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Airport Express & Linksys WRT54G

3186 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Nov 15, 2007 7:24 PM by Chris Kuhner RSS
mten44 Calculating status...
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Sep 10, 2007 9:37 PM
I have a Linksys WRT54G router and I would like to add an Airport Express to my network to play my iTunes through my home stereo and use the Ethernet port to get my PS3 online (no wifi). From what I've read of Apple's documentation it is only possible to set up an Airport Express as a client with a Linksys router, thus disabling the Ethernet port.

Is this correct or is there a work around to create a WDS network and use the Ethernet port on the Airport Express in conjunction with the Linksys router?

MacBook Pro 15" Intel Core 2 Duo 1.83GHz 1Gb RAM, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (47,585 points)
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    Sep 10, 2007 10:16 PM (in response to mten44)
    Hello mten44. Welcome to the Apple Discussions!

    Is this correct or is there a work around to create a WDS network and use the Ethernet port on the Airport Express in conjunction with the Linksys router?

    Most non-AirPort routers are NOT WDS compatible with the AirPorts. However, others have reported success with the Linksys WRT54G. The following is one example on how to create a WDS between the WRT54G & an AX.

    Configuring the Linksys WRT54G
    o Log into your Linksys WRT54G administration web page.
    o In a new browser window, type the router address ( This step (and the following steps) assume that you have not changed the default router address. If you have changed it from the default, then use the address you have assigned. The default administration password is admin.
    o Check the Firmware version of the router. You must be running Version level 3.01.3. The latest Linksys WRT54G Firmware can be found on Linksys' download page.
    o If you need to update your router firmware, detailed instructions for updating can be found in the Users Guide, which essentially instructs you to open the Administration tab from your Linksys configuration page, choose the Firmware Upgrade option, and following the on-screen instructions. If you need to update your firmware, make sure you restart the router.
    o While logged into the updated router using the instructions above, record the following information, which is found in the Wireless/Basic Wireless Settings:
    + Wireless Channel pulldown menu - make sure channel 11 is selected
    + SSID - (i.e., your network name, capitalization counts)
    + WEP Password (choose 128 bit, type in a passphrase, key the "Generate" button, and write down use the hexadecimal equivalent generated as Key 1)
    + Status Tab (make sure Wireless is selected) and record the MAC address listed here

    Configuring the AirPort Express
    o If you have not already performed a Factory Default Reset of the AX, do so now. This is accomplished very simply by holding in the reset button on your AirPort Express while plugging it in. Continue to hold the reset button until you see the yellow light flash green four times. This may take longer than the time recommended in the referenced instructions. Release the Reset Button and allow the unit a few seconds to cycle.
    o Connect the AirPort Express to your a Linksys WRT54G LAN port using a CAT5 ethernet cable.
    Launch the AirPort Admin Utility (not the AirPort Set-up Assistant) located in the Utilities Folder in the Applications Folder on your computer hard drive. The AirPort Admin Utility should list the Default Address name of the AX you are adding to your network to extend the range of the network using WDS.
    o Select the AX. The status light on the AX should flash.
    o Click Configure, and choose the AirPort tab on the new window.
    o Under the Base Station heading chose a name. This name will show up in the 'Select Base Station' window once your configuration is complete.
    o Contact and Location are optional, and may be left blank.
    o Under the Airport Network heading's pulldown menu choose 'Create a Wireless Network (Home Router).'
    o In the Name field, enter the SSID you copied down per the above instructions (enter it exactly, or you will create a separate network).
    o Click on Change Wireless Security.
    o Select 128 bit WEP in the pulldown menu.
    o Under Network Password, you're going to type in the Key 1 hexadecimal password proceeded by a dollar sign ($).
    o Re-enter the hexadecimal password in the Verify box.
    o Change to Channel 11.
    o Under the Internet Tab in the pulldown menu Connect Using, Choose AirPort (WDS).
    o In the MAC Address window, type in the number you recorded, as instructed above.
    o Select 'Also Allow Wireless Client Computers.'
    o Now, under Configure, you have a choice. Either select "Using DHCP, or Manually. Many people have had success using the DHCP option, however, a manual configuration is often used to overcome some networking anomalies.
    o If you choose Manually, use the following information to configure the AX:
    IP Address:
    Subnet mask:
    Router Address:
    o Under the Network tab, deselect Distribute IP addresses.
    o Under the WDS tab, check 'Enable this Base Station as a WDS.'
    o In the pulldown menu, select 'Remote Base Station.'
    o Also select 'Allow Wireless Clients on this Base Station.' If all is working as expected, the Main AirPort ID box should automatically display the MAC number you entered ealier.
    o Click Update and load your new configuration into your AX.
    o When the AX recycles, disconnect the ethernet cable between the WRT54G and the AX.
    o Unplug your AX from the power, and move it to the remote location you have selected for extending your network.
    o Plug it in to a wall outlet and after the AX resets it should display a solid Green light.
    Mac Mini Intel Core Duo, Mac OS X (10.4.10), 1.66 GHz 1 GB RAM 100 GB HD
  • goose76 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 11, 2007 12:48 PM (in response to mten44)

    I don't know if I have just been lucky, but having read various reports of people running quite happily with a linksys WR54G router and Airport Express I decided to have a go.

    Fortunately, apart from having to reboot the Airport express a couple of times I have succeeded with no problems in getting the Airport Express added to my existing wireless network.

    I would suggest just turning them on and having a go. You probably won't have to do much more than it says to do in the quick start guide...

    Toshiba Equium, Windows XP
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (47,585 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 11, 2007 2:52 PM (in response to mten44)
    does this mean I would have to go out and download a third party firmware update for my router, or am I just missing something?

    According to the original author (Frank Canzolino) of the procedure, the firmware is downloadable from Linksys. The key here is, whether or not, the firmware has WDS support. I believe WDS support is provided either by Linksys as an undocumented feature or from a third-party, like DD-WRT.

    Here are some more articles to review. Hopefully, they'll provide you want you need.

    o WDS Linked Router Network
    o AirTunes, AirPort Express, and the WRT54G
    o Linksys WRT54G, Airport Express, and WDS
    o Extend a Linksys WRT54G network via AirPort Express
    o How to extend your Linksys WRT54G with AE
    Mac Mini Intel Core Duo, Mac OS X (10.4.10), 1.66 GHz 1 GB RAM 100 GB HD
  • MattBInOttawa Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 13, 2007 6:45 PM (in response to Tesserax)
    With a few tweaks it all worked second time for me.

    Tweaks to the above notes
    - I'm running a WRT54G v5 with Linksys standard Firmware version V1.02.2 and it works fine.
    - Under the AirPort section, wireless tab, I selected
    "Wireless Mode" : "Participate in a WDS Network"

    - Under the AirPort section, WDS tab, I selected
    "WDS Mode" : "WDS Remote"
    Checked allow wireless clients
    "WDS Main" : Entered the MAC address that you took down from the Linksys
    - I didn't fiddle with anything in the Internet section.

    If you're looking for help on this subject, THIS is the thread. Ignore all the other threads on other sites about upgrading your firmware, etc, etc. At least if you have the same router as I have
  • Chris Kuhner Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2007 7:24 PM (in response to mten44)
    Is there any way to get this working with WPA/WPA2?
    G4 1.5ghz SuperDrive, Mac OS X (10.5)


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