Previous 1 2 Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Oct 16, 2011 5:51 PM by shannonadams
shannonadams Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I am setting up a wireless network in a conference room that is about 5200 square feet.  Initially, I was going to setup just one Airport Extreme, but I think I will do two now.  I plan to connect both APs to a single switch.  It looks like extending the network range involves hooking one Airport into another - like daisy chaining them, I guess.  Since I am going from one switch out to the two APs, should I just set them up independently and use the same network name (not choose extend the network on either setup)?  I want to create a single wireless network so that clients can move from device to device with no interruption.  Since both devices will probably be close enough that the wireless spectrum overlaps, should I manually set the radio channels on both or just leave them both at automatic?  Thanks for any advice on how to set this up properly.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (89,720 points)
    I plan to connect both APs to a single switch.  It looks like extending the network range involves hooking one Airport into another - like daisy chaining them, I guess.

    You can daisy chain them together, but better practice would be to wire each AirPort Extreme back to the switch individually...if you can.

     

    Since I am going from one switch out to the two APs, should I just set them up independently and use the same network name (not choose extend the network on either setup)?

    Set both up to "Create a wireless network using the exact same wireless network name, wireless security, and password. It is critically important that both Extremes are configured in Bridge Mode.

     

    should I manually set the radio channels on both or just leave them both at automatic? 

    The "Automatic" setting works well for this. If you want to set the channels manually, separate each Extreme by at least 4-5 channels or more to minimize the chances of interference.

     

    You will have what is known as a "roaming" wireless network with this type of configuration. Computers will be able to "roam" from one area to another and stay on the same network, but automatically pick up the strongest signal.....which will be from the closest Extreme.

  • shannonadams Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Perfect.  Thanks, Bob.  One more question.  If I want both to hand out DHCP for a class B network, do I setup DHCP on one or both?  Maybe 10.10.0.x on one and 10.10.1.x on the other?  255.255.0.0 subnet on both, of course.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (89,720 points)

    You would configure one Extreme that you designate as the "main" to handle DHCP services.

     

    Then, you would need to connect the second Extreme to one of the three  LAN <-> ports on the "main" Extreme....not to the switch. Be sure to keep the second Extreme in Bridge Mode so the "main" device will handle all the DHCP for both routers.

  • shannonadams Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    So since one will hand out DHCP, I will need to daisy chain the two?  The main goes to the switch and the secondary goes to one of the LAN ports of the main AP?  Then the main will not be in bridge mode but the secondary will?  Main will not be configured to "extend the network", but the secondary will?  Thanks for all the help.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (89,720 points)
    So since one will hand out DHCP, I will need to daisy chain the two?  The main goes to the switch and the secondary goes to one of the LAN ports of the main AP?

    Correct

     

    Then the main will not be in bridge mode but the secondary will?

    Correct. The setting for Connection Sharing on the main would be "Share a public IP address". The setting on the second Extreme would be "Off (Bridge Mode)".

     

    Main will not be configured to "extend the network", but the secondary will?

    No. Please check my original instructions. Both Extremes will be configured to "Create a wireless network".  The "Extend" setting is only used if devices are connecting using wireless only. You are connecting devices using Ethernet.

  • shannonadams Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for all the help.  I think I have it now and will set this up next week and test.  I will let you know the outcome.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (89,720 points)

    Thanks, keep us posted. Should work very well.

     

    Apple's instructions to do the same thing are here:

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4260

  • ajglass Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    After some false starts, this is the way I set up my network -- with Bob's encouragement.

     

    I have created a new SSID and a new set of automatically generated DHCP wireless nodes (e.g.) 192.168.1.xx, which is the native Verizon series, instead of the former 10.0.1.xx setup (the native AirPort series) that used to run on my network in dual NAT mode.

     

    The Verizon FiOS wireless services on the Actiontech modem that delivers the Internet to my home are set to off. The channel is chosen automatically. One LAN outlet on the FiOS router is connected to the WAN input on the main TC. For reading and writing purposes, my wired Windows PC now sees the main TC as drive Z. That TC returns a value of 192.168.1.2. There's a long ethernet run to a legacy TC. (192.168.1.9).  Both TC's, contary to Bob's advice, are set up in identical bridge mode. That means the Actiontech is responsible for the ethernet-generated values. Most importantly, the TC's share the same SSID and WPA2 password. (There is also a legacy AE on the network that enables an iTunes feed to a remote stereo.)

     

    I ran out of available input nodes on the TC and on a four-node Netgear Powerline base unit hooked up to the TC that, in turn, enables an ethernet feed to a laptop, etc. So I have connected one of my printers directly to the Verizon FiOS router, which (skipping over the WAN), had three spare LAN outlets. The home network now sees the printer as yet another connected device, an advantage inherent in bridging the routers.

     

    This setup also enables a strong wireless signal throughout my home, for use by an iPhone, BlackBerry etc., which wasn't previously universally available when I had merely extended the network via an Apple Express.

     

    It looks as if I'm done.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (89,720 points)
    Both TC's, contary to Bob's advice, are set up in identical bridge mode.

    If you check, you will see that I recommended bridge mode for both devices in the original response to the question.

     

    "It is critically important that both Extremes are configured in Bridge Mode."

     

    The user decided that he wanted one device to be able to handle DHCP. That's his preference and it should work....just adds a bit more complexity to things and will possibly slow the network down a bit.

     

    So I have connected one of my printers directly to the Verizon FiOS router, which (skipping over the WAN), had three spare LAN outlets. The home network now sees the printer as yet another connected device, an advantage inherent in bridging the routers.

    That's correct.

     

    It looks as if I'm done.

    The network should function very well. Nice job.

  • shannonadams Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Bob, so I am clear on this, if I want to provide DHCP and DNS from a server hooked to my switch.  Then, I would setup the two APs like you defined in your first response?  The server will be 10.10.10.160.  I will set the DNS and DHCP entries in both APs to point to 10.10.10.160 and both will be in "bridge mode" - correct?

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (89,720 points)
    if I want to provide DHCP and DNS from a server hooked to my switch.  Then, I would setup the two APs like you defined in your first response?

    Yes. That is why I said that is was important to use Bridge Mode for both AirPort Extremes.

     

    Then, you countered in your next response.....

     

    If I want both to hand out DHCP for a class B network, do I setup DHCP on one or both?

    Now you are saying that you want one of the AirPort Extremes to handle DHCP. I assumed that this was what you wanted to do, despite my advice to place both of the Extremes in Bridge Mode.

     

    Do you want the upstream server to handle DHCP and hand out IP addresses to both Extremes and their connected devices? 

     

    If yes, both Extremes must be in Bridge Mode.

  • shannonadams Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Bob, understood.  I am just sorting out my options - setting it up with and without a DNS/DHCP server, daisy chaining APs vs not, etc.  You have helped me figure out how to set it up either way.  I plan to set this up Monday or Tuesday and will respond with how it works.  Thanks again.

  • ajglass Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    My bad. Your approach, Bob, start to finish, was clear, straight forward and quite sound. 

  • shannonadams Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Bob,

     

    Thanks again for all the help on getting this setup.  I connected two AirPort Extremes back to a switch and put both in bridge mode.  They have the same SSID and password.  My upstream server handles DHCP and hands out IP addresses to both Extremes and their connected devices.  My question is regarding the maximum connections that an Extreme can handle.  If one Extreme gets to 50 clients, does it send any new requests to the other Extreme (assuming it can be seen by the client) or will clients trying to connect to it be denied?

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