Problems connecting two Airport Express Routers in Home network!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by cap2587, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. cap2587 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    #1
    I am having all sorts of problems with the set up and performance of two Airport Extremes at a client house. One Airport Express (AE) is connected in the basement directly to a cablevision modem. The second airport extreme is connected in the Office to an ethernet Jack in the wall. On two different occasions I have felt like they were set up correctly, but somehow the wireless is still intermittent. Sometimes I cannot connect to the wireless and other times the network just goes down. I am creating a network with the AE Basement and designating a SSID and no encryption. I am duplicating this for the 5GHZ Band as well. THen I am setting the AE- Office using a bridge connection. I have read alot about how to do this set up, but either I am not doing something right or the AE Devices are faulty. I will include a bunch of snap shots of my configuration. I would greatly appreciate any help or tips on how to get this set up to work. Thanks[​IMG]
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  2. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    Location:
    Xhystos
    #2
    What do you actually want to do ?

    I have 2 Express units and 1 Extreme unit that all place nice together, but my network may not be the same setup as you are looking for. As you know either AE unit basically works the same way.

    I have one unit talking to the modem and I have the others setup to provide a roaming network. All 3 are connected by Ethernet - this is key to making this work.

    The Modem connected one is configured as follows :

    Network : Router Mode : DHCP & NAT
    Wireless : Create a wireless network
    Wireless Network Name : AAABBBCCC (just for example)
    Wireless Security : WPA2 Personal
    Wireless Password : XXYYZZ (just for example)

    The other ones are configured as follows :

    Network : Router Mode : Off (Bridge Mode)
    Wireless : Create a wireless network
    Wireless Network Name : AAABBBCCC (same as above)
    Wireless Security : WPA2 Personal
    Wireless Password : XXYYZZ (same as above)

    I connect to any of the 3 with an iPad (WiFi 5Ghz), iPhone4 (WiFi 2.4Ghz) and MBA (WiFi 5Ghz, USB/Ethernet or Thunderbolt/Ethernet). No problems with any of these except that the MBA keeps using WiFi instead of Thunderbolt/Ethernet when connected. I bought a copy of BridgeChecker to disable WiFi when TB/Enet is connected, this works most of the time.
     
  3. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 12, 2010
    #3
    Drsox,

    I really appreciate your quick response. THat is exactly the same set up I used today when configuring the two AE on the network. Got all green lights on Airport Utility. Internet was working wireless and wired from both the AE-Basement and AE-Office. The office AE is connected to the Ethernet jack in the wall direct. I am assuming it does not matter wether I connect the IMac to the Office AE direct with ethernet or on wireless. Just as I am ready to leave I check my laptop and I cannot connect to the wireless everything went crazy after that. Is there a chance that the devices could be faulty? I doubt there is a problem with the modem. Why would the connection keep dropping out or why can't I connect to the wireless network sometimes despite both AE devices showing green and connected. Should I have the extend wireless network checked or unchecked. Should the DNS server and subnet mask be the same on the Office and Basement AE? Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  4. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Xhystos
    #4
    I see a fundamental problem in what you wrote. You are NOT extending a network between the two devices. You are creating 2 separate wireless networks, it just happens that they have the same name and security etc.

    So do not check any boxes that have anything to do with extending networks. I had this problem when I first tried this a year ago. I guess that the network is switching between extend and create, since the names etc are the same and so not being able to connect.

    See if this solves any problems.

    You also need to remember that the AE that isn't connected to the modem plays NO part in any Internet setup or configs. So it should point to the other AE when showing any DNS or router addresses. If you have been trying to setup both AEs to be the same, then this will also cause problems.
     
  5. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    #5
    Drsox,

    Thanks for your helpful tips! I will try the configuration again with your recommendations and let you know. I wish the beginning was an indicator of how stable the network would be. Twice I have had the green lights on both Extreme's and had the ethernet and wireless working, and then hrs and days later problems arise again. It needs to have 1 week of solid wireless internet for the problem to be solved. I will let you know how it goes.
     
  6. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 12, 2010
    #6
    Drsox,

    Thanks so much for all of your help. You definitely helped me solve the Airport Extreme wireless problem. I think the tip on not checking the extended network was what eventually made it work. Appreciate you taking the time to work me through this problem.
     
  7. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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  8. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 12, 2010
    #8
    Still having a few issues with configuring the Airport Utility, but think it is me not correcting a problem. Hurricane Sandy caused the Internet to go down and the wireless to not work in same location as I was previously fixing. When I went to fix the issue today I did not have my Mac Laptop which has an earlier version of Airport Utlitity that clearly shows you the extend the network box. I quickly checked the settings on the Imac using A.Utility 6.1 which all looked good, but I could not find the extend network option. I am afraid it automatically set this. Of course upon leaving the wireless was fine, but a few hrs later connection drops again. Tomorrow I will return and use my Macbook with earlier AU to reconfigure correctly like 1 week ago. Does this makes sense. Should I reset both AE back to factory defaults and then configure or just make sure all the settings are correct. Thanks for any additional tips.
     
