10 Replies Latest reply: Dec 1, 2012 10:17 AM by Tesserax
GregT Level 1 (0 points)

I have 3 airport extremes in my house to set up a large wireless network.  The 1st one is connected to the modem downstairs.  The 2nd one is upstairs.  And the 3rd one is in a detached office.  For the 3rd one, I have my Mac Pro connected to it via an ethernet cable, and it connects to the internet just fine.  But none of my other wireless devices "see" the network despite being in the same room.  The green light is on solid so I know it is working, and the Mac that is plugged into it can access the internet.  When I go into the Airport utility, the network is listed as connected.  Net, it seems to me the 3rd Airport Extreme is picking up the network, but it doesn't seem to be broadcasting the network wirelessly.  Is that right and any idea why?  Thanks!

iPad 2, iOS 6
  • Tesserax Level 9 (50,576 points)

    I am assuming that all of the base stations are interconnected by wireless in your current configuration ... correct? If so, do you have both the 2nd & 3rd Extreme configured to extend the wireless network provided by the 1st one?

  • GregT Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes.  That is correct.  They are configured to expand the only network in the house.  And when I go into the Airport Utility and check each unit, that is what it shows. 

  • Tesserax Level 9 (50,576 points)

    The key with an extended network configuration is to think of a wheel with the extended base station at the hub of that wheel and each of the extending base stations along one of the wheel's "spokes." My guess is that the distance (and/or the building material) between the downstair's extreme and the one in the detached office may be such that it is presenting too weak of a signal to repeat.


    Please check out the following AirPort User Tip for suggestions on the best placement of your base stations for optimal bandwidth performance.

  • GregT Level 1 (0 points)

    If so, why does my MacPro work fine when plugged into the router with an Ethernet cable?  Doesn't that need to get its signal from the extended network?  The MacPro works fine plugged into the router but other devices don't work wirelessly while in the same room. 

  • Tesserax Level 9 (50,576 points)

    Yes, the extending AirPort that you would have the MacPro connected to would have to get its signal from the base station that it is extending. The signal may just have enough bandwidth to allow the MacPro to still get a connection (via Ethernet) ... but may be not be so for wireless clients.


    Do you have both extending base stations configured exactly alike? Did you have an opportunity to take SNR measurements at the location of each of these stations?

  • GregT Level 1 (0 points)

    They are configured exactly the same.  I'm not sure what SNR measurements are so I'm guessing that I don't have the ability to do so.  The other part of the equation that I should have mentioned is that I used to be able to get full wireless access in this room with all devices getting "all bars" for network strength.  Now, I get get no bars.  Net, I think it is a hardware issue.  Do you know if they can test this if I take it into an apple store?  Or do I send it in?  The device is only about two months old. 

  • Tesserax Level 9 (50,576 points)

    I'm not sure what SNR measurements are so I'm guessing that I don't have the ability to do so.

    Did you have an opportunity to review the user tip I referenced. It should provide you with enough details to make the SNR measurements.

  • Semajn Level 1 (0 points)

    Having the exact same problem - my ipad picks up the 'hub' of my set of linked airports but doesn't seem to detect any of linked ones elsewhere in the house. If I move into those rooms it just seems to show the (weak) signal from the hub.


    My macbook seems not to have this problem - which makes me think it's a problem with the ipad, rather than the airports.

  • GregT Level 1 (0 points)

    Spent two hours with the rep at apple.  Told me there is a glitch with iOS6.  That is why the iPhone and iPad don't "see" the extender while the MacBook Air does.  Here is an even more bizarre addition to the story.  I have 3 Airport Extremes.  The iPhone and iPad see the main unit.  They even see the 2nd Extreme unit.  I know this because with the 2nd unit unplugged, I get no network.  With it plugged in, I get full strength.  But it doesn't see the 3rd Extreme unit at all.  I even swapped the 2nd and 3rd units to see if the 3rd unit was having broadcasting issues.  Exact same thing.  The 2nd extender (which used to be the 3rd one) worked fine.  While the 3rd extender (which used to be the 2nd), didn't work at all with the iOS devices. (but just fine with the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro).  Very strange.  Anyone else seeing this? 

  • Tesserax Level 9 (50,576 points)



    Thanks for the update. I can confirm with both my 5G iPod Touch & 3G iPad (both running iOS 6.0.1) see both of my extended AirPort network routers ... but do not appear properly in the version 6 of the AirPort Utility. The utility shows them in a roaming configuration instead. However, like you my Macs see the network properly.


    In addition, I also confirmed that both iOS devices properly "switched" to the appropriate base station when roaming between them ... so to me at least it appears only to be an issue with how the v6 AirPort Utility displays them.