Messy network involving AEs, TCs, ethernet and wireless

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by sbear, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. sbear, Jul 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011

    sbear macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2011
    Hi Everyone,

    New here, first time poster... been reading through the forums for the past couple of weeks trying to find information on configuring this really awkward network (at least it seems awkward to me, maybe it's actually really straightforward). The forums have been super helpful so far with most of the info but I need some confirmation that I'm doing this right...

    This particular network I'm trying to set up doesn't belong to me, I am doing this research on behalf of my CEO who requires it for his home... I don't have access to all his peripherals or his computer so I'm doing this by writing up a how-to document to walk him through the process of setting up this network.

    Here's the set-up/desired network:
    There are 4 Time Capsules/Aiport Extremes (I'm not actually clear how many of each exist but I don't think that ulimately matters for the configuration process). For simplicity, let's refer to all of them as Time Capsules.

    One TC is connected to the modem and will operate as the main base station that receives the internet signal from the modem.

    This main TC will then connect to the three other TCs via ethernet (to distribute the internet signal), located in different areas of the house. Each of these four (4) TCs will be broadcasting the same wireless network so that computers and other accessories can connect to them.

    *NB* These 4 units were previously configured in a WDS with no ethernet cables running between them and everything was fine. However, for added reliability and speed, we want to connect them with ethernet cables instead and just have them share the internet wirelessly at each station. When my boss tried to just connect cables between the devices, "the network just stops working" in his words... That's why I'm thinking he needs to completely reconfigure his network differently, without WDS, using some kind of bridge/extended network instead...

    Could you guys help me out with what kind of settings are required for each unit (the main base and then the 3 extra TCs) to make this work?

    Does this make sense at all? I will provide any extra info to the best of my ability.

    Thanks in advance for reading all of this! (I know it's probably TL;DR)...


    I guess I should try to outline my current how-to that I've compiled for him... so far I've indicated to set up the main base station with the settings: "Connect Using: Ethernet" and "Connection Sharing: Share a public IP address" in the Internet Connection settings... Then I also have him setting up a wireless network on this main base station...

    Then for the 3 outer devices, I have him set up with: "Connect Using: Ethernet" and "Connection Sharing: Off (Bridge Mode)". And I have him also create wireless networks on each of these 3 stations using settings: "Wireless Mode: Create a wireless network" and all the other wireless settings match the one on the base station (including SSID and password and so on...)

    Is that correct or am I leading him in the wrong direction?
  2. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    That's pretty much it. You can check out page 42 of this document from Apple outlining how to create a roaming network (which is in essence what you've described), but as far as I can tell, your settings are spot on.
  3. sbear thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2011
    Okay thanks! I had read the documentation and took most of my instructions from there so I'm glad to know that I was on the right path. I just hope that I can communicate this stuff clearly...

    Just out of curiosity though, why would you need to have each peripheral station set to "create a network" rather than "join a network"? Is it because it's not a WDS?

    In the previous WDS, I believe it was set to "join a network" for each remote station.
  4. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    That's exactly it. They're not actually using their wireless radio to join the existing network but rather connecting to it using Ethernet. In this case, you want them to use their wireless radio to create a network with the same SSID and password as the main base station (which will be seen as an extension of the main network by wireless clients) rather than joining and extending.
  5. BiggAW macrumors 68020

    Jun 19, 2010
    Yup. And HOLY **** just get a Drobo and one router. That's an insane setup.
  6. sbear thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2011
    lol well... convince my boss :p thanks for the input though! XD

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