13 Replies Latest reply: Apr 26, 2009 4:13 PM by Tesserax
TCLK Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have an Airport Extreme setup in one room at one end of my condo unit. One of my computers is in my guest room at the other end of the condo which receives my wi-fi signal that fluctuates greatly and sometimes will disappear all together for a while. I bought an Airport Express and plugged it into the wall in my guest room next to the computer. I configured the Airport Express successfully because its light is green and it appears in the panel of the Airport Setup window. But the wi-fi signal there is unchanged. What other steps I need to take? Please help. Thanks. Tom

iMac Duo Core Intel Mac 20 inch, Mac OS X (10.5.6), 4 gB RAM, 250 GB hard drive
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,260 points)
    Is your AirPort Extreme Base Station (AEBS) the newer 802.11n or older (dome-shaped) 802.11b/g version? How to configure these base stations to extend the wireless range is different based on their versions.
  • TCLK Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    It is the newer one I bought in the Fall of 2008, a white brick.
    Thanks for your help. Tom
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,260 points)
    Here are the basic steps ...
    o If practical, place the base stations in near proximity to each other during the setup phase. Once done, move them to their desired locations.
    o Open AirPort Utility and select the base station that will connect to the Internet.
    o Choose Manual Setup from the Base Station menu, or double-click the base station to open the configuration in a separate window. Enter the base station password if necessary.
    o Click AirPort in the toolbar, and then click Wireless.
    o Choose “Create a wireless network” from the Wireless Mode pop-up menu, and then select the “Allow this network to be extended” checkbox.
    o Next, select the base station that will extend this network, and choose Manual Setup from the Base Station menu, or double-click the base station to open its configuration in a separate window. Enter the base station password if necessary.
    o Choose “Extend a wireless network” from the Wireless Mode pop-up menu, and then choose the network you want to extend from the Network Name pop-up menu.
    o Enter the base station network and base station password is necessary.
    o Click Update to update the base station with new network settings.
    (ref: Page 46 of "Designing AirPort Networks Using AirPort Utility.)
  • TCLK Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for your help. I followed your instruction as much as possible. Here goes:
    • I opened Airport Utility and double clicked on the Airport Extreme icon in the left panel. A separate window opened. I clicked on the Wireless tab and selected the "Allow this network to be extended" box. Then I clicked the Update button. And I closed the window.
    • Back to the AirPort Utility window, I double clicked on the Airport Express icon in the left panel. (The Airport Express is located in the remote guest room to extend the wi-fi range.) I clicked on the Wireless tab. But unlike the window that opened for the Airport Extreme, this window does not have an "Extend a wireless network" box. In the Wireless Mode selection, I selected "Join a wireless network." Is this correct? (There are two other options: Create a wireless network and Participate in a WDS network)
    I am not sure but I think the signal strength is stronger in the guest room.
    Thanks very much for your help.
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,260 points)
    Is the AirPort Express Base Station (AX) the newer 802.11n or older 802.11b/g version?
  • TCLK Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I think Dec 2007, not sure.
    Thanks. Tom
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,260 points)
    The 802.11n version came out in March 2008, so it sounds like you have the earlier model. To double-check the 802.11n is model# A1264; the 802.11b/g is model# A1084.

    Since you will have a "mix" of AirPorts, you will not be able to take advantage of the "extend a network" feature of the newer AirPorts, instead you will need to configure these base stations for a Wireless Distribution System (WDS).

    AEBSn - WDS Setup
    (Note: To facilitate the WDS set up, place the base stations within near proximity of each other during the set up phase, and then relocate them to their desired locations when complete. Also, jot down the AirPort IDs (MAC addresses) for each of the base stations to be used in the WDS. The AirPort ID and is printed on the label on the bottom/side of the base station.)

