4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 30, 2009 2:31 PM by Greg Smith7
Greg Smith7 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Is it possible to connect one ethernet cable from one Airport Extreme to the wan port of another extreme and have each work together on a WDS network? I ask because I have encountered a situations as follows:
- Cable modem connected to an airport extreme. Laptop directly close to that extreme will receive 30 MB/s downloads
- Another airport extreme a distance away configured for WDS and working properly, but the same download test renders 1.5 MB/s

Same computer, same network, etc. Both extreme stations are the same model. So the question is what is the best way install a backbone between the two stations that will not result in performance degradation.

I also have several Airport Expresses on the WDS for Printer sharing. All collaboration is working, but want to resolve the performance issues for computers connecting wireless on the network.

Xeon Quad, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • 1. Re: Airport daisy chain
    John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (36,305 points)
    You may be mixing your terminology a bit. Here's an excerpt from the Designing Airport Networks manual:

    You can connect additional Apple wireless devices to extend the range of your wireless network. For example, you can connect an AirPort Extreme Base Station or a Time Capsule using Ethernet. A network with devices connected using Ethernet is known as a roaming network. You can also connect Apple wireless devices wirelessly. Connecting devices wirelessly creates what is known as a Wireless Distribution System (WDS).


    From your description it sounds like you want to create a roaming network and not a WDS. In that case, you'll daisy chain one AEBS LAN port to another's LAN port - not the WAN port. Read page 40 of that manual to describe how to set up each base station.

    Your Express units should be configured to "join" your existing network. That way they'll act as wireless clients for the printer sharing you want.

    Since you'll be eliminating your present WDS, be prepared to completely reconfigure your network from scratch, including possibly deleting your existing printer queues and creating new ones.

    I wouldn't have thought an all-"n" WDS network would experience the performance degradation you're seeing, but I don't have one so I can't say for sure. You might want to investigate whether everything is working properly before making this change.
  • 2. Re: Airport daisy chain
    Greg Smith7 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks you for your response. The Expresses are not all "n", but they are only used for the printers. I used WDS since those devices are remote from ethernet connections. I was hoping for essentially a hybrid approach that would allow the WDS configuration to handle those remote locations while creating a roaming network between the Extreme's. That might be wishful thinking. I will read the pages referenced again to see if such concept is mentioned. Thanks again for your insight.
  • 3. Re: Airport daisy chain
    John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (36,305 points)
    The Expresses are not all "n", ...

    Oh! That would explain the magnitude of your performance degradation.
    I used WDS since those devices are remote from ethernet connections. I was hoping for essentially a hybrid approach that would allow the WDS configuration to handle those remote locations while creating a roaming network between the Extreme's.

    The configuration I suggested should work without a significant performance penalty. The Extremes will continue to provide the wireless access points throughout the coverage area you want without the throughput penalty of a WDS. The Expresses, configured to join this wireless network, can continue to serve as wireless printer access points. They don't have to be wired.

    Whether a the mere presence of a non-"n" Express on your network will still cause an overall slowdown, I don't know. One of the Top Users over there on the right may know for sure. I suggest you leave any non-"n" Expresses out of this new configuration at first, then install and configure them and see if and where any slowdown occurs.

    Again, once you connect your roaming network be prepared to reconfigure everything from scratch. Nothing will work at first, of that I'm sure.
  • 4. Re: Airport daisy chain
    Greg Smith7 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Many thanks for your information. I too an not sure if the Expresses are impacting performance. I might take a two step approach - reconfigure the network and replace all non-"n" expresses with "n" expresses. That way I can ensure all components are at least of the same level and then work further on performance if issues surface.

    Again, thanks for your input.