4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 27, 2010 5:46 PM by Ivan-P
Ivan-P Level 1 (0 points)
Question regarding setting up a wireless network in the home.

I currently have the following Apple wireless networking products:

Time Capsule - Model A1254
Airport Extreme - Latest model
Airport Express - Model A1084 (older model unit)

I also have a Verizon router with wireless capabilities.

I am trying to provide wireless coverage throughout my entire home. The Verizon router is in the basement, and I have the wireless portion turned off.

I have ethernet running to my office on the first floor from the Verizon router in the basement as well as ethernet running to the second floor. In my office I put the Time Capsule, while the Airport Extreme is on the second floor.

Since both the Time Capsule and the Airport Extreme have ethernet providing their internet connection, I am curious to know what is the best way to set them up to provide wireless support to laptops.

Should they both be configured with the same SSID but with different channels? Should they be configured with different SSIDs? What settings will provide the most seamless (Apple-like) experience? What will provide the best bandwidth?

Lastly, should I set up the Airport Express with WDS? Should I ditch it altogether since it bottlenecks the performance of the WDS main router?

Any advice would be appreciated!


Only macs... no PCs here., Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,269 points)
    +Should they both be configured with the same SSID but with different channels?+

    Yes, if you want one "large" network. A laptop could "roam" around the house and automatically pick up the strongest signal.

    No, if you want two separate wireless networks. In this case, you would need to switch networks depending on the location of your laptop in relation to the nearest router.

    Make sure both the Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme are configured with their Connection Sharing setting to "Off (Bridge Mode)".

    The ethernet backbone on your network will provide for the best possible bandwidth...much better than if you try to extend using wireless only.

    +should I set up the Airport Express with WDS?+

    Ideally, you would set the AirPort Express up the same as the Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme...using ethernet to the AirPort Express. WDS will kill your bandwidth on the wireless network, cutting it in half. If you can't connect the AirPort Express using ethernet, you will probably be much better off simply not using it.
  • Ivan-P Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the quick response. I will go ahead and set the Time Capsule and Airport Extreme to the same SSIDs and with different channels.

    With regard to the Airport Express, I'm not sure if I understand you correctly. I have tried plugging the Express directly into the ethernet backbone through the port on the device. However, the Airport Express will not use that port to share the internet.

    Rather, as I understand it, the Express will always get it's network access wirelessly, and then share it with that ethernet port. The airport express will not get its access through the port and then share this with a wireless network.

    I have tried in the past to do this without success. It is one of the reasons I purchased the Airport Extreme this past month. I tried to plug the Express into the ethernet and have it act as a wireless access point. However, since it was not in range of the rest of the network, it failed to work.

    Did I have it configured incorrectly?

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,269 points)
    If you have the AX plugged into the ethernet backbone, you would configure the AX to "create a wireless network".

    The WDS setting is only used if you are trying to make a connection to another router using wireless only, not ethernet. You will need to configure the AX as a "bridge" just like your other devices.

    Connection Sharing = "Off (Bridge Mode)".

    All of your routers will be set to "create a wireless network". You will not use "extend", or "WDS" settings at all on any of them. Are you clear on this?
  • Ivan-P Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your advice. I've got them all set up now and the wireless network is working flawlessly now.