1 2 Previous Next 27 Replies Latest reply: Aug 18, 2013 2:54 AM by GregorHeinrich
Sajid Ansari Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

I have the newest (5th gen) version of the airport extreme base station.  What I wish to do is to use this base station to create a wireless network.  I then wish to use my older generation airport express as an extender, by plugging into the airport extreme via Ethernet. 

 

Any ideas on how to do this?

 

What I’ve tried:

 

Using airport utility 5.6 (since the newer version of airport utility does not support my older airport express), I set up the extreme base station to participate in a WDS network.  I selected the extreme base station as the WDS Main.  I added the wifi and Ethernet mac addresses of my express as WDS remotes.

 

Moving to the airport express,  I have it set to participate in a WDS network, and as a WDS remote.  I entered the extreme base station Ethernet MAC address as the WDS main.  I also have it set as a bridge and not as DHCP router.  I also checked "allow wireless clients"

 

The airport express icon in the airport utility shows green but the light on the airport express is solid amber.

 

Also, the airport extreme base station in the airport utility shows me the error:

 

“WDS error.  This apple wi-fi base station is set up as part of a WDS network but no other apple wi-fi base stations were found.”  which is strange since I have two stations (extreme and express) both set up to participate in a WDS network

 

The current status is that I my airport extreme base station seems to be broadcasting a wifi signal just fine and connecting to the internet.  But I don’t think my airport express is actually working to repeat the signal.

 

I have searched extensively on this topic but nothing I have read seems to work.

 

The other option that I would be good with is if I had my modem/wireless router combo provided by my ISP be used to create the wireless network, and use my extreme base station to extend that network.  If I plugged in my base station to the ISP router and used the base station to extend the wireless network, would it be acting as a wired to wired bridge to extend the wireless network or would it act as a wireless to wireless bridge?

 

Any help and a step by step walk through would be highly appreciated.  Thanks!


Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.3), Dual 2.8 GHz Quad Core, 16 GB RAM
  • 1. Re: Previous gen airport express to extend wireless network from latest gen airport extreme station
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)

    If you will have the two AirPort interconnected by Ethernet, then you do NOT want to configure them for an extended network. Instead, you want to configure them for a roaming network.

     

    Roaming Network Setup

    • Setup the AirPort connected to the Internet to "Share a public IP address." Internet > Internet Connection > Connection Sharing: Share a public IP address
    • Setup the remaining AirPorts, as bridges. Internet > Internet Connection > Connection Sharing: Off (Bridge Mode) For each AEBSn in the roaming network:
    • For each base station:
      • Connect to the same subnet of the Ethernet network.
      • Provide a unique Base Station Name.
      • The Network Name (SSID) should be identical.
      • If using security, use the same security type (WEP, WPA, etc.) and password. Note: It is highly recommended that you use WPA2 Personal for best bandwidth performance.
      • Make sure that the channel is set at least three channels apart from the next base station to prevent Wi-Fi interference.
  • 2. Re: Previous gen airport express to extend wireless network from latest gen airport extreme station
    Sajid Ansari Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks.  Unfortunatley, when I select the option to share a public IP address for the extreme base station, I get the error that my wan IP conflicts.  My ISP modem is also a combined router and there's no way to shut off the DHCP functionality in the ISP modem/router combo.  The ISP router's range is 192.168.1.2 - 192.168.1.254 or something like that.  So I modified the range of the base station to be 192.168.1.300 - 192.168.350.  When I do that and hit update, I get the solid amber light on the base station.

     

    The other thing I tried was keeping the extreme base station in bridge mode, and then placing the express in bridge mode (with the same SSID and password as the extreme and keeping the channels apart (extreme at channel 11, express at channel 6)).  The express gives me the green light, but it doesn't seem to do anything...ie I get the same slow speed/weak signal strenght whether the express is powered on or not.

     

    If I can figure out how to resolve the conflicting IP range, I think I'd be OK.  Any additional ideas?  Thanks in advance.

  • 3. Re: Previous gen airport express to extend wireless network from latest gen airport extreme station
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)

    Unfortunatley, when I select the option to share a public IP address for the extreme base station, I get the error that my wan IP conflicts.  My ISP modem is also a combined router and there's no way to shut off the DHCP functionality in the ISP modem/router combo.

    Since you have an existing combination modem/router, you will want to reconfigure the AirPort Extreme directly connected to it as a bridge. This will allow the existing device to continue to provide both NAT & DHCP services for all network clients regardless of which router they are actually connected to.

     

    Since you didn't mention or I didn't catch that you have this combo device, I was assuming that you just had a simple modem. This does change the strategy somewhat. You can still create an extended network with the AirPorts, but you will have to revert back to using an extended network and not a roaming one.

