Skip navigation

Can't get Airport Extreme to extend my network

688 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 2, 2014 4:03 AM by grayphone RSS
davegort77 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 30, 2012 4:28 PM

I can't get my airport extreme to extend my Virgin Media super hub network. Each time I try, it says there was an error. Please can anyone help?

AirPort Extreme 802.11n (5th Gen), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (47,520 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 30, 2012 5:28 PM (in response to davegort77)

    If your goal is to have a wireless connection between them to extend the Virgin Media's wireless network, then this won't work as the two are incompatible. You can only extend another AirPort (Express, Extreme, or Time Capsule) wirelessly with an Extreme.

  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (47,520 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 1, 2012 10:29 AM (in response to davegort77)

    I don't understand why it shouldn't be compatible though when the Apple site says: "AirPort Extreme works with... ...and virtually all 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi wireless devices — all at the same time."

    I can understand where you were "mis-led" on that statement. While it is true that the AirPorts with "virtually all" wireless devices for basic communications, it does NOT work with ALL devices for the more advanced features like extending a wireless network. This is not unique with Apple products. You will find the same for just about any vendors' products. For advanced features they are only designed to work with the like vendor's products.


    What I'm trying to do is boost the signal from the Virgin router which is on the ground floor of our three storey house. So, if I bought an Airport Express, and connected this via Ethernet cable to the Virgin Media super hub, would the Extreme then boost that signal upstairs?

    In theory yes. I say that because the Extreme will only repeat the signal it receives from the Express at the bandwidth that it receives it. So the term "boost" needs a bit of clarification. The Extreme should boost the signal strength, but NOT boost the bandwidth. That means, that any clients connected to the Extreme, should be able to connect because of the strong signal, but they may not get decent bandwidth (speed) performance due to Wi-Fi interference between floors.


    The best way to test this is to make Signal-to-Noise (SNR) measurements at the location upstairs that you wish to place the Extreme. For this test, leave the Extreme where it is, but use a laptop to take the measurements where you plan on placing the Extreme. If the laptop gets SNR reading greater than 25+ dBm then you can expect a reasonble good chance that the Extreme can successfully extend the Express with enough bandwidth for even things like streaming.


    Please check out the following AirPort User Tip for details on how to take these measurements.

  • pairof9s Level 2 Level 2 (180 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 3, 2014 5:12 AM (in response to Tesserax)

    I know I'm a little late to this conversation, but thought I'd add my issue.


    I've moved into my new wife's house which already has a belkin wireless router set up to her cable modem. I was able to extend the network with my older Airport Extreme (flat rectangle design). It works perfectly.


    However, I have been unable to get my new Airport Extreme (tower model) to extend the network likewise. It worked perfectly at my house being the base station; but despite having the "extend a wireless network" option, it does not hold.


    So to expand on davegort77's point, I'm not clear on why the older Airport Extreme base can extend the Belkin but the newer Airport Extreme base...unless this is one of Apple's classic feature removal upgrades!

  • grayphone Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2014 4:03 AM (in response to davegort77)

    I had this same problem.  I fixed it by adding the extreme as a new network.  When it got added it came back with issues of duplicate NAT, which I quickly resolved, it then complained about duplicate DNS names resolution server.  Turing both these off fixed the comparability issues.  This solution does mean I have 2 separate wifi hotspots in my house, but it all works seamlessly.


    The reason I did this was because the virgin hub only does 2.4 or 5 GHz but not both.  My lodger has a PS4 and that was 2.4GHz only which meant I had to run the whole network slower (10Mbs instead of 40Mbs !).  Adding a new network hotspot with an extreme means he can connect at 2.4 whilst I can max out the virgin hub.


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.