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Airport Express to Extend Airport Extreme Network

3262 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Jun 17, 2010 2:47 PM by Frank Almond RSS
Tattters Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 15, 2010 3:44 PM
I just purchased an AirPort Extreme and an AirPort Express today from the Apple Store. I was told by the person there and through googling that I could use the AirPort Express to wirelessly extend my network so it could cover my whole house.

I cannot make it do that at this point. The only options that it gives me are pictured below.

http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/5672/picture1hg.png

How can I make it extend the range of my AirPort Extreme?
MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,470 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 15, 2010 3:56 PM (in response to Tattters)
    Welcome to the discussion area!

    First, open AirPort Utility and click on your Airport Extreme
    Click Manual Setup
    Click the Wireless tab below the icons
    Make sure you have a check mark next to "Allow this network to be extended"
    Update if you have made any changes

    Second, open AirPort Utility and click on the AirPort Express
    Click Manual Setup
    Click the Wireless tab
    Wireless Mode = Extend a wireless network*
    Wireless Network Name = Same name as your AirPort Extreme network
    Check mark next to Allow Wireless Clients
    Wireless Network Security = Exact same setting as your AirPort Extreme network
    Wireless Network Password = Same password as your AirPort Extreme network
    Update

    * If you don't see this choice, hold down the option key on your computer while you click on the selection box.

    In general, place the AirPort Express at a distance that is approximately 1/2 to 2/3 the distance between the AirPort Extreme and the area that needs more wireless coverage. The more you can achieve a line of sight situation between the Extreme and Express, the better your extended network will function. The reason for this is that the Express can only "extend" what it receives.
    MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.3), Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, iPhone
  • SJFAZIO Calculating status...
    When I did the second step the Airport Utility did not show Airport Express.
    The Airport Express is plugged in and still blinking amber meaning I assume that it is not yet connected to the network.The Airport Express is about 8 feet from the Airport Extreme and is is line-of-sight.
    Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,470 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 16, 2010 4:36 PM (in response to SJFAZIO)
    Close AirPort Utility.

    Temporarily, try connecting an available ethernet cable from your computer to the AirPort Express. You can move the AirPort Express if you need to.

    Open AirPort Utility and it will usually "see" the AirPort Express. When you have updated the settings on the AirPort Express, you can disconnect the ethernet cable and move the Express to the desired location.

    If still no luck, hold in the reset button on the Airport Express until the amber light begins to blink more quickly. Hold another second or two when you see this, then release the reset button.

    Repeat the process above.
    MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.3), Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, iPhone
  • Frank Almond Calculating status...
    Hi Bob,
    I'm having the same issue; no Wifi on my 3rd fl. Airport Extreme on 1st Fl in an old brick house. But when I am changing settings on Airport Express the option to "extend" does not appear. Only to "join", "create", or "participate in WDS network". The light is green on both base stations, and I've done a hard reset on the Express.
    Any ideas?
    thanks
    FA
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,470 points)
    You may have an older "b/g" AirPort Express, which was manufactured before the "extend a wireless network" feature was introduced in the newer "n" versions of the product. Check your model number on the side of the Express. The newer "n" is A 1264. The older version without this feature is A 1084.

    If you do have the newer A 1264, try holding down the option key on your computer when you click on the Wireless Mode selection box to see if that choice will appear.
    MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.4), Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, iPhone
  • Frank Almond Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 17, 2010 12:33 PM (in response to Bob Timmons)
    I think I have the older version. So I am not able to extend a network with this AEx, correct? And a newer model with do that?
    many thanks.
  • Frank Almond Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    sorry, meant will do that.
  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,470 points)
    In order to use the "extend a wireless network" feature, both your main router and remote device must be Apple "n" devices.

    If either of these Apple devices is an older "g" device, you will need to use the older WDS type of configuration in order to extend the wireless network signal.

    That's a completely different type of configuration than the one that I posted on this thread.
    MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.4), Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, iPhone
  • Frank Almond Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    OK, my main router is an Airport Extreme model A1143. The older A. Express is A1084. Is there any configuration that will work?
    thanks.
  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,470 points)
    As I mentioned in the previous post, you need to use the WDS configuration method when you have a mix of "n" and "g" devices.

    This type of configuration will drop the entire wireless network down to "g" levels, so unfortunately, you will not be able to utilize the "n" capabilities of the AirPort Extreme that you have. In addition, the bandwidth of the wireless network will be cut by 50%, so you may notice slower file transfers on the network.

    Top user Tesserax has posted an excellent step by step configuration guide for a WDS setup. If you want to try this, the link for this is listed below.

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2355832&tstart=0
    MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.4), Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, iPhone
  • Frank Almond Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Very helpful, and I think I'll just spring for the newer Express; I enjoy my bandwidth. Thanks so much for all the information.

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