6 Replies Latest reply: Apr 8, 2011 6:57 PM by Andybush
daveb975 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have just installed an Apple Airport Extreme to replace my previous router. It works very well, but due to the layout of my house, I need to extend the wireless signal.

The Extreme is at one end of the house, I have an Airport Express which will go around the middle.

I also have a Netgear wireless access point which I used to further extend my old network, and was hoping to use this again. Will it be compatible with the Extreme/Express setup, and are there any particular settings I need to use to get it working?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (86,550 points)
    Apple's "extend a wireless network" feature appears to be a proprietary feature among Apple "n" routers. As far as we know on the forum, this feature is not compatible with the wireless routers or access points of other manufacturers.

    So, it is extremely unlikely that your Netgear wireless device will be able to fulfill the duties that you are planning.
  • daveb975 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the reply - I thought as much.

    With my old router, I was just able to login to it and each of the connected devices. I set the Netgear access point to the same SSID and password as the router and I found devices just switched to the strongest one as I walked through the house. Would have been good to do the same here.

    I will see how I get on with just one AEX extending the network before I buy another.

    On a related note, will the AEX extend both bands, or just the 2.4ghz?
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (86,550 points)
    Keep in mind that if you are using the "extend a wireless network feature", that the AirPort Extreme communicates directly to each AirPort Express that is set up to "extend". It's like the hub and spokes of a wheel. The AirPort Extreme is the hub and each AirPort Express resides at the end of a spoke. The AirPort Express devices communicate directly to the hub, not to another Express at the end of another spoke.

    In other words, you cannot "extend" a device that is already set up to "extend".

    The Airport Express is a single band device, so it will only extend one band from the Express. It will compare the 2.4 GHz signal and 5 GHz signal that it receives and extend the band with the best signal quality. This will probably be the 2.4 GHz band if the Express is located some distance from the Extreme or you have several walls in a ceiling in the signal path.

    That's because 5 Ghz signals are not as strong as 2.4 GHz signals so they are absorbed more quickly if there are any obstructions in the signal path.

    You could extend both bands with an AirPort Extreme if it was located where it could receive a strong signal from the "main" AirPort Extreme.
  • daveb975 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks again. I was not really thinking about it like that! I have recently put together a Sonos network which uses a 'Mesh' system where each device actually strenghens the overall network. I was(incorrectly) thinking that these devices work the same.

    I do still get a signal from the Extreme at the far end of the house, so I hope by putting an Express there, I will be able to extend the signal out into the garden. I will test this with my existing Express before buying a second one!
  • daveb975 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    My Airport Express does not seem to extend the range anyway!

    I have the Extreme right at the front of the house, and the Express about 8 metres away through two walls. When I am in the room with the Extreme, my iPhone/iPad shows full wifi reception. When I move into the room with the Express, I am down to 1 or 2 bars, even with the device right next to it!

    The good news is that the signal from the Extreme seems to (just!) cover the whole area anyway.
  • Andybush Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Bob,
    I have a similar problem (new to the forums, so my sorry if I should have started a new thread)
    I have a imac running OS10.6.7 connected to verizon fios via a wireless router. I have apple TV gen 2, ipad & iphone all connected as well. Until the last OS update, I also had an airport express connected in "join an existing network" which I was using for airplay. After the OS update everything but the imac could not find the router. I rebooted the router & successfully reconnected everything except the router.

    I've reset the router (holding the reset button while it is plugged in) and tried to use the AirPort Utility to try to connect. I get the following error:
    AirPort Utility was unable to find your AirPort wireless device after restarting.
    The settings for this AirPort wireless device have been successfully updated, but there was a problem re-joining the wireless network or finding the AirPort wireless device. You may need to select your network from the AirPort menu and try again.

    I've tried variations of restoring to default settings, moving the express nearer to the verizon router - all without success. Any thoughts on how to correct this problem?

    Many thanks for the help.