     

    The other thing I tried was keeping the extreme base station in bridge mode, and then placing the express in bridge mode (with the same SSID and password as the extreme and keeping the channels apart (extreme at channel 11, express at channel 6)).  The express gives me the green light, but it doesn't seem to do anything...ie I get the same slow speed/weak signal strenght whether the express is powered on or not.

    As you have already done, keep the Extreme in bridge mode, and then, follow the instructions in the extended network link I just provided you. Both base station MUST be on the same channel in this case and use the same wireless security method for the extended network to work properly.

  • 4. Re: Previous gen airport express to extend wireless network from latest gen airport extreme station
    Sajid Ansari Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks.  So I want to play a couple things back to make sure I understand correctly

     

    I can't use roaming mode since I have a router/modem combo.  Instead, I have to use an extended network, which appears to be wifi to wifi repating instead of ethernet to wifi repeating (forgive me for using such n00b terminology, but hopefully you understand what I mean).  Is there anyway for me to do the roaming mode? (since I want to take advantage of all of my ethernet ports around my house to extend my wifi).

     

    Now, next issue, since I have the older airport extreme, I don't seem to have the option to "extend wireless network" (whcih is in step 8 of the 2nd portion of the link you gave me) which is why I was screwin around with the WDS options to no avail.  Is my only option here to get the newer airport extreme model?  It's OK if the answer is yes, I just want to know what I need to do. 

     

    Thanks for your help so far.  If I can pick your brain just a little more, I would be grateful.

  • 5. Re: Previous gen airport express to extend wireless network from latest gen airport extreme station
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)

    I can't use roaming mode since I have a router/modem combo.  Instead, I have to use an extended network, which appears to be wifi to wifi repating instead of ethernet to wifi repeating (forgive me for using such n00b terminology, but hopefully you understand what I mean).  Is there anyway for me to do the roaming mode? (since I want to take advantage of all of my ethernet ports around my house to extend my wifi).

    It's not that you couldn't configure a roaming network, but a roaming network's main characteristic is all routers must be interconnected by Ethernet. If you have your home completely wired, then a roaming network would be the best possible configuration for maximum bandwidth.

     

    Since it appears that you do, then I would again recommend going with a roaming network configuration. In this case, your combo router would be your "main" router. As mentioned previously, it would provide NAT & DHCP services. All the other routers would need to be in bridge mode AND connected back to the combo router via Ethernet ... and in this case, they would require running on different radio channels to prevent Wi-Fi interference between them ... BUT they all must broadcast a wireless network with the same Network Name (or SSID) and use the same wireless security type. The major advantage of this type of network is that you can add additional router (or better still dedicated Wireless Access Points) anywhere you have an Ethernet connection and have a weak wireless signal. This is the typical network configuration used in commercial buildings.

  • 6. Re: Previous gen airport express to extend wireless network from latest gen airport extreme station
    Sajid Ansari Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    So I had tried to do it such that extreme was in bridge mode, and the express was also in bridge mode (both connected to my modem/router), and both devices were creating a wireless network with identical SSID and password and channels set to 6 and 11.  Got the green light on both, but I didn't notice any performance increase.  So it didnt seem like extending the network in roaming mode did anything.

  • 7. Re: Previous gen airport express to extend wireless network from latest gen airport extreme station
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)

    Are all of your wireless routers 802.11n?

  • 8. Re: Previous gen airport express to extend wireless network from latest gen airport extreme station
    Sajid Ansari Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    No, but I would have expected at least wireless-G speeds at the location where the express was plugged into ethernet and presumably being used to extend the network.

  • 9. Re: Previous gen airport express to extend wireless network from latest gen airport extreme station
    Sajid Ansari Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Ok...I think I got it.  Apple made things too easy for me an I was trying to be smart which didn't work out too well.

     

    I just re-ran the airport set up not in manual mode.  For the extreme, it had a wizards for exactly what I wanted to do (extend wireless network by connecting to ethernet).  For the outdated express, the roaming option was not available, but the extend optoin was (though the wizard, and not manul set up).  So I was able to extend by wifi and the speeds are good.  I'm gonna get the new express and see if that has an option for roaming...

  • 10. Re: Previous gen airport express to extend wireless network from latest gen airport extreme station
    ToddSanders Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I would like to piggyback on this thread.

