Network question - Airport Express to Time Capsule

rockstarjoe

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 2, 2006
850
54
washington dc
Hi everyone. I am moving into a townhouse where the cable comes in to the living room, but I want to set up my office upstairs. I was wondering if it would be possible to do the following:

- Set up the cable modem in the living room
- Connect an Airport Express to the modem and create a network
- Upstairs in the office, connect to this network with the Time Capsule
- Still use the Time Capsule as a router to connect various computers using Ethernet.

I already own the Time Capsule, and I have a few computers that I still connect using ethernet. I would be buying the Airport Express.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions!
 

costabunny

macrumors demi-goddess
May 15, 2008
2,464
58
Weymouth, UK
Yep thats a pretyy standard use case.

We have the same setup and the "extend existing network" option in airportutility is simple to use.
 

rockstarjoe

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 2, 2006
850
54
washington dc
Why do you want to use the Time Capsule as the router rather than the Airport Express ?
Maybe my terminology is incorrect. But I want to use the ethernet ports on the Time Capsule (it has 3). The Airport Express only has 1 ethernet port. So if I set up the Time Capsule as the router on the main floor, and use the AE in the upstairs office I would lose access to those ethernet ports. So I would like to set up the AE at the point where the cable modem is located on the main floor, then connected to the network using the Time Capsule upstairs and still get IP addresses for any machine that plugs into the Time Capsule over ethernet. Will that work? Thanks.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,318
10,060
California
Maybe my terminology is incorrect. But I want to use the ethernet ports on the Time Capsule (it has 3). The Airport Express only has 1 ethernet port. So if I set up the Time Capsule as the router on the main floor, and use the AE in the upstairs office I would lose access to those ethernet ports. So I would like to set up the AE at the point where the cable modem is located on the main floor, then connected to the network using the Time Capsule upstairs and still get IP addresses for any machine that plugs into the Time Capsule over ethernet. Will that work? Thanks.
Yes it will.
 

drsox

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2011
1,519
59
Xhystos
Maybe my terminology is incorrect. But I want to use the ethernet ports on the Time Capsule (it has 3). The Airport Express only has 1 ethernet port. So if I set up the Time Capsule as the router on the main floor, and use the AE in the upstairs office I would lose access to those ethernet ports. So I would like to set up the AE at the point where the cable modem is located on the main floor, then connected to the network using the Time Capsule upstairs and still get IP addresses for any machine that plugs into the Time Capsule over ethernet. Will that work? Thanks.
Yes, but you need to setup the AE as the "Router". This will handle the connection to the Internet and do DHCP and NAT for your internal network. Your TC will then be in secondary or bridge mode and it will look to the AE for all Internet related info. Any device connected to the TC will be connected through to the AE for Internet connections. Basically all you are using of the TC is its switch capability.
 

rockstarjoe

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 2, 2006
850
54
washington dc
Yes, but you need to setup the AE as the "Router". This will handle the connection to the Internet and do DHCP and NAT for your internal network. Your TC will then be in secondary or bridge mode and it will look to the AE for all internet related info. Any device connected to the TC will be connected through to the AE for Internet connections. Basically all you are using of the TC is its switch capability.
Ah, this makes sense. Thanks for the explanation. So is there any downside to running my system this way? I've heard bridge mode can slow the network down, but I guess I don't have any other option.
 

drsox

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2011
1,519
59
Xhystos
Ah, this makes sense. Thanks for the explanation. So is there any downside to running my system this way? I've heard bridge mode can slow the network down, but I guess I don't have any other option.
It would work faster if you could connect the AE and the TC by a LAN. If you can't run a cable then a Powerline connection might be OK. You should expect to get about 15% of the nominal data rate through the link (i.e. 800Mbps will actually be 120Mbps.) The main benefit will however be in the absence of latency problems and erratic connections. If you try this, then note that you need to select a TC WiFi mode that ISN'T "Extend" but IS "Create a network" (if you also need WiFi connections through the TC.)
 

rockstarjoe

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 2, 2006
850
54
washington dc
It would work faster if you could connect the AE and the TC by a LAN. If you can't run a cable then a Powerline connection might be OK. You should expect to get about 15% of the nominal data rate through the link (i.e. 800Mbps will actually be 120Mbps.) The main benefit will however be in the absence of latency problems and erratic connections. If you try this, then note that you need to select a TC WiFi mode that ISN'T "Extend" but IS "Create a network" (if you also need WiFi connections through the TC.)
Ah a powerline adapter is a great idea! Thanks, I forgot those even existed.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,171
479
Elkton, Maryland
If you live in a town house you should verify that you are on the same electrical panel across the whole house. Sometimes different rooms in townhouses and apartments are on different breaker panels. I do not believe that power line adapters would work if you are on different panels. I would simply check that out first before wasting your time.

:apple: Altemose :apple:
 
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