he would HAVE to have checked on HIS side - "Allow this network to be extended" in his "Wireless" tab of Airport Utility for the Express. Without him doing this, the above is NOT possible.

    I assume your external HD is connected via USB to the Airport Extreme. This is configured in the "Disks" tab:

    MR2.jpg

    You would also want to enable file sharing from the External HD. Mine is setup as follows:

    MR3.jpg

    To access the Ext HD from your MBP, it would now appear under "Shared" volumes. Again, a pic of my setup (slightly different because I am using the internal storage of the Airport device, actually a Time Capsule, but the principle is the same):

    MR6.jpg



    One question though - is your entire Itunes Library stored on this external drive you want to access via your ATV? If so, this would have to be configured in your iTunes preferences in order for the ATV to "see it". I have the ATV first gen, so my setup is somewhat different. I do have all my media on an External Drive:

    MR5.jpg

    Hope everything is somewhat clear.:)
     
  3. Crispy3M, Apr 26, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011

    Crispy3M thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #3
    More Information

    Sorry, it's difficult to explain my situation clearly without leaving some things a little grey.

    The Duplex owner has a Bell supplied Modem/Wi-Fi Router and that is it.

    As part of our rental agreement, I'm given the Password/Key and allowed to use his Wi-Fi. I own the Airport Express which I use in a separate room of the house to stream music wirelessly. I have the AX and the ATV2 both on the Owners Network so I don't have to keep switching Wireless Networks every time I want to do something.

    Because the Airport Express has just "joined an existing network" I don't think I can use your suggestion? I looked at the Wireless tab on the AX and only see "Allow Ethernet Clients" check box which I assume would need to be wired? I originally tried to extend the Owners network but got the "Network can not be extended" message.

    Either way, your excellent response is greatly appreciated.

    Hope to hear from you again.

    Chris
     
  4. laurenr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #4
    Are you saying that your Airport Exp is set to JOIN the owner's existing wireless network? Then you are correct, there is no way of extending this network. If so, I can think of another way, which would be kind of similar to my setup. I have a dual-band wireless setup, done with two separate Airport base stations - this is where we have the similarity, (the 2 devices). This is achieved by directly connecting the two with an Ethernet Cable.

    So what I am thinking - would it be possible to have your AX and your AEBS in the same physical location, so that they could be hard wired together? I have not tested this, so cannot definitely confirm it would work. Mine looks as follows. Note - the AEBS would have to be set to "Bridge mode":

    MR7.jpg

    My AEBS, called "Time Cap" is connected to the primary base station via ethernet.

    Still not sure though, if this would work, because you would still have to configure the "Wireless" tab for some type of network setup.
     
  5. laurenr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #5
    I did think of something else. In the Wireless Tab:
    See if you have the option to "Participate in a WDS Network". If so, you could configure one device as your "Main" and the other as your "Remote". I had that setup before I did the Dual Band network. (again, not 100% sure this will work in your particular case.)
     
  6. Crispy3M thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #6
    On both the AX and the AEBS, I definitely have the option to "Participate in a WDS Network" and I can certainly locate the AEBS in the same room as the AX. (I have the AX in the Bathroom running a pair of Bose Powered Speakers) I have the whole lot in a corner covered up by a plant. :)

    I'm sure I could camoflauge some more equipment or buy a bigger plant!

    I'll wait to hear what you think would be the best option. Again, all I want to do is to be able to turn on my ATV2 and select a movie from my HDD and play it. I would also love to be able to use the HDD as a back up.

    Perhaps I check the box on the AX that says "Allow Ethernet Clients" and set the AEBS as you have?

    I really appreciate the help... I'm a network idiot.

    Chris
     
  7. laurenr, Apr 26, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011

    laurenr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #7
    First thing to do, so that you have this to go back to if new configuration does not work: Using Airport Utility > Airport Express settings, go to "File" in top menu bar, and select the option to "Export Configuration File", and save it to your desktop. That way, you can always choose to go back to that using the "Import" option in the same setting.

