11 Replies Latest reply: May 27, 2014 11:05 AM by trbianchi
Mark McCord Level 1 Level 1

I have BT Infinity's HomeHub 3 and it's working great guns but I'd like to extend the range to take advantage of Apple TV etc. Can I use my Airpot Extreme as a relay base to extend the range of the BT Home Hub?


If so, how do I do that?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10

    Sorry, but it is extremely unlikely that the AirPort Extreme would be compatible with the BT HomeHub if you are trying to extend using wireless only.


    Very few devices are known to be compatible with Apple's WDS settings. The "known" compatible devices are as follows:


    • 3com OfficeConnect ADSL Wireless 11g Firewall Router model 3crwdr100a-72 but ONLY with NO encryption
    • Belkin F5D7230-4 and F5D7231
    • BT Voyager 2091 or 2100
    • Buffalo WGR-G54
    • Linksys WRT54G or WRT54GS (not latest versions v5)
    • Netgear WGR614 v6


    If you can establish an Ethernet connect between the AirPort Extreme and the HomeHub, you have some options to create more wireless coverage that way. Post back if you need more details on this.

  • Mark McCord Level 1 Level 1

    Many thanks for your quick response. The ethernet solution sounds interesting as I really only need to extend the range up to the next floor -- a short cable would achieve that. Is there a how-to guide for that?

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10
    Is there a how-to guide for that?

    The tricky part to hooking things up this way is that you must know the exact type of wireless security settings that the HomeHub is using. If you can provide that info, I will list the configuration steps for you to get this going.


    A few examples of wireless security settings look like this:


    WPA2 - PSK - AES

    WPA - PSK - TKIP

    WPA/WPA2 Personal

    WPA2 Personal


    Do you have the older "round" or "dome" version of the AirPort Extreme, or the newer "square" version with rounded corners?

  • Mark McCord Level 1 Level 1

    The newer square version. I'll have to check the HomeHub settings later, though.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10

    That's fine. Post back when you can.

  • Mark McCord Level 1 Level 1

    Many thanks for your patience. The literature that came with the hub says the interface is wi-fi 802.11 b, g or n and the authentication is wpa-psk or wpa2-psk. Encryption type is aes of tkip


    I hope that helps

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10

    There are some good clues here. This narrows down the compatible settings on the AirPort Extreme to 2 choices, so if one does not work....try the other as noted below.


    It would be an excellent idea to first reset the AirPort Extreme (AEBS) back to factory default settings and then configure it with the new settings. To do this.....


    • Pull the power plug from the back of the AEBS
    • Wait a few minutes
    • Hold in the reset button and keep holding for another 8-10 seconds while you plug the power back into the AEBS
    • Release the reset button and allow 25-30 seconds for the AEBS to restart to a slow, blinking amber light


    Connect an Ethernet cable from one of the available LAN <-> ports on the HomeHub to the WAN port (circle of dots icon) on the AEBS


    Open Macintosh HD > Applicatons > Utilities > AirPort Utility

    Click Manual Setup


    Click the Base Station tab located below the row of icons to assign a name to the AEBS (you can use the same name that you used before), assign a device password and adjust Time Zone settings


    Click the Wireless tab next to the Base Station tab and adjust your settings to look like this:


    • Wireless Mode = Create a wireless network
    • Wireless Network Name = Exact same name as your HomeHub wireless network
    • No check mark is needed next to Allow this network to be extended
    • Radio Mode = 802.11n (b/g compatible) a good choice. Your choice otherwise.
    • Channel = Automatic
    • Wireless Security = Try WPA/WPA2 Personal first. Otherwise, try WPA2 Personal
    • Wireless Password = Same password as your HomeHub wireless network
    • Confirm Password


    Click the Internet icon, then click the Internet Connection tab


    • Connect Using = Ethernet
    • Connection Sharing = Off (Bridge Mode)


    Click Update at the lower right to save the settings and allow 25-30 seconds for the AEBS to restart. You should see a green light.


    Very important.....Power cycle the entire network as follows:


    • Power off all devices....order is not important
    • Wait a few moments
    • Start the HomeHub first and let it run a few moments by itself
    • Start the AEBS next the same way
    • Start each network device one at a time about a minute apart


    Check for proper network operation. You should have a strong wireless signal in the area near the AEBS.


    Please post on your results.

  • Griffo Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks for this info. I have the same configuaration at home and followed your guide to set up my AEBS to Extend my network, works perfectly now. The AEBS is in the far corner of the house connected via ethernet and now serves that side of the house and the garden. Many thanks.

  • martinattullymet Level 1 Level 1

    Thank you, I followed your set up and now I have wifi now in the far end of the house.


    Many thanks

  • Kevan Pegley Level 1 Level 1

    Bob, you appear to be the Apple community expert on extending a local network using a combination of BT Home Hub and AirPort Express.  I was hoping I could pick your brains.


    I already had a working set up using a D-Link modem, and two AirPort Expresses, one creating a wireless network, the other extending it.  But I wanted to change to BT Broadband, so today a spanking new BT Home Hub 4 arrived.  I connected it easily, and used it to create a wireless network.  All fine and functional, but then my problems began.


    I must admit that I had given no thought to wireless device compatibility.  I had assumed that Wi-Fi was a brand-agnostic technology.  Vain hope!  I set up one of my AirPort Expresses to wirelessly join/extend the network being created by the Home Hub.  It seemed to work, but was completely unstable.


    So then I connected the other AirPort Express to the Home Hub with an Ethernet cable, created a new wireless network with this Express, and joined this network with the second Express.  I also disabled the wireless function of the Home Hub, so that it is now functioning purely as a modem, just like D-Link modem I already had.


    This system works, but… it is still rather unstable.  Much less so, but one or other of the AirPorts disconnects at least once every half-an-hour.


    I have several questions for you:


    1. Do you have any idea why my set-up is unstable?  It uses default settings, in as much as the Home Hub DHCP server is enabled, and the devices on the network use the IP addresses that it serves.  The "Router Mode" of the AirPort that is creating the wireless network is set to Off (Bridge Mode).  I suppose I could disable the Home Hub DHCP server and change the AirPort router mode to either DHCP and NAT, or DHCP Only. Any thoughts?


    2. In your answers in this thread, above, you say that you should set the Airport to create a wireless network with the same name and the same password as the Home Hub network.  Are you therefore suggesting that the Home Hub wireless creation is NOT disabled?  And you have the Home Hub and the Airport both creating wireless networks with the same name?  Since I've already spent five hours today trying to get a stable network running I though I'd ask before I try this solution for myself.


    I'd really appreciate your thoughts and comments, for which many thanks in anticipation.


    Best, Kevan

  • trbianchi Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Bob,


    I just followed your setup for a BT HH5 - seems to be a success so far. Thanks for the setup instructions.


    As a note to others, regarding this step:

    • Wireless Security = Try WPA/WPA2 Personal first. Otherwise, try WPA2 Personal


    I used "WPA/WPA2" mode and it was successful.