11 Replies Latest reply: Sep 12, 2010 5:28 PM by PhillipD
GBarnes28 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hi Guys,

I have an old Wireless Extreme Router that i have configured to be a wireless bridge. It has worked for years configured this way.
I purchased a wireless express to extend me current wifi network. When i configure the express to extend the wireless network it wont connect to the network. If i reset the unit and configure it to join my current network it connects properly and shows a green status light. Since i configured it to join the network not extend it doesnt do me much good.

What am i missing to extend my network with the Old wireless extreme and a new wireless express??

PC, Windows XP
  • 1. Re: Extending a wireless network
    Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (78,610 points)
    Welcome to the discussions!

    Please confirm that you have an older "round" AirPort Extreme and a new AirPort Express 802.11n.

    I understand that the AirPort Extreme will be your "main" router and you want the AirPort Express to act as a "remote" to extend the wireless network. Is that correct?
  • 2. Re: Extending a wireless network
    Matt W (TechnicalMac) Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Not to hijack (too much), but I'm trying something similar and there hasn't been any response in over a month. I've been trying to extend a new Dual-band Extreme with my old faithful UFO Extreme (b/g). The terminology has changed and WDS/Extending doesn't seem to cross over between units. The UFO doesn't seem to pick up on the network, even after resetting to factory and when I manually enter the Airport ID (MAC address). The Dual-band switches back and forth from OK, to having a WDS error. Perhaps these units are simply not cross-compatible?

    Matthew
  • 3. Re: Extending a wireless network
    Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (78,610 points)
    +I've been trying to extend a new Dual-band Extreme with my old faithful UFO Extreme (b/g).+

    You can do this, and while the older AirPort Extreme will help provide more wireless coverage, the WDS setup imposes some rather stiff penalties when you do set things up this way:

    1) The entire network drops down to "g" level wireless, so you unfortunately lose any advantages of faster "n" speeds on your newer AirPort Extreme

    2) The bandwidth of the network will be cut by 50%, which will also likely impose some additional loss of speed and performance on the network

    The bottom line here is that you will in effect, have a "g" wireless network that is working at half of its capability.

    If you decide that you want to proceed with this, the best instructions that I have seen for setting up the WDS arrangement were developed and posted by expert user Tesserax. Check the link below. Although this mentions an AirPort Express as the "remote" device, the instructions are the same for an AirPort Extreme as well.

    Sometimes, the WDS configuration choice does not appear when you click on the Wireless Mode selection box. Hold down the option key on your computer when you click on the selection box and all available choices will be revealed.

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2355832&tstart=0

    If you have the ability to connect the older AirPort Extreme to the newer AirPort Extreme using an ethernet connection, that would yield much better results. Post back if that is a possibility.

    Message was edited by: Bob Timmons
  • 4. Re: Extending a wireless network
    Matt W (TechnicalMac) Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    So, even if I set up both bands separately (different names/pwds) it will still drop the entire device's I/O? After all, why have a dual-band in the first place? On the other hand, I would expect that from Apple. It seems that they're first with many things, but options and alternatives aren't their strongest point. It works the way they want it to, but not differently.

    Nice link referral. It looks helpful. I might be able to get an Ethernet cable to the location in which I would use the UFO, but it would be a long run. That might be my best choice anyway as it would segregate the network and allow me to turn off the extension if needed.

    Many thanks,

    Matthew
  • 5. Re: Extending a wireless network
    Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (78,610 points)
    +So, even if I set up both bands separately (different names/pwds) it will still drop the entire device's I/O?+

    Yes, that's correct. If you had a newer "n" device to handle the "extending" chores, "n" devices would stay at "n" levels. There's a small drop in bandwidth when you do it this way, about 10%, but nothing like the drop when using the older WDS setup.

    +I might be able to get an Ethernet cable to the location in which I would use the UFO, but it would be a long run+

    Sorry, when I suggested Ethernet, I meant either run the cable or use a pair of ethernet powerline adapters to provide the ethernet signal to the "remote" AirPort Extreme.

    Post back if you need some tips about how to configure the remote device if you elect to use ethernet.
  • 6. Re: Extending a wireless network
    ktm200xc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Did you check the "allow this network to be extended" box on the Extreme setup?
  • 7. Re: Extending a wireless network
    Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (78,610 points)
    +Did you check the "allow this network to be extended" box on the Extreme setup?+

    The OP was asking about extending the network using an older "b/g" router. Checking (or not checking) the "allow this network to be extended" box will have no effect in the original question.
  • 8. Re: Extending a wireless network
    PhillipD Level 1 Level 1 (130 points)
    I am also trying to set up a WDS network here with a newer Airport Express N, and an older Airport Express B/G only. I think I have set up the network successfully via the wireless method where the new one I just got (B/G) is the remote to a WDS network. It is not plugged into its own ethernet. When it is plugged in the network goes to a crawl... literally... When using just one of the Airport Express it is 15Mbps on a speed test. When I have both of them online participating in the WDS it goes down to about 0.4Mbps.

    I have also tried plugging them both into ethernet and having them on WDS, but when I do that, the internet connection in my house crashes. It fixes itself when I unplug the new B/G Express.

    On both fronts just wondering if maybe I am doing something wrong.
  • 9. Re: Extending a wireless network
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)
    When it is plugged in the network goes to a crawl... literally... When using just one of the Airport Express it is 15Mbps on a speed test. When I have both of them online participating in the WDS it goes down to about 0.4Mbps


    The primary disadvantage of the older static WDS is that it can only operate in the 802.11g radio mode AND for every base station added the overall bandwidth is cut in half. When you mix AirPort, you can only configure them for this type of WDS ... thus effectively eliminating the advantage of 802.11n.

    The other reason for the poor bandwidth performance that you may be experiencing is the distance (or obstacles present) between the two AirPorts. The remote base station does NOT boost the bandwidth, it can only repeat it. You may want to try finding another location for the remote to see if this will help.

    I have also tried plugging them both into ethernet and having them on WDS, but when I do that, the internet connection in my house crashes.


    If connected by Ethernet, then a WDS is NOT required, as this because the primary advantage of a WDS is all wireless connections. Instead, you would want to configure both AirPorts into a "roaming" network. With this type of network a wireless client could literally roam from one base station to another and still be on the same network.
  • 10. Re: Extending a wireless network
    PhillipD Level 1 Level 1 (130 points)
    That is a good answer on the bandwidth. I had read a little bit about it in some of your other posts too. Right now just in testing phase I had the main Airport Express in one room and the additional in the next room. What kills me is that the bandwidth didn't seem half of the G standard it seems MUCH worse..

    The roaming configuration seems more of what I am looking for. I have Ethernet in each of the places that the Airport Express stations would be so that would be best. I will research how to set that up best now I think. Thanks for your quick response.
  • 11. Re: Extending a wireless network
    PhillipD Level 1 Level 1 (130 points)
    Just set this up and so far it seems to be doing the trick.

    Saw this in a Google search. Results came up with a page made by Apple in 2007
    http://support.apple.com/kb/TA25991?viewlocale=en_US