1 Reply Latest reply: May 2, 2009 6:46 PM by John Galt
edavies Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I am trying to set up an Airport Extreme and multiple Airport Expresses (to support AirTunes, as well as to boost signal strength throughout a large building), all tied back to the Internet through a Comcast-supplied Cisco CDP 3000 cable modem. In my old house, I had all of this working just fine, with the only two differences being that the Expresses tied back to the Extreme wirelessly (whereas I now have them tied in via hardwired Ethernet connections) and the Comcast device was an Arris cable modem.

Here's what's happening. I can (usually) get the Extreme and one Express up and running, though sometimes the Airport utility will only show one of the two devices in the list of found devices. As soon as I power up a second Express (and regardless of whether I power cycle the cable modem and other Airports), I either lose Internet connectivity, or the second Express simply isn't found by the Airport Utility. Also, sometimes, one of the Expresses will seem to forget that its supposed to be extending the Extreme's network and will try to issue itself an IP address of 10.0.1.1, causing an address conflict. Sometimes, but not always, I'll get an error message which allows me to remind the Express that it should be in bridge mode.

In terms of how things are cabled together, I've tried lots of variations, including having everything connected to a D-Link gigabit Ethernet switch. I've tried having the modem connected to the WAN port of the Extreme, and the Expresses hung off the Extreme's LAN ports. I've tried having the modem connected directly to the Extreme, one of the Extreme's LAN ports plugged into the D-Link switch, and the Expresses into the D-Link. I've tried having all of the devices -- modem, Extreme, and Expresses -- plugged into the D-Link switch. The only thing I haven't yet tried is to fall back to doing things wirelessly, since the whole point of running Ethernet cable in my new house was to get the benefit of gigabit Ethernet to support AirTunes alongside other network-intensive activities.

Does anyone have any advice or insight into what I should be doing differently to get this configuration to work? There's no reason I shouldn't be able to have multiple Expresses connected via Ethernet to an Extreme, is there?

Thanks so much for any and all help!

Regards,

Eric


Despite resetting all the Airports to their factory defaults and

iMac, MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6), Airport Extreme, Airport Express
  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (40,975 points)
    Welcome to the discussions forum edavies.
    ... In my old house, I had all of this working just fine, with the only two differences being that the Expresses tied back to the Extreme wirelessly (whereas I now have them tied in via hardwired Ethernet connections) ...

    ... Also, sometimes, one of the Expresses will seem to forget that its supposed to be *extending the Extreme's network*


    Stop right there! In your previous configuration, you had the Expresses connected to the Extreme wirelessly. Now you've connected them to the Extreme via Ethernet, via the D-Link switch or directly to the Extreme (doesn't matter).

    First of all, this is a "roaming network", and is a very desirable configuration. But this is very different from your previous "extended network". It will require that you reconfigure each Express.

    Sometimes, but not always, I'll get an error message which allows me to remind the Express that it should be in bridge mode.


    That's a hint. Take it. Set connection sharing to "off" (bridge mode). Each Express should be on a different wireless channel too. Set that to "automatic" and let them figure it out for themselves. You should refer to the Apple AirPort Networks manual. Roaming is described on page 42.

    I've tried lots of variations, including having everything connected to a D-Link gigabit Ethernet switch. I've tried having the modem connected to the WAN port of the Extreme, and the Expresses hung off the Extreme's LAN ports. I've tried having the modem connected directly to the Extreme, one of the Extreme's LAN ports plugged into the D-Link switch, and the Expresses into the D-Link.


    Any one of those configurations will work. You decide what's best depending on the locations of each device and how much cable you want to run. The only absolutes are: plug the modem into the Extreme's WAN port, and use its LAN ports for everything else, including the switch if you need to. The switch is necessary only if you run out of LAN ports. If you bought a D-Link DGS-2205 or 2208 switch, it's a good one.

    The only thing I haven't yet tried is to fall back to doing things wirelessly, since the whole point of running Ethernet cable in my new house was to get the benefit of gigabit Ethernet to support AirTunes alongside other network-intensive activities.


    You're correct, and on the right track - just reconfigure the Expresses and you'll be very pleased with the performance of your roaming network.