4 Replies Latest reply: Feb 4, 2008 11:44 AM by neptune2000
Garrett Murray Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
Help me solve a problem: I currently have an Airport Extreme Base Station (N) in my office, which is about 30 feet away from my television, Xbox 360, et al. The AEBS is currently serving wifi in mixed N/G/B mode, because everything in the entertainment center (save the Apple TV), and my iPhone, is only G capable. Of course, this creates a far slower network. I’d like to have everything in the living room, particularly the Xbox 360 and Apple TV, running as fast as they can because I play Xbox Live and I sync loads of content to the Apple TV (and imagine syncing more in the future with rentals and HD stuff).

Today, my Xbox wireless adapter died. It will cost $99 to replace. That made me realize that now is the time to either buck up and buy a replacement, or spend a little more and solve my problem.

I cannot run ethernet cable to the living room, unfortunately. That’d be my best option, but it’s out.

Here’s what I propose, but I don’t know if it will work: I switch my current AEBS to N-only mode and then I buy another AEBS and have it set to extend the current network and place it behind the TV. I plug the Xbox, TiVo and PS3 directly into the new AEBS. The base station only has three ethernet ports, so I wouldn’t be able to plug the Wii in. But, to be honest, I very rarely use the internet features of the Wii so I might be willing to sacrifice them.

Of course, this also means the iPhone won’t have wifi in the apartment. But at this point, if it’s the only thing holding me back from having a good, solid connection to Xbox live and such, I’m willing to use EDGE in the apartment.

I could also get a non-Apple wifi router and use that instead. My fear with that is that it won’t play nice, as I’ve experienced in the past. Does anyone out there have good advice?

Remember: The goal is to get all of the stuff in my living room hooked up to the fastest possible connection (in this case, ethernet on an N network).

24-inch iMac 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • DaddyPaycheck Level 6 Level 6 (16,035 points)
    Hi Garrett Murray-

    This should be helpful: Designing AirPort Networks Using AirPort Utility

    Page 48.


  • art4mad Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Garrett- I did this exact thing in my home... used a second base AEBS and expanded the network with WDS, plugging in th Xbox, HD-DVD player and Wii. It worked so well I added a third one in my basement for my home theater.

    However I read in a different thread here that using multiple AEBS in a WDS seriously reduces bandwidth and network speed.

    Can anybody verify that? Garrett is looking to keep that "N' speed.
  • neptune2000 Level 3 Level 3 (670 points)
    I had the same problem and have a complete solution for you:

    1. buy the second AEBSn
    2. Buy a cheap ($30) 802.11G router
    3. Buy an 8-port switch (another $30-$40)
    4. Set the AEBSn-s to use 802.11n-only at 5Ghz.

    5. Connect the 802.11 G router to one of the ethernet ports of the "base station", not the extended. You have to configure this router as a "bridge", no NAT, no DHCP. This will provide service to your iPhone and other 802.11G devices.

    6. Connect the switch to one of the ethernet ports on the "extended" AEBSn.

    7. connect all your "wired" devices to the switch.

    Notice that your wireless network will NOT work at "n" speeds, but at about 1/3 of that, since when you "extend" the network that is a performance penalty. You 'll end up with about 108 Mbps (vs. the 54Mbps of 802.11g). Still better, but not quite the 300 Mbps that you will get with a single AEBSn using "n" devices only.

    I can recommend both the switch and the 80211.G router, if you wish, but many will work.
  • neptune2000 Level 3 Level 3 (670 points)
    art4mad wrote:

    However I read in a different thread here that using multiple AEBS in a WDS seriously reduces bandwidth and network speed.

    That is correct. When you extend the network you move from a maximum of 300 Mbps to about 108 Mbps. You mileage will vary.

    Can anybody verify that? Garrett is looking to keep that "N' speed.

    There is NO way to do that will multiple AEBSns. The only way to do that is to use a single AEBSn, set up in 802.11n-only, 5 GHz, which of course will connect ONLY to 802.11n devices.