Replace old Time Capsule with new Airport Express?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by craig1410, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. craig1410 macrumors 65816

    craig1410

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Location:
    Scotland
    #1
    Hi,

    I've had a Time Capsule for a few years now (500GB model) and it is one of the original ones which had the power supply design fault a year or two ago and was replaced via Applecare.

    I recently bought a new Airport Express (latest model) and originally I intended to extend my network to get better coverage etc but it seems to cause more problems than it solves. For example, my son's x-box seems to get freaked out because it detects two routers with the same SSID and doesn't know how to handle it. There have been a few occasions where I have had to switch off the Airport Express in order to resolve some weird network issue in the house.

    My question is - would I be better just replacing the Time Capsule with the new Airport Express and then use the Time Capsule as a standalone server on the private, LAN side of the Airport Express?

    Here is my logical and physical topology - I would appreciate recommendations on how to make best use of these two devices:

    ADSL (4mbps) from street to Thomson Speedtouch 516v6 ADSL modem. Modem physically next to telephone socket to get best possible ADSL rate. Single ethernet cable out of modem and into ethernet faceplate which leads from living room to upstairs study where my Time Capsule and Mac are located. Another ethernet cable from wall plate to Time Capsule WAN port.

    Time Capsule provides WiFi to entire house (5 bed detached) with some poor coverage in places (hence wish to extend). iMac connects via gigabit ethernet to Time Capsule LAN port which is useful for bulk file management but main use of Time Capsule is for backup of my wife's MacBook Air and shared iTunes library.

    Devices in house are a mix of iPhone, MacBook Air, iPad, Apple TV, X-Box and a couple of Raspberry Pi's. Most of these can probably use 5GHz but some will require 2.4GHz I think.

    My thoughts were to replace the Time Capsule with the Airport Express then connect the Airport LAN port to the Time Capsule WAN port but put it into bridge mode (or whatever it's called) and then connect one of the gigabit LAN ports on the TC to my iMac. That way I can still perform fast data transfers to the TC. Not sure if having the Airport connected to the TC's WAN port would stop the WiFi network from seeing the TC so I might need to connect the Airport to the TC's gigabit LAN ports instead.

    Anyway, anyone out there able to suggest an optimum configuration of ADSL modem/router, Airport Express(new), Time Capsule(old), iMac(cabled), MacBook Air and other devices(WiFi)?

    Thanks,
    Craig.
     
  2. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #2
    Connect the AE in between the wall and the TC. Shut WiFi off on the TC and let the AE provide simultaneous dual band throughout the house.

    You didn't mention which device provides DHCP service, but if its the ADSL modem, put the AE and TC in bridge mode.
     
  3. craig1410 thread starter macrumors 65816

    craig1410

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Location:
    Scotland
    #3
    Hi,
    Thanks for that - pretty much what I was planning to do.

    Re DHCP, hmm, a bit complicated...

    My ISP (Zen Internet) gives me a block of 8 addresses, x.y.z.112-119. My Speedtouch modem/router is set up to pass all of these IPs on to the Time Capsule and it does some port mapping to some selected machines on the private LAN for various services (SSH, Minecraft server and a few others). The Time Capsule runs NAT and has a 192.168.x.1 address itself and allocates some static IPs (for the computers which have port mapping applied to them) and DHCP IPs from .50 upwards.

    So, I'll replace the TC with the AE initially and get WiFi etc working correctly then I'll try to get the TC working and contactable from all machines on WiFi and LAN.

    Thanks,
    Craig.
     
  4. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #4
    I have a first gen TC set up as a bridge with my AirPort Extreme and everything works flawlessly. As you'd suggested in your initial post, you would need to set up the TC in bridge mode and connect the TC's WAN port the Express' LAN port (I know, it's not exactly the same setup as mine but it should work). As for setup of your Express, you should try to set it up exactly how your TC was set up.

    Another solution would be to set the Express as a bridge and connect it to one of the TC's LAN ports. I realize that's probably what you've already tried, but instead of giving the Express the same SSID, try giving it a unique SSID and depending on your device and the signal strength, you can choose which SSID to connect.

    In both situations, the TC's HDD will be accessible throughout your entire network regardless of which base station you are connected.
     
  5. craig1410 thread starter macrumors 65816

    craig1410

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Location:
    Scotland
    #5
    Thanks for taking time to reply. It's reassuring to know that it should all work as expected.

    By the way, I was previously running my TC and AE using wireless bridging, not cabled bridging as they were in different locations. I think this time I might locate the AE downstairs and leave the TC upstairs and obviously link them with a cable.
     
  6. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #6
    Ah, in that case it definitely will work as you want. You can use the same SSID and password to create a roaming network or use unique SSIDs to choose between the two.
     

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