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mapexvenus Level 1 (30 points)
Can the Airport Express be used to extend the range of my wireless network? My home network is powered by a Linksys router and the Airport Express is used to stream music. I would like to know if and how the airport express can be used to extend range in this current setup.

thanks in advance!

15" Macbook Pro 2.2 Ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.7), 320 GB HDD / 4 GB RAM / iPhone 3G 16 GB / Apple TV 160GB
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (95,495 points)
    Welcome to the discussions!

    "Can the Airport Express be used to extend the range of my wireless network?"

    Most likely, this is not possible due to compatibility issues between manufacturers.

    The AirPort Express will "extend" the wireless network only if the network was created by another Apple base station, so your Linksys would not be compatible for this purpose.

    There are a very few Linksys models that are compatible with a WDS (Wireless Distribution System), but this type of setup will cut the bandwidth on your network by 50% for each Express.

    Shown as compatible for WDS are the Linksys WRT54G or WRT54GS (but not the latest version 5).
  • Kappy Level 10 (263,335 points)
    Depends on what your router supports. Most routers will support configuring a WDS network in which the AEX can be used simply to extend an existing network. See the user manual for your router regarding the configuration. This will generally require reconfiguring the AEX from the Mac to use it as a WDS remote.
  • G Henry Taylor Level 1 (40 points)
    I have an Airport Extreme (UFO) G that is my router located in Family Room (basement). I've purchased a AEX N router and want to extend my network to get better reception upstairs. House has no ethernet wiring, so this appears to be my best option. How might I go about this. Any and all help greatly appreciated.
  • Kappy Level 10 (263,335 points)
    The easiest solution is to configure the AEX to extend an existing network. The Extreme router should be configured to allow the network to be extended. If this is not supported by the Extreme router (I have the later AEBSs, so I am not familiar with yours) then the general option is to configure the Extreme to create a WDS network with the AEX configured as a WDS remote.

    Once you get this configured and working you will need to find the best location to provide proper connection strength between the Extreme, AEX, and the upstair's computer.
  • G Henry Taylor Level 1 (40 points)
    Yes, that worked. I have the AEX tied to my UFO via ethernet, and acting as extender. Is there a way to do this without ethernet cable? I'm going to have to run ethernet from basement to upstairs to truly extend the signal. I have multiple computers and an iPhone and iTouch plus a couple of Newtons to use the network. I would really like to place the AEX upstairs.
  • Kappy Level 10 (263,335 points)
    It works wired or wireless. You do not need an Ethernet cable for either computer.
  • G Henry Taylor Level 1 (40 points)
    Sorry I wasn't clear in my previous post. What I mean, is there a way to Not run an ethernet cable from my UFO router to my AEX and still boost my wi-fi signal.
  • Kappy Level 10 (263,335 points)
    You were clear. As I said you can use the AEX with or without the Ethernet cable. In fact the primary point of the AEX is to extend the network wirelessly. I really don't know why you have it connected via Ethernet cable.
  • G Henry Taylor Level 1 (40 points)
    The reason I connect the UFO and the AEX is Airport Utility will not see the AEX without a connection.No connection, no AEX in Utility. No AEX in Utility, can't set up as extension. I suspect I'm doing something wrong with the AEX, but for the life of me, I can't see it.
  • G Henry Taylor Level 1 (40 points)
    OK, I had to reset the AEX for my AirPort Utility to see it not tethered via ethernet cable. I was able to set up my AEX and now I can extend my network upstairs. Thanks for your help. I hope to do my part and give help in return. Thanks again.
  • tony from suffolk Level 1 (0 points)
    On a similar problem, I've just bought an Airport Express to extend my wireless network, but it appears this won't do so in combination with my recently-purchased Time Capsule which I use for my wireless base station? The Utility doesn't seem to allow me the option to set this up.

    I also wanted to plug an ethernet cable into the Express & use this connection to enable my BluRay player to access the internet, but this doesn't work either - it just scrambles the Airport's settings & I have to reset. I'm not doing very well at the moment...

    Any help and advice would be much appreciated!
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (95,495 points)
    Please check to confirm that you have these settings:

    For The Time Capsule, open AirPort Utility, click Manual Setup
    Click the Wireless tab below the row of icons
    Depending on your version the Time Capsule the settings are either on this main page or under Options
    Make sure there is a check mark next to "Allow this network to be extended"
    Update to save changes

    For the Express, open Airport Utility, click Manual Setup
    Click the Wireless tab
    Make sure your Wireless Mode is set to "Extend a wireless network". If you don't see this option, hold down the option key when clicking the selection box.
    Select the wireless network created by the TC to extend and you may need to enter your wireless password
    Make sure there is a check mark next to "Allow wireless clients"

    The ethernet port will be active in the settings above, so you will be able to plug into your BluRay player.

    I'm assuming you have an AirPort Express(n) when you say you just bought the device.
  • tony from suffolk Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for your help Bob, I'll give this a try tomorrow; good to know it'll work!
  • mapexvenus Level 1 (30 points)
    Does extending range using Airport Express + Airport Extreme degrade network performance?
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