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Extend wifi network with Express not working

28990 Views 25 Replies Latest reply: Apr 4, 2014 11:20 PM by herbst99 RSS
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Paul J Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Mar 10, 2012 1:05 PM

I have an Airport Extremem base station already, and I'm trying to extend the wifi with an Airport Express placed on the far end of my house. The set up seemed to go okay, but after the Express reboots after set up, it briefly comes up with green LED on the unit itself and on my Airport Utility on my iPhone then the status is amber color with 1 status message that says:

"This AirPort base station was unable to extend the wireless network. Make sure the wireless network you're trying to extend was set up and is working correctly, that you entered a matching wireless network password into this device, and that this device is in range of the wireless network."

1. My existing wifi network is working fine. I'm just trying to boost the signal on the far end of my house.

2. My network password is correct.

3. The device is definitely in range of the wireless network because it's at the same spot where my TV is, and the TV gets wireless connect to my network (albeit very low signal strength).

 

Help!

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,395 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 10, 2012 1:12 PM (in response to Paul J)

    Check the AirPort Extreme using AirPort Utility - Manual Setup

     

    Click the Wireless tab below the row of icons

     

    There must be a check mark entered next to "Allow this network to be extended"

     

    Is that the case?

  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (47,520 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 10, 2012 1:11 PM (in response to Paul J)

    Please try the following steps to configure both AirPorts for an extended wireless network. (Note: I am assuming that both AirPorts are 802.11n models. Also these instructions are for version 5.x of the AirPort Utility.)

     

    Dynamic WDS - Extending a Wireless Network Setup

    • Temporarily connect the AirPort Express to the Extreme via an Ethernet cable during the set up phase.
    • Open AirPort Utility, and then, select the AirPort Extreme.
    • Choose Manual Setup from the Base Station menu, or double-click the base station to open the configuration in a separate window. Enter the base station password if necessary.
    • Click AirPort in the toolbar, and then, click Wireless.
    • Choose “Create a wireless network” from the Wireless Mode pop-up menu, and then, select the “Allow this network to be extended” checkbox.
    • Next, select the AirPort Express, and then, choose Manual Setup from the Base Station menu, or double-click the base station to open its configuration in a separate window. Enter the base station password if necessary.
    • Choose “Extend a wireless network” from the Wireless Mode pop-up menu, and then, choose the network you want to extend from the Network Name pop-up menu.
    • Enter the base station network and base station password if necessary.
    • Click Update to update the base station with new network settings.

     

    (ref: Pages 43-44 of Apple AirPort Networks.)

    (ref: Wi-Fi base stations: Extending the range of your wireless network by adding additional Wi-Fi base stations)


  • Rowbot Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 10, 2012 2:28 PM (in response to Tesserax)

    I am having the same issue with extending my network to an airport express. I am using Lion...How do you do configure/fix this with Airport utility V6.0? There is no “Allow this network to be extended” check box that I can find.

     

    Thanks!

  • Joseph Kriz Level 5 Level 5 (5,045 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 10, 2012 2:31 PM (in response to Rowbot)

    You will need to download Airport Utility 5.6 to see that box...

    http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1482

     

    In version 6.0 it is either hidden or non existent...

  • Joseph Kriz Level 5 Level 5 (5,045 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 10, 2012 3:03 PM (in response to Paul J)

    Read my post above yours Paul....

     

    You will need to download Airport Utility 5.6

  • Rowbot Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 10, 2012 3:19 PM (in response to Paul J)

    Fixed!

    I installed 5.6 and checked the “Allow this network to be extended” box and got it all working. You are able to install both versions, so it not a downgrade. I can stil manage my airport (extreme and express extension) in V6.

     

    Thanks for the help

  • Joseph Kriz Level 5 Level 5 (5,045 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 10, 2012 3:22 PM (in response to Paul J)

    It is not downgrading...

     

    5.6 and 6.0 were release on the exact same day.

     

    They released 5.6 because it has more functionality.....

    You can't delete 6.0 becuase it is now part of OS X system but you can have 5.6 right along side of it...

     

    They will be updating 6.0 in the future to have the lost functionality of the other Airport Utility.

     

    With 5.6, you will see this....

    Screen Shot 2012-03-08 at 11.06.09 AM.png

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,395 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 10, 2012 3:29 PM (in response to Paul J)

    Version 6.0 is brand new and as such, it is typically exhibiting different behavior for different folks. Some users seem to be able to get the "extend" setup to work with Version 6.0.

     

    Others....like me....cannot.

     

    Version 5.6...which offers more features and functionality....can hardly be called a downgrade. It was introduced the same day as 6.0. You can keep both versions on your Mac and use the one that you want.

     

    Don't be mislead into thinking that a higher number represents higher performance.

     

    I imagine that Apple chose to call the new version "6" because it has a different look and matches the appearance of the mobile version of AirPort Utility for the iPhone and iPad. But, it is sorely lacking in some areas. Perhaps the next try will be better.

  • Geler Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 6, 2012 10:55 PM (in response to Paul J)

    Anyone help,

     

    I am trying to extend my wireless range of my Time Capsule using an Airport Express. I set up everything according to the instructions on this post and everything seems to be setup successfully but when I place the Express where my signal is weak, I am getting no improvement in the signal strength. Seems as if the Express is not communicating wirelessly with the Time Capsule but when I connect the Express to the Time Capsule using an Ethernet or to the iMac, I can see it on my Airport Utility and it seems that everything is properly set up. I am even getting a green light on the Express when I plug it at the spot where the signal is weak, which tells me it is connecting to the Time Capsule but no signal strength.

     

    Your help is appreciated.

  • HornbyIslander Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2012 6:42 AM (in response to Geler)

    I am having the same problem as Geler. All looks correct according to Airport Utility with the extended unit set up correctly and give me the green light, but it may as well not be on when I try to connect a device to it. I see now signal from my network showing up from my iPad using WiFi.

  • HJMGR Calculating status...
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    Apr 4, 2013 9:13 AM (in response to Paul J)

    Update: I found this thread whilst struggling with the same problem. I'm on Mountain Lion 10.8.3 and the Airport Utility 6.2 still doesn't have this option.

    I couldn't install Airport Utility 5.6, and I ended up using the WINDOWS version to check the "Allow this network to be extended".

     

    Absolutely INSANE!!

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,395 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 4, 2013 9:17 AM (in response to HJMGR)

    I couldn't install Airport Utility 5.6, and I ended up using the WINDOWS version to check the "Allow this network to be extended".

    "Allow this network to be extended" is automatically enabled in AirPort Utilty 6.x. There is no need to try to enable the setting.

     

    You are trying to mix instructions from different versions of AirPort Utility. That will not work.

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