8 Replies Latest reply: Jan 7, 2011 9:33 PM by Bob Timmons
Jeki Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I've tried searching other posts for the solution but I can't seem to find the answer. I have 2 Airport Extremes. I have one connected upstairs and it currently hosts my network. I have an ethernet wire running from it to the downstairs already. I would like to plug the second Airport Extreme downstairs so I have full signal strength downstairs as well. I know some people recommend using an Airport Express to extend your network but I also read that they do not support N and G at the same time. It will just downgrade to G. So I thought this extra Extreme I have would be a good solution. I will be running both Wireless N (Apple TV) and Wireless G (Tivo, etc.) devices downstairs and would like to preserve the N speed for the devices that use it and be compatible with the Wireless G devices like the TIVOs (the tivo model I have does not accept anything higher than G).

So is there a proper way to plug it in and configure it so it just works as an extension to my main network providing both Wireless N and Wireless G to my downstairs devices? I am not a network genius by any stretch of the imagination so if you could please respond in a "user friendly way it would be greatly appreciated

MacPro 8-Core, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (91,765 points)
    Jeki, welcome to the discussion area!

    You'll be configuring what is known as a "roaming" network because computers will be able to "roam" from one area to another and automatically connect to the AirPort Extreme (AEBS) with the strongest signal.

    The basics of this type of configuration are that you will configure the downstairs AEBS as a "bridge" to "create a wireless network" using the same wireless network name, security settings and password as your upstairs AEBS.

    So, before we start, you will need to retrieve some settings from the upstairs AEBS to be used when we setup the downstairs AEBS.

    o On the upstairs AEBS, open Airport Utility and click Manual Setup.
    o Click the Wireless tab below the row of icons
    o Note the settings for Wireless Network Name, Radio Mode, and Security
    o Close AirPort Utility

    On the downstairs AEBS, power it up and hold in the reset button on the back until you see the amber light begin to blink more quickly. Hold another 3-4 seconds and then release the reset button.

    o Connect the ethernet cable to the WAN (circle icon) port on the downstairs AEBS
    o Open AirPort Utility and click Manual Setup for the downstairs AEBS
    o Click the Base Station tab below the row of icons to name your device, establish a device password and adjust Time Zone settings

    o Click the Wireless tab next to the Base Station tab
    o Wireless Mode = Create a wireless network
    o Wireless Network Name = Same name as the upstairs AEBS
    o Radio Mode = Same settings at the upstairs AEBS or you choice
    o Channel = Automatic
    o Wireless Security = Same setting as the upstairs AEBS
    o Wireless Password = Same password as the upstairs AEBS
    o Confirm Password

    o Click the Internet icon
    o Connect Using = Ethernet
    o Connection Sharing = Off (Bridge Mode)
    o Click Update at lower right to save settings and restart the AEBS

    o Wait a moment for the green light on the downstairs AEBS, then power it off.
    o Power off everything else on the network...all devices. Wait a moment.
    o Power up the modem first, let it run 3-4 minutes
    o Power up the upstairs AEBS the same way
    o Power up the downstairs AEBS the same way
    o Power up your other devices

    Please post on your results.
  • Jeki Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    This is excellent information. Thank you for your quick response. I will give it a try and post the results.

    One last question if you don't mind. My TIVOs only accept WEP (they will not accept WPA). My upstairs network is all on WPA/WPA Personal. Is there a way to set the downstairs Airport Extreme to WEP or do the two Extremes need to be the same for this to work? I'd like to keep the upstairs on WPA so I don't have to go and change all the wireless devices that are currently hooked up to it.

    I also have an old Airport Base Station (first edition) that I could introduce into this mix if I need to just to host the TIVOs on a separate network. I'm up for anything.
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (91,765 points)
    My TIVOs only accept WEP (they will not accept WPA). My upstairs network is all on WPA/WPA Personal. Is there a way to set the downstairs Airport Extreme to WEP or do the two Extremes need to be the same for this to work?


    The security settings must match up exactly if you want computers to be able to move from one area to another and stay on the same network. If you setup the upstairs using WPA and downstairs using WEP, you'll have two separate networks that will each require a separate log on. If you don't mind switching networks on your laptop from time to time when you are moving around the house, this may be your best compromise. In this case, it might be simpler to also assign a different name to each network.

    I also have an old Airport Base Station (first edition) that I could introduce into this mix if I need to just to host the TIVOs on a separate network. I'm up for anything.


    This would allow you to setup both the newer upstairs and downstairs AEBS devices identically. For the old Base Station, connect it to one of the LAN ports on either router and setup a network with WEP security for those devices. You could use the same wireless network name or a different name, your choice there.
  • bg1999 Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    Bob,

    I'm attempting the same setup as Jeki so I'd like to ask a related question.

    I also want to add a wired iMac and a wired MBP to the remote Extreme. Do I need to do anything special so DHCP does not clash with my main Extreme and other devices on the home network? I believe I should turn off DHCP on the second Extreme so the main Extreme issues the IPs for these wired devices but I'm not sure how to do that.

    Thanks,

    bg
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (91,765 points)
    Do I need to do anything special so DHCP does not clash with my main Extreme and other devices on the home network?


    No worries there.

    I believe I should turn off DHCP on the second Extreme so the main Extreme issues the IPs for these wired devices but I'm not sure how to do that


    Correct. That's why the setup specified that the second Extreme is setup in Bridge Mode. DHCP is turned off when a device is in Bridge Mode.
  • bg1999 Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    Perfect.

    Thanks!
  • Jeki Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you Bob,

    Your solution was exactly what I was looking for. Easy to follow and everything worked like a charm. I can now take my wireless devices throughout the house and have full signal strength. I did keep the old Airport Base Station on its own network to serve the TIVOs (plugged into the Downstairs AEBS via an Ethernet cable). Everything is working great. Thanks so much for the help.
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (91,765 points)
    You are most welcome!