5 Replies Latest reply: Apr 15, 2008 7:14 PM by shutyourpiehole was taken
art4mad Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
I have been spending a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to set up a multiple AEBS network in my home. The goal is to create as fast a network as possible (isn't it always?) but not just for the DSL internet connection. We often transfer large video files and other large files between computers. I have one main AEBS in my basement studio with my Mac Pro hardwired via Ethernet . I have one remote AEBS on the same floor in a home theater as an Ethernet hub for internet AV equipment and one on the main floor which is both the extender to allow the top floor computers to get a good signal as well as acting as an Ethernet port for more internet ready AV stuff (XBox, HD DVD, etc).

The network has three goals. First, to share the DSL internet connection between all computers in a large house. Second, to allow us to transfer files between computers as quickly as possible. Third, the two remote base stations are used as the hubs for the hardwired AV equipment.

Originally I set it up as a WDS network, but after scouring the boards here I have learned that bandwidth is seriously compromised by using WDS with additional AEBSs. Last night I switched to the "extend the network" form of WDS which is "N" only (although airport utility still says the base stations are 802.11n (B&G). This setup results in a "Double NAT" error on the main base station but I also learned here that is something that can just be ignored... although no one seems able to tell me if it affects any network functionality. I finally got it all working again, even with the Double NAT error. It took two hard resets of all three base stations to do it.

Now I am thinking it might be better to set up a roaming network by hooking all the AEBSs together via Ethernet. It's possible, if I run a long cable from BS 1 to BS 2 in the theater, then daisy chain from BS 2 to BS 3 directly above in the main floor entertainment room.

My questions are:

1. Is that going to be worth it? Does bandwidth decrease happen via ethernet communication between base stations just like it does over WDS? Will my network be faster this way?

2. Can you daisy chain multiple AEBSs like I described, or do each need to be connected directly to the main AEBS that is acting as the dhcp server?

MacPro 3 GHz Core Duo- 17" MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • Henry B. Level 9 Level 9 (78,690 points)
    The absolute fastest network will be with all Base Stations connected together via ethernet cable, and doing so will result in no compromise of your network's wireless network access speed.

    All base stations should be cabled together via their LAN ports (not the WAN port) in "daisy chain" fashion. Alternatively, an ethernet cable can be run from each base station's LAN port back to a LAN port on the main base station - or any other combination. All base stations except the main base station should be configured for "bridge mode" - either their built in router/DHCP server turned off. For a true roaming network, all base stations should be configured to transmit a wireless network of the same name, security protocol, and password.
  • art4mad Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Thank you!
  • art4mad Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Sorry... one more question. I read here on the forums that it's best to set each AEBS to a different channel and as far apart as possible because they might interfere with one another. No mention of that in the "Designing Airport Networks" manual. Is that the case? With three base stations, I can only get so far apart. Would channels 1, 6 and 11 be adequate?
  • Henry B. Level 9 Level 9 (78,690 points)
    Yes that will be adequate - provided there are no other wireless networks in range of yours.
  • shutyourpiehole was taken Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Hello, I too have been struggling to set up a roaming network and am not completely clear. I have 5 static ip addresses & assigned one to my Time Capsule. I use the others for servers, DirecTv networking etc. I connected the additional AEBS via ethernet to TimeCapsule LAN ports and set each to create a network but used the same name for all. I also used bridge mode. My question is this - Airport Utility says that a "Roaming" network requires a range of static IP addresses and DHCP is not an option. If that is true, is there a work around?