    Then try the setup wirelessly first.I would go ahead and try setting up first with the WDS configuration.
    If this does not work, then you can connect the two with an ethernet cable and hide it behind that huge plant.;)
    Again, I am shooting blind here, so not sure if it will work, but here goes:

    1) In the "Wireless" tab>"Wireless mode" (first drop down menu), select the option to "Participate in a WDS network". You would choose in the next setting, the network name you are currently joined to.
    2)The menu bar within Airport Utility window will change, showing now a new "WDS" tab. First menu option is "WDS Mode". Select "WDS MAIN".
    2) CHeck "allow wireless clients".

    main.jpg

    3)In the "WDS Remotes" window, you will need to enter the Airport ID of the AEBS. This can be found in the Summary pane of the device:

    ae1.jpg
    4) Hit the update button. (Remember, you have that exported config file as your backup, just in case.)
    5) Now to setup the AEBS, go again to the "Wireless" tab, and select the option to "Participate in WDS network".
    6) In the "WDS" tab that appears, you would set this device up as the "Remote".
    7) In the window below, you would now enter the Airport ID of the MAIN base station. (again, you will find this in the summary pane of the AEBS (as above); again check "allow wireless clients".

    remote.jpg


    8) Hit the update button.

    9) Start praying.:p

    With all of the above, if this works and your EXT dr is connected via USB, and configured correctly in the "Disks" tab, you should be able to access it.

    Edit: the pics above are from my older Network settings, but should still apply.
     
  8. laurenr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #8
    One separate consideration for accessing those movies:
    I am pretty sure that the ATV is tied to iTunes in order to stream those movies. These settings would still have to be configured in your Preferences. Itunes can only access the drive it is "pointed to".
     
  9. Crispy3M thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #9
    Well, I prayed, but alas... no luck. :)

    When I configure the AX and AEBS as suggested, I lose sight of both in Airport Utility while on the "Owners" Wi-Fi connection. I can see the AEBS if I switch to the "Apple Network" connection that suddenly appears in my list of available Wi-Fi Connections.

    If I can do it with an Ethernet cable, at this point I'd be happy. I've tried connecting the AX to the network and checking the "Allow Ethernet Clients" check box and then setting up the AEBS in Bridge Mode (I think). I get both appearing to be set up correctly with green lights etc, and can see both via my Airport Utility but am not sure how to proceed from here. With this setup, I can send music to my AX and my ATV but I don't see the AEBS anywhere but again, I wouldn't really know where to look to see if I have it set up properly.

    Of other note maybe... I've read that the AEBS may not have enough power to run my Segate USB HDD? Perhaps instead of buying an AEBS, I should have just bought a Time Capsule :rolleyes:

    It's almost midnight here, so I'm going to call it a day but certainly appreciate your help. If you have the time at some point, I'd love an idiots guide to setting up using the Ethernet cable if you think it's possible. I'd love to see the HDD on the network somehow... LOL!

    Thanks again!!!
     
  10. laurenr, Apr 26, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011

    laurenr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Aaargh! I feel your frustration!!:mad: The Owner's router obviously does not allow for WDS setup. The hard wired setup might be the only way to go, but I'm afraid that unless the Seagate is connected to an electrical outlet, (as well as via USB), that AEBS will not have the power to drive it.Is there any way you could return it in exchange for the Time Capsule? I have stored files in its Data folder before, that I can access via my network.
    Will do some research on the subject tonight, see what I find.:)
     
  11. Crispy3M thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #11
    Any advice on how to set it up using an Ethernet cable? :)
     
  12. laurenr, Apr 27, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011

    laurenr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #12
    Can you tell me how your Airport Express is set up, how does it connect to the Owner's network....maybe you could show a screen shot of its setup? This is the setting I am looking for:

    TimeCap.jpg

    I am actually thinking the best way would be to duplicate those settings in the Airport Extreme, and use THAT base station as your main access point. This is after all, the more powerful device. Then you would configure the Express to network off of that unit. If you exported your Base Station configuration file yesterday, you could use this, and just import it into the Extreme.

    Are you still planning on connecting a USB drive to the Extreme?
     
  13. Crispy3M thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #13
    Screen Shot

    Here is a screen shot of my Express as it is now. It's just "Joined" to the Owners Network.

    I have a bunch of External HDD's and once I get the AEBS up and running, I plan to plug in one of them.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. laurenr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #14
    That is exactly what I was looking for to answer my question. From your pic, you can see that the Air Express does allow, and has a check box for "Ethernet Clients". Unfortunately, the Air Extreme has no such function when set to "Join an existing network".:( See mine:

    join.jpg



    The only thing I can now think of, is to keep your setting on the EXP exactly as is, but connect the EXTREME via ethernet. You could then see what configurations are allowed by this physical setup in Airport Utility. What I am thinking, is to set up a completely separate network, one that does NOT connect to the internet, but would just provide wireless access to any USB device connected to the Extreme.

