School me on airport express

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by fosterpants, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. fosterpants macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2010
    So I'm having some trouble with airport express and am wondering if its the way I have it set up. I don't really understand how they function so here goes.

    I have a linksys router and two airport expresses one in the bedroom and one in the living room. I set them up to join my wireless network because I don't think they can extend my network since its a linksys is that correct?

    Now these work great from my MBP in my basement, I have no problem streaming music from itunes to both of them at the same time. But from iphone or ipad things aren't going so well. If I have my iphone on my nightstand which is about 15' away from the bedroom airport express the music skips, and stutters constantly.

    How does this work fine from the MBP in the basement but not from 15' from an iOS device? Would I benefit in any way from a Airport Extreme router instead of the linksys?
  2. paduck macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2007
    It's probably related to the strength of the connection (or lack thereof) on your portable devices. I do think that you can setup your Airport Expresses as WDS nodes on the Linksys. At least, that is what I have done with two of my three Airport Expresses. The third is connected to an Airport Extreme. They all seem to work fine with two iPhones and a (wired) computer.
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    even though your iphone is only 15 feet away from the express, the phone is connecting to the linksys and not the express. so all traffic goes iPhone -> linksys -> express.

    any chance you have a cordless phone on the nightstand? a lot of them operate in the same frequency range (2.4 GHz) as wi-fi and can cause interference. a lot of baby monitors also work in the same area.

    Joining is what you want to do, you might have some luck extending using WDS, but it all depends on your router it's firmware.

    If you can run an ethernet cable (even one of those ethernet over power adapters will work) to the express, you can set it up as a wireless bridge. Basically adding a second wireless point for your existing network. once set up properly your devices will switch to the stronger signal as you move around, completely in the background, unnoticed by you.
    This also helps by carrying the bandwidth used by the second base over copper, instead of taking it out of the wireless bandwidth of the main.
  4. agwilson macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2008
    How is the MBP connecting to the Linksys router? How far away from the Linksys router are the Airport Expresses?

    You say it works fine from the MBP, have you thought about using the iOS device as a remote for the MBP instead of trying to stream from them?

    Waw74 has a good point, what other devices that use radio frequencies are near the Airport Expresses? I've run into problems in the past with wireless speakers interfering with a wireless network.
  5. fosterpants thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2010
    This is good info and helps me understand what might be going on. I was thinking the iDevice would send directly to the express. My router is in the basement 20' from my MBP and my bedroom is the farthest room away from the router. It is odd though that I can use the wifi just fine on my iDevice in the bedroom. The only other device that I'm thinking might be causing a problem is an atomic alarm clock that has an outdoor wireless temp sensor. I'll unplug it and see what happens.

    As for creating a bridge with the ethernet through power adapters, once I "hard-line" the express do I have to reconfigure it through the Airport Utility or will it just make itself a bridge on its own?

    Sorry for all the questions, I'm learning. Reading these posts was the first I'd heard the acronym WDS and setting it up might be over my head.
  6. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    the only thing transmitting is the outdoor sensor, the inside unit will probably not cause a problem.

    yes you will have to re-set it up,
    set connection sharing to "off (bridge mode)" on the internet page
    same SSID and security settings.
    different channel
  7. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    If you have the Airport Express connected to your router with ethernet, you should use "create a wireless network" instead of join. And give it the same settings like the previous poster said.
  8. fosterpants thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2010
  9. ghostlyorb macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    Like someone else said, set it up to act as WDS nodes. Your iOS device is probably switching between the APE and the linksys. I would recommend to get the AP Extreme.. and then extend using the APE. That should eliminate any problems. (IMO)

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