Network with multiple AP's

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by reeybehn, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. reeybehn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2014
    #1
    Hey everyone,

    At home here we have finally finished putting our home wifi network together (with new stuff to improve performance).

    Current setup is as follows:
    local cable provider modem receiving ADSL signal. WLAN is turned off and the device is connected to an airport extreme (newest model) using ethernet.

    The airport extreme(1) creates our wireless network and using ethernet is connected to an airport express(2) upstair which is set up to extend the network. further away upstair is another airport express(3) which WIRELESSLY extends the wifi network.

    coverage and speeds is so far satisfactory everywhere.

    However, the iMac in office downstair somehow connects to the express (3) upstairs even though connecting to the extreme(1) seems more logical and faster. (it did yesterday).

    Is there any way to force/tell the iMac to connect to the extreme(1)?

    thanks!

    -reeybehn
     
  2. eduardrw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    #2
    I assume you set up everything with the same SSID and password.

    The way I know to "force" your iMac to a specific router in your setup is to either give them different SSID's or use a tool like WIFI scanner. http://accessagility.com/products/wifi-scanner.html

    Good tool to have to check WIFI channels, interference, etc.
     
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #3
    wirelessly extending will be slower, since the repeater has to talk to both your main router and your computer at the same time. approximately cutting the speeds in half

    as eduardrw said, the only way to force the main network is to make distinct names, which won't work with wireless extending.

    the best way for multiple APs is to run an ethernet cable (which you know since you've already done with the other express)
    If you can't run an ethernet cable, a good alternative is using powerline networking.
     
  4. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #4
    I run a small home office, and there's at least 5-10 devices connected to my network most of the time, including a DVD player (wired) and Tivo (wireless) to keep the clients satisfied. There's also at least two LTE iPads with UL data here as well, and sometimes they're used on the wifi network.

    There's a new Extreme, one new and one original Express (mostly for Airplay and a laser printer), and 4th-gen Extreme. The new Extreme is my main hub, with the Guest feature turned off unless a client requests it, and the older Extreme is a printer hub. I'm in a small business park, and there's several 2.4GHz networks all around me, but no other 5GHz networks around me. On my newer Extreme, I leave the 5GHz network option off.

    I have what you might want - my Macs are connected to the new Extreme, which is why I left the 5GHz option off on the new Express.

    I have a network name, named "My Network" (for example), set up on the new Extreme. No need to discuss the other hubs in this point. I enabled the 5GHz option in the new Extreme - and gave it a different name, "My Faster Network" (or you could just accept the default option) - and rebooted the Extreme. Now, you have a 5GHz network on the Extreme with a unique name - I did this on my 4th-gen Extreme for years and it worked perfectly.

    The last setting is to open the Network Preference Pane in System Preferences, select the Advanced options and prioritize your Wi-Fi Preferred Networks in your Mac(s) - I almost always delete the 2.4GHz network ("My Network", following my above example), and save my changes.

    I put my Macs/PCs on my uniquely-named 5GHz network, which is the new Extreme. I leave my mobile/entertainment devices on the 2.4GHz network, which is either my Extreme or Expresses. I tell my employees to go to the nearby Starbucks to use their wifi (and buy their coffee - I'm not their barista!) for personal usage. No more bottlenecks, no more conflicts. QED.
     
  5. drsox, Aug 13, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014

    drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #5
    Just for your info - if you have a LAN connect between 1 and 2, then don't use "extend" for a wifi connection on 2 - use "create a wireless network" in the setup for 2. That way you will have 2 in bridge mode and it will function as an access point, not a repeater.

    I agree with the previous poster - set the iMac to connect only at 5Ghz by only entering the SSID of the 5Ghz network of 1 in System Preferences>Network>Wi-Fi.
     
  6. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #6
    In AirPort Utility 6, when setting up an AirPort in a roaming network configuration, it will say "Extend (YOUR NAME) over Ethernet". It is the same as "Create a Wireless Network" and just automates the steps for you.
     
  7. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #7
    Thanks, that's new to me.
     
  8. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #8
    Kind of surprised me too! I was shocked Apple did not update the knowledge base article for AirPort Utility 6 or the new way to setup a roaming network.
     

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