6 Replies Latest reply: Aug 12, 2012 3:20 PM by yoshk
yoshk Level 1 Level 1

I have a Cisco/Linksys WRT-54G wireless router and 2 Airport Extremes (the small ones that plug directly into the wall). Is it possible to extend the network from the router using these two AEs? I have a DVD player and Ext HD plugged into the router too. Any ideas? I'm guessing the only way is to do what I've seen in these community pages which states that it can be done but it will drop the bandwidth by 50%. Thoughts?? Thanks!

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10

    The Cisco/Linksys WRT-54G was one of the very few routers said to be compatible with Apple's implementation of WDS (Wireless Distribution System) settings.


    The info that I have on file indicates that only the WRT-54G versions 4 and under were compatible, so that would be one bridge to cross.


    Even if you find that your Cisco/Linksys might be the right version, Apple never published instructions on how to configure the Express devices with other manufactures, so users were left to their own devices to try to figure out how to get things working. Apple's instructions to connect to other Apple devices are in the link below:


    WDS network


    If you were hoping to use 2 Express devices in this type of configuration...even if it works...the bandwidth penalties will be extremely severe.


    The first Express drops the bandwidth (and speed) on the entire network in half and the second halves everything again. So, the result, in effect would be a "g" wireless network running at 25% speed. Few users would consider installing this type of network.


    At this point, it becomes one of those things where the fact that you might be able to do something does not mean that there would be much value in doing so. But, it is your decision to decide if you want to try to proceed.

  • yoshk Level 1 Level 1


    Thanks so much for your response. I should clarify... I don't actually have to use 2 Airport Extremes. What I really want to do is just extend my linksys network. I thought that I would need to use both of them (one of them plugged into the router) and the other receiving the signal from the first. But, I believe my linksys is version 8 so I'm guessing it's a moot point. I probably just need to find a better place for my router. I don't have a huge house, but at times upstairs the signal gets bad...


    Thanks again for your help!



  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10

    I don't actually have to use 2 Airport Extremes.

    If you can get a wired Ethernet connection to one of the AirPort Extremes, that would really help the performance and speed of the network.

  • yoshk Level 1 Level 1

    Are you saying I would go ethernet direct from the modem to the AE (and then it will transmit to the other AE which can extend the network)? 


  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10

    That would take the Cisco/Linksys product out of the network entirely, but it would be a way to extend the network.


    You would have a "main" AirPort and a "remote" AirPort in this type of setup.

  • yoshk Level 1 Level 1

    Hmmm... But the airport express only has one ethernet port and I need to have an external HD and my DVD player plugged in to the network... so I guess I'll just have to continue using my Linksys and just use the AEs for airplay, as I do now.

    Thanks so much for your help, Bob.