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Gunnar Lind Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

How do I connect an Airport Express to an existing network router?

Airport Express, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • wuzradioman Level 4 Level 4 (2,130 points)


    (Assuming your existing router is not an Apple router)

    You would need to connect the Airport Express to your router using an ethernet cable, and you need to set the airport to "create a wireless network." 

    I have a non wireless Netgear router, and an airport Express enabled in this fashion.  In essence, the Express is used as a wireless base station, which provides good, reliable wi fi for my network.

  • Gunnar Lind Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your reply but I'm afraid it doesn't help me.  I have the router and the entertainment system in different rooms (and floors) and there's no way I can connect them with a cable. I was told that I could connect the Airport Express with wires to the entertainment system and then connect it (wireless) to the router and stream music from my laptop.

    Thanks anyway!!!

  • wuzradioman Level 4 Level 4 (2,130 points)



    Yes, you can connect the Airport Express with an Apple wireless router such as the Airport extreme router.

    You would have to set up the Airport Express to "Extend a wireless network" option, and you would have to make sure both wireless devices are within radio range so they can communicate with each other.  However most non Apple wireless routers will not work with the Airport express in this manner. There has been some rare instances where people have been able to use a non apple router for this purpose, but it seems to be a rare occurence.

    Essentialy, to do what you desire, you would need an Airport Extreme and an airport Express.  Using such a system,you would be able to connect your Express to an audio system for streaming music.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (93,485 points)

    How do I connect an Airport Express to an existing network router?

    The AirPort Express can be configured to "Join" virtually any wireless network if you know the following information about the wireless network:


    1) The name of the wireless network


    2) The password of the wireless network


    3) The exact type of wireless security that that the wireless network is using


    It is 3) where most users get into trouble. They either do not know the type of security that their network is using, and they skip this step in the setup of the AirPort Express....or.....they guess at the setting and provide the wrong configuration information to the Express.


    In either case, the Express cannot join the network....and you must start all over to try the configuration again.


    If you want to try this, we can help. But, you cannot use the version of AirPort Utility with Lion that you have now. Instead, you need to downloand and install AirPort Utility 5.6 for Mac OS X Lion


    You can keep both AirPort Utility 5.6 and 6.x on your Mac. Post back if you want to try this for more details.

  • Gunnar Lind Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi and thanks,

    yes,, I want to try it!

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (93,485 points)

    The "Extend a wireless network" setting mentioned in other posts in this thread will not work unless you are connecting to another Apple wireless network.


    Download and install AirPort Utility 5.6 for Mac OS X Lion . You can keep both AirPort Utility 6.x and 5.6 on your Mac and use the version that you need.


    Perform a Factory Default Reset on the AirPort Express as follows:


    Power off the Express and wait a minute or two

    Hold in the reset button on the Express and keep holding it for an additional 9-10 seconds while you simultaneously plug the Express back in to power

    Release the reset button and allow 40-45 seconds for the Express to restart


    Temporarily, connect an Ethernet cable from your Mac to the Express

    Open AirPort Utility 5.6, select the Express, and click Manual Setup


    Click the Base Station tab below the row of icons to assign a name and device password to the Express and adjust Time Zone settings


    Click the Wireless tab and adjust as follows:


    Wireless Mode = "Join a wireless network". You may need to hold down the option key on your Mac while you click on the Wireless Mode selection box to locate the "Join" setting.

    Wireless Network Name = Same name as your main wireless network

    Enter a check mark if you want to be able to connect an Ethernet device to the Express

    Wireless Security = Exact same setting that your main wireless router is using

    Wireless Password = Same password as the main wireless network

    Verify Password


    Click the Update button.


    As soon as you see the message that the settings have been stored on the Express, close AirPort Utility and disconnect the Ethernet cable


    Wait 40-45 seconds for the Express to restart. If your settings are correct, you will have a green light on the Express. You can now locate it where it will be needed, assuming that it will be able to receive a good wireless signal at that location.

  • Gunnar Lind Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi and thanks a lot. Unfortunately it did not work. I did exactly as you advised but the Express is still blinkning amber. I even did it twice just to make sure. The only unexpected event was a warning sign that popped up a few times saying that I was using the wrong version of the Utility tool.

    Any more ideas?

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (93,485 points)

    If you temporarily turn off the wireless security on your main router, can the Express join the network that way?


    If it can....then you have a wireless security setting problem...the Express is not receiving the correct settings to join your wireless network.


    If the Express cannot join the network when wireless security is temporarily disabled as a test......the Express is simply not compatible with your wireless router.

  • Gunnar Lind Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'll give it a try. What's the procedure, same as last time but disable security at some point?

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (93,485 points)

    That is correct.


    Make a note of the current setting for Wireless Security on your main router so that you can return to those same settings after the test.


    Change the setting for Wireless Security to "None" on your wireless router for the temporary test and update to save the new setting.


    Then, configure the Express to connect using no security to see if it will connect to the network that way.

  • Gunnar Lind Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, green light.

    What now?

    (I already posted this but for some reason it doesn't show)

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (93,485 points)

    OK, this information tells you that the Express is able to connect to your wireless router....and....that you previously did not provide the Express with the correct settings for Wireless it could not join the wireless network.


    What are the exact settings that you see on your main wireless router for Wireless Security?


    These settings might look something like the following examples:





  • Gunnar Lind Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Wireless Security Mode: WPA2-Personal

    Encryption: TKIP

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (93,485 points)

    Change the main wireless router back to the normal settings that you use.


    Adjust the setting on the AirPort Express for Wireless Security to read:   WPA/WPA2 Personal.


    If that does not work, what are other available settings that you can choose on the main wireless router for wireless security?

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