Use Airport Express to join network and provide wired connection

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by liquid stereo, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. liquid stereo macrumors regular

    Jan 21, 2005
    Saint Paul
    I am trying to extend my wireless network via an ethernet cable. The Airport Express is set to Join a wireless network, with the Allow Ethernet clients box checked.

    I get nothing. According to the network preferences, there is no signal/ethernet connection. The cable is fine as I've plugged it into my Time Capsule and it works well.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!
  2. Jolly Giant macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

    Sep 15, 2010
    Hamburg, Germany
    assuming the express is of the newer "N" kind, it needs to be configured to extend the network created by the TC.

    also make sure the TC is set to allow this network to be extended.
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    nope, the N ones will do it in join mode too, i don't use it this way, but i have tried it. My main base is a linksys running dd-wrt, i've had the express join that network, and was able to get online via ethernet.

    you're using the terms for 2 different things put together, are you trying to ...

    1. time capsule ----Wireless----> airport express ---Wired---> computer
    2. time capsule ----wireless----> computers
                     ----wired------> airport express ----wireless----> computers
    with number 2, you would have 2 different wireless base stations, both broadcasting the same network from different parts of the house.
    similar to wireless extending, but a wired backbone instead of wireless.
  4. uplusd macrumors 6502

    Apr 8, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I was going to make a new thread but came across this post. I want to implement scenario #2. What mode would I put the airport express in? Would they be broadcasting the same network twice if I wired it up like this (meaning I would see WirelessNetworkName twice)?
  5. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    put it in "extend (bridge mode)" under connection sharing on the internet page.
    then give it the same SSID and security settings as the main base.
    your devices will automatically switch to the stronger signal as you move around the house. it will only appear once.
    most large locations (like airports (not apple's devices, but the places with airplanes)) do this, and you never know.

    that's only if you are using the same flavor of wireless (B,G, or N) on both units, if you are trying to create separate G & N networks, still use the bridge mode but give them different names. (up to you if the security settings are the same or not)
  6. uplusd, Apr 20, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011

    uplusd macrumors 6502

    Apr 8, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Thanks for the response! I currently have my base station and express setup in WDS mode, but I find that when that speeds are drastically slow when connected to the airport express. I assume this solution would resolve the downgrade in speed?

    Update: Just redid my airport configurations and wireless through the bridge is much faster now. WDS officially stinks!
  7. bassjunky macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
    I have a couple of questions regarding scenario 2. My AE is currently setup on an ethernet cable in my living room with wireless turned off. I would like to turn on the wireless and extend the range of my current wireless network provided by my ATT gateway.

    To do this, do I setup the AE in the wireless section as "Participate in a WDS network" or simply "Join a wireless network"? If it's the WDS option, do I set the AE as Main, Relay or Remote?

    I'm not sure why I'm having a hard time with this. Everytime I've enabled wireless in the past I lose all connectivity to it, including the wired connection. I wind up having to factory-reset the AE and starting over. In fact, I gave up and just kept the wireless off which has been fine. But if I could get a slightly stronger signal in my living room, tben I'd like to turn on this functionality. I'm doing something wrong, obviously, so any help is appreciated. I've only had the AE for a couple of weeks now. Thanks.
  8. laurenr, May 18, 2011
    Last edited: May 18, 2011

    laurenr macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2008
    If you are extending the range of your wireless network via a hard-lined, ie. ethernet cable , you are in fact trying to set up a ROAMING Network, as opposed to "extending wirelessly". This is why your setup is not working. In this case, BOTH base stations must be set up to "Create a wireless Network". The primary would be set to "Share a public IP Address" and the secondary would be set to "Bridge Mode". Both setups would otherwise be identical - same Network, password, connected via "Ethernet". The only difference is in the channel selection - set each base station's channel selection as far apart as possible, (holding down the Option key will give you more choices). Do NOT check the box on either one to "Extend the Network".

    My setup:


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