  9. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #9
    My experience in all computer situations says that when you don't know where you are in software or hardware settings, start again from scratch with a verified set. Make sure you clear out any old remaining stuff - that might mean uninstalling and reinstalling.
     
  10. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 12, 2010
    #10
    Drsox, Thanks for your all on this topic. I went back today and tried to check out why the wireless is not working and was unable to solve this problem. I am following your suggestions and settings to a tee. I am getting both green lights on Basement and Office AE, but very intermittent connection to the WiFi and internet at both locations. I am also getting a frustrating message about the computer name changing and go to share settings and change the computer name. I just turned off file sharing to make sure that was not complicating the set up. Iphone, Ipad, Imac, macbook all not really connecting with any consistency. Is there any chance that the devices are malfunctioning and it is not something to do with a set up problem. the wireless connection just keeps spinning when trying to connect and sometimes works, but other times not. I reset both devices and started over configuring them from scratch. What is your take on this issue. Appreciate the input.
     
  11. drsox, Nov 13, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012

    drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    Location:
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    #11
    What is your DHCP setting ? What does the AE that is set to DHCP & NAT say about DHCP ? Do you have a copy of IP Scanner (or IP Scanner Pro) ? I have found that to be invaluable in showing what's set to what.

    I'm assuming that the second AE is connected via ethernet (WAN port) to one of the LAN ports of the first AE. Is there a switch in between ?

    PS - Is your internet setup OK ? Does it work OK if the second AE is completely disconnected ? Reason I ask is that my Internet connection isn't DHCP - it is PPPoE. If it works OK by itself, then we can establish that it is the interconnection that is at fault.
     
  12. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #12
    Just for a sec to go back to Networking 101, what happens if only 1 AE is connected to the Internet ? Do the devices that connect wirelessly and wired to this AE connect and work OK ? If you want to send me more details than would be OK in public, send me a PM.
     
  13. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 12, 2010
    #13
    Thanks for quick response! The Basement AE (connected to Modem) is using DHCP for IPV4. The IP is 68.194.164.75 and Router adress is 68.194.160.1. I have connect Via ethernet, Automatic, connection sharing = share a public IP address. I could try and use IP Scanner. The Office AE is connected via ethernet into a wall connection which is probably wired from the basement connection. Today I just had the Basement AE set up without the Office AE even plugged in. I still had very slow, spotty no connection from Laptop, Ipad, Iphone. Yesterday I went through the whole house with my laptop connected and everything was working great. A few hrs later I guess it failed again when client came home. What would the symptoms be if the routers were malfunctioning/faulty and would it be hard to believe that both would be not working at the same time. The IP of the AE Office is 10.0.1.9. It even tells me how many clients are connected on the summary screen, but then the device is not truly connected. I appreciate your help and I am at a loss to answer what is going wrong.
     
  14. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #14
    Sounds to me like you have an internet problem. Has the connection ever worked properly ? Have you tried a different internet connecting mode ?

    Do you have to enter a user ID and password to connect to the internet ?
    I have to use PPPoE which requires these but then also gives the same info that you have listed.

    Can you connect between devices OK without the internet being connected ?
     
  15. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 12, 2010
    #15
    Prior to a modem being replaced it has worked fine. I am thinking if setting up an Asus router in the basement and just going with one Apple AE in the office. I am setting up using DHCP and they have cable vision. There could be a problem with the Two AE coexisting with each other. I guess there could be an Internet issue and no router will work successfully with this scenario. Let me know if you have any other thoughts. Thanks so much
     
  16. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #16
    I think you have network issue that probably doesn't have much to do with the AEs. If I were you I would try to troubleshoot the situation from the beginning by establishing whether the Internet>Modem>AE 1 config works. Just connect one device by LAN to AE 1 and check that.

    I tried to use an Asus Router originally and replaced it with an AExtreme unit. If you changed the modem and it worked before, I would suspect the modem first.
     
  17. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 12, 2010
    #17
    Thanks for the good tips. If I connect a laptop directly to the modem and establish a connection does that definite mean the modem is working fine. Or could it be okay initially and then go south after a period of time. If a brand new Asus Router has connection problems directly from the modem then I think we have our answer. I will let you know how I go today.

    I will set the AE up in the office with the following settings: It is connected from AE directly to an ethernet jack in the wall.

    Network : Router Mode : DHCP & NAT
    Wireless : Create a wireless network
    Wireless Network Name : AAABBBCCC (just for example)
    Wireless Security : WPA2 Personal
    Wireless Password : XXYYZZ (just for example)
     
  18. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #18
    Have you checked the LAN connections ? Do you have a map of all the LAN hardware ?
     
