13 Replies Latest reply: Jul 26, 2011 5:38 PM by Dave Klein2
Dave Klein2 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

Currenlty I have an Airport Extreme in the back bedroom of a ranch style home connected to my Cable Modem Router. I have two sets of speakers in the other end of the home with Airport Express units plugged into them so as to play music. The Airport Extreme creates the wireless network with the Express's joining the network.

 

I have recently added a Gigabit Switch to the mix that works just fine plugged into the Extreme's LAN port so as to have cabled connected to AppleTV, Mac Mini...etc in another room of the house.

 

My signal on the opposite end of the house as the Extreme has always been week so I purchased a High Power (2,000 milliWatts) 11g Access Point. My question pertains to the Access Point. I will be plugging this into the switch and placing into the part of the home with the weak signal. In my set up do I just need to match the SSID (network name), wireless security level and password as the APX? Also, the vendor told me to choose a channel on the opposite end as my existing network... does this make sense?

 

Thanks for any comments by those that might have a similar set up or knowledge on the issue.


MacBook Pro, PowerMac G5's, MacMini, iPad, iPod Touch., Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • 1. Re: Use of non-Apple Access Point
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)
    My question pertains to the Access Point. I will be plugging this into the switch and placing into the part of the home with the weak signal. In my set up do I just need to match the SSID (network name), wireless security level and password as the APX? Also, the vendor told me to choose a channel on the opposite end as my existing network... does this make sense?

    Yes, you pretty much have it already. The Access Point, should be configured as follows:

    • Use the same SSID as the AirPort's wireless network.
    • Use the same security type and password as the AirPort's wireless network.
    • Use a radio channel at least 3-5 channels away from the AirPort's wireless network to prevent Wi-Fi interference between radios.
  • 2. Re: Use of non-Apple Access Point
    Dave Klein2 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks I'll give that a try when I get home. I tried it as the vendor suggested and having two wireless networks is just a pain and having to switch between the two for the strongest signal would just be a drag. They brought up the fact that with same password it's easy to switch between the two... but that's not what I'm looking for.

     

    I ran iStumbler and this new network created by the Acess Point is not nearly as strong as I thought it would be so I'm considering on returning the Access Point and going some other route. Wonder if I would have better luck by purchasing another AirPort Extreme and connecting it to my Eithernet? The reason I went with the Access Point is that I didn't need all the LAN ports, USB port...etc of the APX. Also, the Access Point's power output is 2,000 milliWatts and the APX is a fraction of that.

     

    Oh well, I'll keep testing.

  • 3. Re: Use of non-Apple Access Point
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)

    FWIW ... in my case, my main Internet router is a Cisco RVS4000. Connected back to the Cisco are an AirPort Extreme Base Station (AEBS), and just recently, a 4th generation Time Capsule. Both routers are bridged and are basically performing as combination Ethernet switches and Wireless Access Points. I have this network configured as a roaming network with one base station on each floor. I actually use both base stations' USB and LAN ports for a number of perpherals and this combo has been working great for over a year now.

  • 4. Re: Use of non-Apple Access Point
    Dave Klein2 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I've tried several things now to improvie my signal coming from the Access Point, which is made by EnGenius, to include changing the names to match and to change channels. Nothing seems to effect the signal strength of the Access Point.

     

    Below is a screen shot of iStumbler. Klein2 is the Access Point with Klein at 58% being my AirPort Extreme. The Access Point is two rooms closer to me and shows less of a signal than the AirPort Extreme. The first item in the list is an Express unit plugged into the back of a speaker set up to participate in a network and is not plugged into an ethernet cable.

     

    screenShot.jpg

  • 5. Re: Use of non-Apple Access Point
    Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (78,515 points)

    I suspect that the claims for the Access Point are way over the top. Just about every manufacturer is running their wireless devices at or near the max allowed by law, so you should not see much variation from devices or manufacturers.

     

    Most access points provide around a nominal 20dBm output, which translates to 100mW. The fact that your AirPort is doing as well, or better than the Access Point just might be a clue as to what its real capabilities might be.

  • 6. Re: Use of non-Apple Access Point
    Dave Klein2 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Good information Bob, I fell for the bait I'm afraid. Now looking to return the item. Currently my express units are set to participate in the network that my AirPort Extreme creates with the Express units operating wirelessly. To extend my network I wonder what my bes option would be? Perhaps to add a wired Express or another Extreme wired in and set as a repeater?

  • 7. Re: Use of non-Apple Access Point
    Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (78,515 points)
    To extend my network I wonder what my bes option would be?

    Your home layout is likely going to dictate your real options, but in terms of performance, the options would line up like this:

     

    • Connect the remote wireless devices using an Ethernet cable back to the main router
    • Use Ethernet power line adapters to send a psedo Ethernet signal over the AC power lines in your home...if you can't run the Ethernet cable
    • Use wireless to connect the remote devices to the main router

     

    You may likely wind up with a combination of method to achieve what you want, but strive for wired connections if at all possible, then drop down to wireless.

  • 8. Re: Use of non-Apple Access Point
    Dave Klein2 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    A friend of mine has given me an AirPort Express... very nice of her. I'm going to try option 1. above of connecting back to the main router with Ethernet Cable. My other Expresses are wireless and are plugged into speakers that are not near Ethernet but the new unit I can place further out into the home away from the main unit wich is a AirPort Extreme.

     

    Currently my Express units are set to participate in the network. Should this wired Express be set differently? I remember seeing an option for extending the network... is that a better choice? Thanks for any suggestions.

  • 9. Re: Use of non-Apple Access Point
    Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (78,515 points)
    I remember seeing an option for extending the network... is that a better choice?

    Yes, as long as the Express is capable of providing more wireless coverage, it can't hurt to set it up that way. I have yet to hear from the first user who felt that his wireless coverage was too good.  

  • 10. Re: Use of non-Apple Access Point
    Dave Klein2 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    At one time I had my Extreme and Express' units set up as WDS. I was always having Express units jump off the network. With my Extreme set up as extanblishing the network and the express' joining I have not had those issues, although as you said Bob, you never hear from a user who feels that their wireless coverage is too good.

     

    I'll post back as to if I have any luck increasing my wireless coverage with my new express wired in and set up to extend the network.

  • 11. Re: Use of non-Apple Access Point
    Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (78,515 points)

    If you connect the Express using Ethernet.....you will not use the "extend" configuration. In that case the Express must be configured to "Create a wireless network" using the same wireless network name, security and password as the "main" network. Configure the Express as a "bridge" as well.

     

    If you want step by step for this, let me know.

  • 12. Re: Use of non-Apple Access Point
    Dave Klein2 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks for that suggestion, I will do just that. I've set up several so I should be ok with the explanation above. Having it connected to Ethernet I was unsure of the details. Thanks again.

     

    Message was edited by: Dave Klein2

  • 13. Re: Use of non-Apple Access Point
    Dave Klein2 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)