Using Airport Express to extend Airport Extreme

Luba

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 22, 2009
1,210
177
I have an Airport Extreme (2009 dual-simultaneous 5 Ghz and 2.4 Ghz). I clicked "option" and the WiFi icon on the menu bar and see that I am on the 2.4 Ghz frequency when I am in my bedroom which means I am too far away from the Airport Extreme to beneficially utilize 5 GHz. If I buy an Airport Express to extend my network, would the Express boost the signal from the Extreme so that I could use the 5 Ghz frequency or would the Express just simply extend the 2.4 Ghz signal? Don't understand the effect of adding another router. I don't need the 2.4 extended. I'd like the 5 Ghz boosted.

What if I spent extra money and got the new Airport Extreme that an "ac" router. My current Extreme is only a "n" router.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I have an Airport Extreme (2009 dual-simultaneous 5 Ghz and 2.4 Ghz). I clicked "option" and the WiFi icon on the menu bar and see that I am on the 2.4 Ghz frequency when I am in my bedroom which means I am too far away from the Airport Extreme to beneficially utilize 5 GHz. If I buy an Airport Express to extend my network, would the Express boost the signal from the Extreme so that I could use the 5 Ghz frequency or would the Express just simply extend the 2.4 Ghz signal? Don't understand the effect of adding another router. I don't need the 2.4 extended. I'd like the 5 Ghz boosted.

What if I spent extra money and got the new Airport Extreme that an "ac" router. My current Extreme is only a "n" router.
The new AirPort Extreme has better range. However, for best results, use Ethernet to hardwire the Express to your Extreme.
 

NukeIT

macrumors regular
Mar 20, 2013
233
0
Do you have an "ac" capable computer??

I would imagine it would extend both the 2.4 and 5 Ghz signals. However if your considering extending wirelessly you are going to lose throughput.

Running a hardwire to the express is the best option.
 

Luba

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 22, 2009
1,210
177
Don't have "ac" Macs. Does throughput mean speed?


Do you have an "ac" capable computer??

I would imagine it would extend both the 2.4 and 5 Ghz signals. However if your considering extending wirelessly you are going to lose throughput.

Running a hardwire to the express is the best option.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Don't have "ac" Macs. Does throughput mean speed?
Yes that does mean speed! Even if you don't have any AC compliant Macs or devices, the new AirPort Extreme offers plenty of new benefits!

Yes. Basically your network speed thru a wirelessly extended network will be cut in ½.
When connected to the wirelessly extended portion, it is halved. This however is not a problem for most users in the basic/consumer market.
 

NukeIT

macrumors regular
Mar 20, 2013
233
0
This however is not a problem for most users in the basic/consumer market.
If you referring to the relay of Internet speed. Sure. That is probably correct for most users.

However it is a pretty blanket statement, seeing how plenty of consumers run multiple computers sharing data across their Home Networks.

And since the OP didn't share those details, it would be hard to say if this would effect his overall experience.
 

Luba

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 22, 2009
1,210
177
I was told that if the "extender" router is close enough to the base router then I would not lose speed (it would just extend what the base router was putting out), but sounds like the mere fact I am using an "extender" it will cut speed in half?

Most devices (Macs and iOS devices) that use WiFi are upstairs. The cable modem and router are downstairs. If I had the cable company put in a cable TV box upstairs, then I could also use that coaxial cable for a cable modem, thus could move the cable modem and router upstairs, correct?

If you referring to the relay of Internet speed. Sure. That is probably correct for most users.

However it is a pretty blanket statement, seeing how plenty of consumers run multiple computers sharing data across their Home Networks.

And since the OP didn't share those details, it would be hard to say if this would effect his overall experience.
 

NukeIT

macrumors regular
Mar 20, 2013
233
0
I was told that if the "extender" router is close enough to the base router then I would not lose speed (it would just extend what the base router was putting out), but sounds like the mere fact I am using an "extender" it will cut speed in half?

Most devices (Macs and iOS devices) that use WiFi are upstairs. The cable modem and router are downstairs. If I had the cable company put in a cable TV box upstairs, then I could also use that coaxial cable for a cable modem, thus could move the cable modem and router upstairs, correct?
When the wireless router is acting as a "relay" point (repeater station) you will lose throughput. It is always best to hardwire them together when possible. Ethernet cable is relatively cheap.

You don't need a cable tv box upstairs, just a coax cable and then you could move the modem and router to it. (That is if you have one up there already)

There is also power line adaptors available that can use your houses power lines as ethernet transmission lines, however I have never used them so don't know how well they work.

For your reading pleasure :

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4145
 
Last edited:

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
If you referring to the relay of Internet speed. Sure. That is probably correct for most users.

However it is a pretty blanket statement, seeing how plenty of consumers run multiple computers sharing data across their Home Networks.

And since the OP didn't share those details, it would be hard to say if this would effect his overall experience.
It is better to use an extender (AP Express) than to have weak signal. To ensure the best placement, download iStumbler and look for where the Signal/Noise ratio reaches about 30. I don't think this is blanket as it is still faster than most WAN connections can support. However, large file copies will not transmit at full power.

For instance, if I have my AirPort Extreme able to give 300 Mbps where I want the Express, then the Express will give 150 Mbps give or take of throughput. Local file transfers can saturate the connection from the Extreme to the Express, especially if using a NAS or file server that supports Gigabit! If it is just a USB drive hung off the back or you are connected to a computer with a 10/100 Ethernet card then it won't matter.