    What I want you to do, is when you select in the Airport>Wireless tab>Wireless Mode - hold down the OPTION key while doing so. This should give you more choices than just the basics you saw before. What it would look like without holding down Option key:

    noOpt.jpg

    Holding down Option Key:

    opt.jpg

    "I have a bunch of External HDD's and once I get the AEBS up and running, I plan to plug in one of them."
    Don't forget, they would have to be A/C powered; the Extreme does not have sufficient power for a bus driven USB external.
     
  15. laurenr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #15
    Once your setup is done with the Air Extreme, depending on the above, the configuration of the External USB drive is simple. Pic of mine (You can see the Western Digital "ExtDrive":

    ExtDr.jpg


    From there, you would set up File sharing, encrypted if you wish:

    FLSh.jpg
     
  16. Crispy3M thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #16
    Thank you for all your replies!!!

    I think I'll wait and keep looking for a Time Capsule or an inexpensive MacBook or PowerBook.

    I certainly could set up the extreme to create it's own network (wouldn't even need the wire in that case) and then have the Express and the ATV2 join when I wanted to use it, but it's not the perfect solution. I would have to keep switching networks on my MBP, ATV2 and iPhone every time I wanted to switch from an Internet connection to the AEBS network. I'm also disappointed the the AEBS has such a weak USB port. Doesn't sound like the quality Apple product I've come to love.

    I picked up the AEBS off a local for sale ad for $100.00 so I certainly have nothing to complain about :) I was hoping I could network it into my existing setup but it doesn't look like it can happen. Maybe someday, my area will get Fiber Op Internet and I'll quit borrowing the Owners DSL and pay for some real speed.

    Thanks again for all your help... this is truly a great Forum.

    Cheers,

    C3M
     
  17. DUNDER macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #17
    Hello friends, feels like I'm eavesdropping on you. :)

    But I have a small question of my own, that I dont understand even tho you explain everything very good.

    I don't get to choose the option "Participate in a WDS network" when I try to setup my Time Capsule as my base station. Is there something I need to do before or isnt there an option like that for my TC?

    Daniel
     
  18. laurenr, May 3, 2011
    Last edited: May 3, 2011

    laurenr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #18
    You don't have the option, "Participate in a WDS network" because you have a newer Airport Extreme/Time Capsule. In this case the configuration is actually even easier. All you need to do is check the box "Allow this network to be extended", :

    326173937.616490.jpeg

    On the remote base station, you would configure the Wireless Tab to "Extend a Wireless Network", and select the name of the network you are Extending.
     
  19. DUNDER macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #19
    Hey again,

    Reason I didn't check back on your amazing reply is that I got my set-up to work just after I posted. All I needed to do was to restart my the iPhone app to get it to realize it actually had the airplay option. :)

    Thanks for the help anyways =)

    Daniel
     
  20. rtcruz1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Location:
    Aliso Viejo, CA
    #20
    Airport Express can "join a network", but Airport Extreme cannot..

    I don't know if the op found his answer, but I found out through trial and error (and discussions with Apple reps at the Apple store), that an Airport Express can "join an existing network", but the Airport Extreme cannot do that. The only option available for an Airport Extreme is to "extend an existing network". That may not be the ideal situation for some people. It was not the ideal situation for my home network set up.

    So IF you are interested in setting up Airport base stations to just "join" a network and not extend it, you'll have to use an Airport Express—not an Airport Extreme.

    My set up:
    One (1) Airport Extreme (main Router connected to the cable modem) - WiFi network created from the Airport Extreme
    One (1) Airport Express "joined" to my Wifi network, which is then connected to my 1AV equipment for Airplay)
    One (1) Airport Express (newest version) "joined" to my Wifi network, with two laser printers connected to it via ethernet (you can use both ethernet ports for your ethernet connected printers I found out one day).
    One (1) Airport Express (older version) "joined" to my Wifi Network, which is connected to a set of speakers in my laundry room, for Airplay

    I LOVE my set up. Screenshot attached.
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page