Questions on extending network with AE

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by MadDogMike, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. MadDogMike macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #1
    I'm using a Time Capsule as my router, and when using airplay from my patio, the signal occasionally gets interrupted. There is one room (kitchen) between the room where the Time Capsule is and the patio. So, I added an Airport Express to wirelessly extend the network and placed it on top of a kitchen cabinet which is against the exterior wall adjacent to the patio. I thought this would give me a stronger WiFi signal on the patio, but I'm not convinced it has helped.

    1.) Since the TC and the AE are only a room apart, is this to close?
    2.) Since they're both the same SSID, is there any way to know if/when my iPhone is connected to the AE vs the TC? (perhaps an app?)
    3.) Is there an app to more accurately measure WiFi signal strength?
    4.) Any other advice?
     
  2. eduardrw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    #2
    If you can connect both TC and AE via Ethernet, you are rock solid! this is the best option.

    Using WIFI to connect them makes them susceptible to the WIFI fog of all your neighbors.
    Being close together for the routers is not at problem.

    On an average night I can see around 10-15 routers on the WIFI tool i am using.
    They are all sharing effectively 3 channels on the 2.4GHz band and a few more on the 5GHz band.
    WIFI tool I am using: $2.99 https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wifi-scanner/id411680127?mt=12

    One thing to look into: I have seen roaming dropouts on airplay when using multiple apple routers and my device is using the 5GHz band.
     
  3. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #3
    You can tell what you are connected to via AirPort Utility. You should roam seamlessly, but like Eduardrw stated, it should really be connected via Ethernet for best results.
     
  4. MadDogMike, Sep 18, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014

    MadDogMike thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #4
    Yeah, I know that would be best, but that would involve a lot of work, running ethernet wires through walls, outside around the house and back in again to the AE. I don't think my occasional AirPlay dropouts are worth all that hassle.

    Oh, that's only for OS-X. I'm looking for an iOS app for my iPhone.

    Not sure what you mean by that. When used in the "Extend Wireless Network" mode, would the AE be considered an additional router? And if I saw that behavior, could I do anything about it?

    The AirPort Utility just shows me a diagram of my network. Doesn't show whether my iPhone is connected to the TC or AE extender. Screen shot.
     
  5. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #5

    If you click your base station then hit "Wireless Clients" it will tell you.
     
  6. MadDogMike thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 27, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #6
    Ah, cool, thanks!
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #7

    I am not sure about wireless analyzers for iOS but there are quite a few for Mac.
     
  8. MadDogMike thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #8
    Well, even though the Airport Express is right next to the exterior wall adjacent to the patio, still the WiFi signal on my iPhone sometimes drops from the full 3 bars to the minimum 1 bar, resulting in AirPlay cutouts. Even if I were to connect the TC & AE via ethernet, I wouldn't think that would improve the AE's signal strength to my iPhone when outside.

    Assuming an Airport Extreme has a stronger signal than an Express, is it possible to use an Extreme to extend the network from the TC?
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #9

    It is possible to use any modern AirPort with each other. Though, I think that the clients are jumping between the Time Capsule and Express too easily and at the wrong times.
     
  10. MadDogMike thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #10
    Probably so. I wonder if I can reverse them, connecting the Airport Express to the cable modem so it's the router and using the TC as the extender?
     
  11. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #11
    You could but the Time Capsule is faster due to its Gigabit ports.
     
  12. MadDogMike, Oct 15, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014

    MadDogMike thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #12
    Follow-on question to this. If I did use an Airport Express as my router, can I also AirPlay through that same AE?

    EDIT: Never mind. Found answer here: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4587
     
  13. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #13

    Yes.
     

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