  19. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    Are you referring to replacing the Ethernet cables?
     
  20. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #20
    Not replacing the cables, just info on what they are and whether they are adequately connected. As well as Plugs, Switches, Patch Panels. Anything that is between your computer device and the wire coming out of the wall that leads to the external cable company.
     
  21. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 12, 2010
    #21
    The cabling might be an issue and wiring of the INternet system. I went with an Asus router in the basement and the set up of course was not easy, but I got it done. I could connect fine with Cat 5 and wireless on my macbook to this connection. Next I tried to set up one AE in the Office to the wall Ethernet jack. It wanting to set it up with bridge mode, despite this being the only AE set up. I ran the connection wizard and that is how it configured it. 5 min later the connection would drop again and back where I started from. I tried to set up as share IP address for network, but there was an IP conflict when doing this. It had 234 and my range was 0-200 on DHCP/Nat. I guess I could have set up a static IP, but at this stage I was losing my patience with the AE. I did notice that the IP was 192, whereas previously it was 10.0.1.1. I eventually went with a Dlink router and the set up was very easy. THe connection to both wireless networks seems to take a long time and sometimes the connection when browsing is very slow and other times it is fast. I do not hold my breath that this new set up will work, but it may tell is some more information. I did set up two separate SSID instead of going with the same. Appreciate your help.
     
  22. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #22
    I don't think I can help any further. You've replaced both router units and still have the same problems. It seems to be out of the range of possibilities available to remote help via a forum. If it works OK and then fails to work, might there be some external interference ? You don't live next to a power line or fire station by any chance ?
     
  23. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 12, 2010
    #23
    Thanks for staying with me on this topic. You seem very knowledgable when it comes to the AE and hope you can answer a few more questions. I now have connected an AE to my home network which is very similar to my clients. Same Cable Modem with Cablevision. Here are my settings:

    Internet: DHCP, IP 67.80.178.72, Sub 255.255.240.0, router 67.80.176.1, DNS 167.206.254.1

    Network: DHCP and NAT Range 192.168.1.2-192.168.1.200

    Ethernet IP on Hackintosh: 192.168.1.8, Sub 255.255.255.0, Router 192.168.1.1

    I selected Create network and I did check the box for extended network as I only have one AE. If this set up works at my house for 1-2 days then I should be able to duplicate the settings for AE Basement minus the extended network option. Under what circumstances would the AE select an IP of 10.0.1. Why do Macs constantly give out a Non working 169 IP. Hope you do not mind giving me a little more assistance. If you are done with this post then do not hesitate to say no more. Thanks
     
  24. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #24
    OK.
    The reason that you get strange IPs is usually that the device requesting a DHCP renewal can't get a valid response from anyone on the network. So what it does is to create a self generated IP, usually very different to the range being used by the network.

    It looks like that's whats happening here. It would also be consistent with your description that the system works for a while and then goes bananas. The "while" in question is the DHCP renewal time.

    Next thing to check is that the DHCP renewal time is a reasonable time (I suggest 1 day) and that the units on the network are actually getting a DHCP from the router that is supposed to be handing them out (and that there are NO other routers giving out DHCPs).

    I suggest you unplug everything and replug in the order - modem, router, wired units, wireless units. Wait for a few mins between steps to ensure that IPs are in place. Check that the system works, then unplug a few units and see if they do get a renewed IP.

    It could well be that there is a problem with this. OR there is some interruption in the LAN that is stopping the DHCP request from being completed.

    For your trial home network, I can't see the point of extending the wireless network as you have nothing installed to extend it to. Looks like your home setup is working OK. Your AE is on 192.168.1.1 which is a normal setting. What's the DHCP renewal time ? What other items have you got on the net at 192.168.1.2, .3, .4, .5, .6, .7 ?
     
  25. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 12, 2010
    #25
    Thanks for staying with me on this topic as you have been so helpful taking much time to write back to my posts. So Far the one AE has been working perfect on my network for 1 day and I am confident it is set up right. There is an Iphone, PC, Hackintosh, 2 Iphones and a dell Laptop connected without any problems. they range from 192.168.1.2 to 192.168.1.15. The DHCP is set to renew after 1 day. One more than one occasion at the clients house everything seems set up fine and then hrs later it just does not work. On the airport Utility 5.6.1 there is an option with a box to check with extended network, which is different from the drop down under create a network. I think the overwhelming problem at the clients house it getting both of the AE set up correctly and working together. I think I can duplicate my settings here at home with an AE connected to the basement and modem (at clients house). I may just go with an Asus router in the Office and call it a day. Is there advantages to setting up the same SSID for both AE and Asus router vs two different SSID's. The house is huge and they are at both ends of the house with alot of area to cover. Appreciate your help.
     

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