     

    Current Configuration:

     

    FIOS ONT -->connected via coaxial to the  Main Router (Actiontec)  --> AirPort Extreme  (connected via ethernet to the Actiontec) with the Extreme in BRIDGE mode --> Airport Express (Also in Bridge mode) and connected via ethernet to the EXTREME

     

     

     

    Tesserax, I am in a similar situation as Sajid in that my ISP (Verizon FIOS) requires I use their router/modem combo (http://www.actiontec.com/products/product.php?pid=214) as the "main" router . I have received conflicting advice from Apple tech support in terms of whether or not an Airport Extreme can be WIRELESSLY "extended" via an Airport Express if the AIRPORT EXTREME is in BRIDGE mode or if the required configuration is a ROAMING network via ethernet. I have read your comments and in turn have two questions:

     

    1. You mention all three routers must be connected via ethernet in order to create a suitable ROAMING network. Does this hold true even if my primary router (Actiontec provided by Verizon) is connected via COAXIAL (vs. ethernet) to the ONT (ie: MoCA

    - http://www.ehow.com/info_8752161_type-coaxial-fios.html)

     

    2. In the event that I am able to wirelessly "EXTEND" vs. being forced to create "Roaming" network; is "Roaming" the preferred configuration or is wirelessly "Extending" the network optimal?

  • 11. Re: Previous gen airport express to extend wireless network from latest gen airport extreme station
    Sajid Ansari Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    My setup is the same as your's with the FiOS actiontec modem/router combo.  The COAX connected to the router is the standard connection to get your internal network connected to the external network (internet), so that's fine and won't impact the ability to create a roaming network.

     

    Roaming is better because it's using ethernet as the source to extend the network and not repeating a wireless signal.  So if you have ethernet connections at locations where u want to extend your network, by all means, use those.

     

    Here is what I did and I now have a blazing wifi network

     

    1.)  I scrapped my old old airport express.  It isn't compatible with the airport utlity 6.0 software and I was sure if it was doing anything.  I am using ONLY the newest model airports.  To save money, you can use the airport express for expanding your wifi network and don't need the extreme unless u want the 4 outport connections and want to share a hard drive.  You can also look to buy used on ebay or amazon.

     

    2.)  Turn OFF the wireless radio in your FiOS router.  Just use the airports for all wireless.

     

    3.)  Plug in one of your airports to your network (via ethernet) and power it on.

     

    4.)  Using airport utility, reset the airport to factory settings and set it up to create a wireless network.

     

    5.)  Plug in the next airport via ethernet at the location where you want to extend and power on (or if you don't have an ethernet connection, simply power the airport on).

     

    6.)  On the airport utility, reset that airport to factory settings, and then set it up to extend the network you created in step 4.  The utility is smart enough to default to this setting, so it should be a simple matter of hitting OK.  The utliity will extend the network via roaming (if the airport is plugged in via etherent) or will extend it via wireless (if airport is not plugged in via ethernet).

     

    7.)  repeat stels 5-6 for any additional airports.

     

    Following these steps, I am getting full usage of my 50 mbps external internet download speed and about 100 mbps of internal download speeds all throguhout my 3 level house.  The airport utility makes things super easy, and pretty much does all the work for you.  THe main thing is starting fresh, and following the steps on the utility set up and all will be well!  Hope this helps!!

  • 12. Re: Previous gen airport express to extend wireless network from latest gen airport extreme station
    ToddSanders Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks a million for taking the time to provide such a thorough response.  Huge Help

  • 13. Re: Previous gen airport express to extend wireless network from latest gen airport extreme station
    heith704 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I just had this same issue.  After several hours....I finally got a "roaming network" to work using a Time Capsule and older Airport Express...

    The main issue I was missing using the old AE...they have to be set to "create a wireless network".

    So in short...

    Connect AE to TC using ethernet.

    Then, on AE, set up "create a wireless network" using ethernet in the settings.  Essentially you are "tricking" the older AE's.  You can use the old or new airport utility for this.

    Then, as is said in the above responses, everything must be the same in the "new network" settings. 

    Now, as I roam around the house my ipad will switch from access point to access point within the same network.  I have even been able to take my laptop from one location to another, while the access point changes, and still remain connected to my corporate VPN.  (I know this because I run airport utility and I can watch the wireless clients change from one access point to another).

     

    Hope this helps.  BTW, on older AE you can use N but not 5 ghz.  They only had 2.4 ghz.  I set them up in utility to only run N.  I don't have any older 2.4 devices. 

  • 14. Re: Previous gen airport express to extend wireless network from latest gen airport extreme station
    idktech Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have a Question regarding network loads and this extension of wireless network coverage. Am I correct in hypothesizing that in the extended network all network traffic is routed through the Initial Apple Wireless device (weather a AE or TC) but in the roaming model the load balancing of the network would happen at the router IMHO better servicing and balancing than sending ALL Traffic thru ONE device.

     

    Please Advise?!?

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