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Is it possible to use a time capsule to extend a wifi network from a standard router supplied from someone such as TalkTalk or BT home hub?

3293 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Jan 25, 2013 11:23 AM by Bob Timmons RSS
04northda Calculating status...
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Sep 12, 2012 4:31 AM

I have a time capsule and I want to extend the wifi network rather than creating a new one via ethernet.

 

Is it possible to extend the wifi network with my standard issue talktalk router? I can't seem to do this.

 

Thanks

Time Capsule 802.11n (4th Gen), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.1)
  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,670 points)
    Is it possible to extend the wifi network with my standard issue talktalk router?

     

    Yes, if you connect the Time Capsule to your Talk Talk router using a wired Ethernet connection and configure the Time Capsule to create a wireless network using the same wireless network name, same wireless security and same password as the Talk Talk router,, with the Time Capsule in Bridge Mode.

     

    No, if you are asking if the Time Capsule can extend the wireless signal from the Talk Talk router using wireless only.

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,670 points)

    "Join" is not supported by Apple, and although it would not be recommended, you might be able to pull it off. I don't have a Talk Talk or BT router, so I cannot say whether it might work or not.

     

    All you can do is try to configure the Time Capsule to "extend" the network using wireless only and see if it will "join" using wireless only.

     

    The big downside to doing this is that you will have a "double hop" wireless setup.

     

    Consider that your computer must connect to your router first.....hop one....and the router must then connect to the Time Capsule....hop two.

     

    This will double the chances of a backup error and also double the amount of time that it will take for backups to occur.

     

    A second downside to "join" is that the Time Capsule becomes a wireless only hard drive....the Ethernet ports are not enabled, so even if you wanted to connect using Ethernet to speed up big backups, this capability will not be present.

     

    Definitely not recommended, but it is your call. Let us know how things are working if you decide to try to set this up.

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,670 points)

    I think that you likely already have your answer about whether this will work with a non-Apple router.

     

    Having tried the "join" setup a few times as an experiment, I can say that it brings new meaning to the word S----L----O----W.

     

    Honestly, I would never recommend this to anyone, even if the setup was compatible.

     

    A 50 GB backup was scheduled to take 4+ days using wireless only, just to give you an idea. I really doubt that it would have made it through without an error. Using Ethernet, the same backup takes about 2 hours.

     

    If you do not want to run the Ethernet cable to the remote Time Capsule location, a pair of Ethernet powerline adapters could possibly do the job by sending the signal over the existing powerlines in your home. 

     

    In other words, you already have the wiring in place, you just need the adapters.

  • Sanchotron Calculating status...

    Hi Bob, I've been reading your feedback to similar threads throughout this community and it has been very helpful so far, but I still have a few questions related to this matter I hope you can help me out with.

     

    You mentioned that  you can connect the Time Capsule (TC) to a non-Apple router using a wired Ethernet connection and configure the Time Capsule to create a wireless network using the same wireless network name, same wireless security and same password as the base (non-Apple) router, with the Time Capsule in Bridge Mode. This is something I would really like to set up as I would like to access the data on the Time Capsule.

     

    Now I have a similar setup with a Sitecom router acting as the base router connected to the modem in my bedroom. It connects to the Time Capsule in my living room with ethernet using a powerline adapter to extend the connection (cable wouldn't reach). It currently works fine in offline mode sharing the router's connection with my PC and consoles with ethernet. However, I have only managed to make this work by keeping the TC in "wired mode" meaning I can't reach the data on the TC wirelessly (e.g. from my MacBook) which has basically downgraded the TC to an overpriced LAN switch.  

     

    You mentioned you can have the TC "join" (not "extend") the Wi-Fi network by replicating the same network, but I would like to know:

    -Will I be able to use the TC's wireless functionalities (ie. access the HDD wirelessly and make backups)?

    -Will this influence the connection speed and can it cause "doube hop"? Or is there any other kind of trade-off once TC joins wifi?

    -What settings do I need to set up in Airport configuration (TC is connected to Windows 7 PC)?

     

    Many thanks in advance!

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,670 points)

    However, I have only managed to make this work by keeping the TC in "wired mode" meaning I can't reach the data on the TC wirelessly (e.g. from my MacBook) which has basically downgraded the TC to an overpriced LAN switch. 

    This tells me that the TC is not configured correctly on the network. Since you probably know the name and password of the "main" wireless network, the problem is almost always found in a non-matching wireless security setting.

     

    In other words, the wireless security settings on your "main" router and the TC must match up exactly. Otherwise, the TC will not behave as if it is part of the same network.....because it is not.

     

    What setting is the Sitecom router using for wireless security?

     

    You mentioned you can have the TC "join" (not "extend") the Wi-Fi network by replicating the same network,

    This is one of those situations where the fact that you might be able to do something does not mean that you should do it. I do not recommend this setting. The setting is usually hidden in AirPort Utility. Apple hides it for good reason.

     

    I also notice that Apple has eliminated this option in their Setup Guide for the TC....probably implying that they no longer support this type of setup.

     

    The Ethernet ports on the TC are not enabled at all in this setting, so it is not possible to use them to backup using Ethernet for large backups.

     

    The "double hop" wireless means that backups will take twice as long as normal wireless. This will bring new meaning to the word SLOW, not to mention doubling the chances of an error occuring during the very slow backups.

  • Sanchotron Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the info. I think I managed to make it work by using the "Create a network" setting and switching the IP settings to bridge mode.

    I can access the TC HDD wirelessly now and Internet is working on the devices connected with Ethernet to the TC. So far so good.

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,670 points)

    You have the correct setup, but things have a way of sometimes slipping out of bridge mode during the configuration, so double check to make sure that bridge mode is enabled.

  • MauroDiaz Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I hope this additional question is not offtopic... I have almost the same question but I'm not sure I have the answer:

     

    I have an Aiport Extreme as main router and want to configure the recently purchased time capsule in a roaming network (i.e., ethernet cable connected to the AEX) to extend wifi range and ALSO use backup functionality through the time machine app (is that the correct app name?)

     

    Is it possible?

     

    Thanks in advance

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,670 points)

    This is possible and will work if the setup is correct.

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