The AirPort Express will work just fine as a wireless access point if you connect it using Ethernet and......
o Configure it to create a wireless network using the same wireless network name as the Netgear router
o Use the same setting for wireless security that the Netgear is using
o Use the same wireless network password as the Netgear
o Leave the Radio Mode and Channel setting both to Automatic on the Express
o Configure the AirPort Express to operate in Bridge Mode
Thanks very much. I might go with an Apple Airport Express then.
I'm currently sat in the back room of the house (where I'd position the Airport Express) and while typing this out on my iPad, the signal is switching between 2/3 bars and 1/3 bars. If I go a little further away and go out of the patio doors into the garden, the 5GHz band totally disappears and the 2.4GHz band is only 1/3 bars and sometimes fails to connect at all.
Hopefully the Airport Express will fix this and we'll have full WiFi around the house and most of the garden too.
I have just one most question regarding the access points.
Before I go out and get an AirPort Express, I thought I'd attempt to try the system with my old Netgear DG834G v2 router. I configured it so the old router acts as a hub and wireless access point which works fine. I then changed the SSID so that it is the same as the new router, the channel is the same (cannot have auto on the old Netgear) and the password is the same, the only difference is, the new Netgear is WPA2 security and the old Netgear can only do WPA.
My iPad quite happily uses both access points but it doesn't auto switch depending on the signal strength, I have to turn off Wi-Fi and turn it back on for it to do that. Is that because the access points are on different security settings or could this happen with the AirPort Express too?
the channel is the same (cannot have auto on the old Netgear)
That...is likely one of your problems. The channels on access points need to be separated by at least 4-5 settings for "roaming" to work correctly. "Automatic" will take care of this for you, but since you do not have this setting, you will need adjust the channel setting manually.
My iPad quite happily uses both access points but it doesn't auto switch depending on the signal strength, I have to turn off Wi-Fi and turn it back on for it to do that. Is that because the access points are on different security settings
Set the wireless security on both access points to be exactly the same to enhance the chances of devices switching automatically when they approach another access point.
Keep in mind that mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad are not the same as a laptop as far as auto switching between access points. The mobile devices have a much simpler antenna and operating system that does not evaluate separate access points well. They tend to hold on to the original access point with which they connect.
You may still need to power down the mobile device when you change to an area for another access point and power back up to use the closest access point.