    Main Base Station Setup - AEBSn
    o Click the AirPort status menu in the menu bar and choose the wireless network created by the AEBSn.
    o Open AirPort Utility (located in the Utilities folder in the Applications folder on a Macintosh computer, or in Start > All Programs > AirPort on a computer using Windows).
    o Select the AEBSn, and choose Manual Setup from the Base
    Station menu, or double-click the base station to open the configuration in a separate window.
    o Enter the base station password if necessary. If the base station is using the
    default password of public, you will not be prompted for a password.
    o Click Wireless in the toolbar, and then choose “Participate in a WDS network” from the Wireless Mode pop-up menu.
    o Click WDS and then choose “WDS main” from the WDS Mode pop-up menu.
    o Select the “Allow wireless clients” checkbox if you want client computer to connect to this base station.
    o Click the Add "+" button and enter the AirPort ID of the AX.
    o Click Update to send the new settings to the base stations in the WDS.

    Remote Base Station Setup - AX
    o Click the AirPort status menu in the menu bar and choose the wireless network created by the AX.
    o Open AirPort Utility.
    o Select the AX, and choose Manual Setup from the Base Station menu.
    o Enter the base station password, if necessary. If the base station is using the default password of public, you will not be prompted for a password.
    o Enter the same network password as the AEBSn, if necessary.
    o Click AirPort in the toolbar and click Wireless. Choose “Participate in a WDS network” from the Wireless Mode pop-up menu, and choose the same channel as the AEBSn from the Channel pop-up menu.
    o Click WDS and choose “WDS remote” from the pop-up menu.
    o Enter the AirPort ID of the AEBSn in the WDS Main field.
    o Click Update to transfer the settings to the base station.

    (ref: Pages 42-46 of "Designing AirPort Networks.)
  • TCLK Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks again for your help.
    I think I will buy a new Airport Express as the remote and not mix Airports to extend the range of my wi-fi. I will return here to check with you again. Thanks for your help and patience.
    The model A1084 AX will be returned to its old duty which was hooked up to my stereo set as an iTune "receiver". In this case, do I still have a mix Airport setup?
    Thanks. Tom
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,260 points)
    The model A1084 AX will be returned to its old duty which was hooked up to my stereo set as an iTune "receiver". In this case, do I still have a mix Airport setup?


    Yes, but only in the sense of connecting any 802.11b/g wireless client to your 802.11n network will reduce the overall bandwidth of the 802.11n network, but not necessarily down to the max. bandwidth of that non-"n" client. The bottom-line for performance? If you want 300+ Mbps bandwidth all of your wireless devices must support (& be operating) in the "802.11n only (5 GHz)" radio mode.
  • TCLK Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks. One more question.
    If I set up the gExpress to stream iTune to my stereo but power it down for the time period that I don't play the songs from iTune, would the new nExpress in the guest room be operating at the higher speed or not? In other words, would setting up the gExpress to be used with iTune degrade the transmission speed between the nExtreme and the nExpress, even when the gExpress is off line?
    Thanks. Tom
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,260 points)
    If I set up the gExpress to stream iTune to my stereo but power it down for the time period that I don't play the songs from iTune, would the new nExpress in the guest room be operating at the higher speed or not?


    Yes ... but remember if any other 802.11b/g wireless client (not just the AX) connects to your 802.11n network, it will affect the overall bandwidth performance of that network.

    In other words, would setting up the gExpress to be used with iTune degrade the transmission speed between the nExtreme and the nExpress, even when the gExpress is off line?


    No. The AX would not affect the 802.11n wireless network when unplugged. It would also not impact the 802.11n network if it was operating its own wireless network ... especially if you are running the 802.11n network in the 5 GHz radio band. So, theoretically, you could leave it plugged in, and then, "switch" networks when you want to stream iTunes.
  • TCLK Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks.
    I just wonder if my Verizon DSL speed (3mb/sec) is too slow to worry about whether my network is in g or n speed. What do you think?
    Thanks. Tom
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,260 points)
    Even if you were running 802.11b (11 Mbps) your WLAN will be many times faster than your current Internet service. Where you will really notice the difference is between wireless clients on the wireless network ... especially for things like transferring files between them.