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wayra56 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I have an Airport Extreme as main router and want to install an Airport Express to extend the range of my wifi. However it only works when connected through an ethernet cable. How can I setup my Airport Express to work wirelessly and extend the wifi range?


Mac Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.1)
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (88,075 points)

    1) You will need to have the "square" version of the AirPort Extreme....not the older "round" version.

     

    2) You will need to have a "new" AirPort Express....looks like a miniature AirPort Extreme......or....you need Model A1264 if this is an older Express. Look on the side of the Express for the model number.

     

    Please confirm on what you have there.

     

    Please update your OS X to 10.8.2 if you have not already done so.

  • wayra56 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you so much for your prompt reply. Both are 802.11 late model "square". I dont wanto to degrade the speed of the Exrtreme if this is possible

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (88,075 points)

    Extending by wireless will cut the available bandwidth and speed on the wireless network by about half. Better to keep that Ethernet connection if you want the best performance.

     

    Post back if you want to try wireless, but if you are used to the wired connection, you will likely not be happy with a new wireless only setup.

     

    Also keep in mind that the correct location for an "extending" Express using wireless only is a point that is about half way between the AirPort Extreme and the general area that needs more wireless coverage. The bottom line.....everything is a compromise when you try to extend this way.

  • wayra56 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Would be the same loss of speed if I use a time line and the Extreme as an extender?

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (88,075 points)

    Yes. Extending by using a wireless only connection always involves substantial compromises.

  • wayra56 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you so much Bob, now I understand better this wireless issues. Best Hugo

  • Thomas Schaller Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)

    Hi,

    having similar questions - Bob, maybe you can help:

    I have a Time Capsule in the basement and my daughter is 3 stories up on her iMac and she complains about speed while online. She is about 40 feet up from me with 3 ceilings in between. So I thought I'd look into extending....

    Found an AirPort Express Base Station (the one that looks like a power bar for Apple laptops) - model # is A1084.

    Is that not good enough?

    Air port utility 6.x didn't recognize it, but 5.x did. Tried to hook them up together but it's not working.

    I clicked on my base station to extend network and when I select the assistant to set up the Express I only get to the point where I enter the security WPA2 password and when I click Continue nothing happens. It just sits there. When I selectt No Password it goes through but then reboots the Express forever with an error message at the end.

     

    On the base station I do not select Brideg Mode, but rather Share IP addresses  -when I select Bridge mode none of my computers gets Internet, even when I reboot all systems.

     

    3 questions: what am I doing wrong? and is this the right Airport Express? and will it improve speed for my daughter? (or am I better off trying to run a super long Ethernet cable to her somehow?)

     

    Thanks!

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (88,075 points)
    I have a Time Capsule in the basement and my daughter is 3 stories up on her iMac and she complains about speed while online. She is about 40 feet up from me with 3 ceilings in between.

     

    It is a nothing short of a miracle that she can get any signal at all under those conditions.

     

     

    Found an AirPort Express Base Station (the one that looks like a power bar for Apple laptops) - model # is A1084.

     

    Unfortunately, this older version of the Express does not have the capability to "extend a wireless network" using wireless only.

     

    You need the A1264 version, or the "new" AirPort Express (that looks like a miniature Time Capsule) if you want to try to "extend" using wireless only. In this case, you would want to locate the extending device approximately half the distance between the Time Capsule and her computer.

     

    I can't say that this will do a lot to improve things....it's going to be one of those situations where you won't know if it will work until you try.

     

     

    (or am I better off trying to run a super long Ethernet cable to her somehow?)

     

    This is by far the best choice in terms of performance. There is no signal loss in a wire. She will be amazed at how well and fast her Mac runs this way.

  • Thomas Schaller Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)

    Hi Bob,

    very helpful!

    One last question: if I do run an Ethernet cable all the way up there (probably at least 100 feet of actual cable)...

     

    I do have one extra computer up there that is another floor away from where the cable would get to - so could I run the Ethernet cable up there - can I plug an Airport device (Express?) at the end of the Ethernet cable and then do what?

    Computer 1 would be a few feet away from that Airport device - would it still make a big difference if it actually was connected via Ethernet to that Airport device? or wwould be wireless OK there.

    And then Computer 2 would be a floor down, but only about 15 feet away - wireless OK for that one?

     

    Thanks!!

    Thomas

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (88,075 points)
    can I plug an Airport device (Express?) at the end of the Ethernet cable and then do what?

     

    Configure the AirPort Express to "create a wireless network" and it will provide a signal for that area.

     

    And then Computer 2 would be a floor down, but only about 15 feet away - wireless OK for that one?

    The distance is not the issue here.....the obstruction of the ceiling/floor will absorb a significant amount of the signal. It might work OK.....but you just won't know until you try.

     

    Better to connect both computers using Ethernet if possible. Run the Ethernet cable to the 2nd floor and connect it to an Ethernet switch....which will have 5 Ethernet ports.

     

    Connect one Ethernet cable from one port on the switch to the computer on floor 2 and then run another Ethernet cable from the Ethernet switch to the computer on floor 3. This would be a much faster and stronger connection than trying to use wireless.

     

    It might help to remember that the first rule to establish a reliable and fast connection is to use a wire.

  • Thomas Schaller Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)

    Hi,

    another follow-up. Turns out now all of a sudden an old iMac (PowerMac 4,2) won't do networking anymore. It was hooked up a long time ago to a sophisticated wireless router/Ethernet, that i cannot recall how I did it.

    Don't have time to try to retrace my steps.

    But I thought I'd try to hook it up wireless with the built-in Airport card to my Ime Capsule network.

    It sees the network, but when I enter the password it says it can't connect. Realized that my network is WPA2 and the iMac with OSX 10.4.11 only gave me WEP and LEAP and 2 other options - so that didn't seem to want to speak to each other.

    I went into Time Capsule and lowered my guest network security to WAP Personal and now 10.4.11 recognizes that.

    Thing is that the Aiport Card is very slow, so Internet browsing is a crawl.

    So I thought I would try to use the AiportExpress vase station (only A1084) to do the wireless connect and then run an Ethernet cable into the old iMac. Would that be a faster connection?

     

    But I can't get it to work. I hook up the AirportExpress via Ethernet, reset it and can get in and punch in all of the network numbers (again - I only connect to the WAP guest network) - the Airport Express reboots and gives me a green light, but the iMac all of a sudden doesn't even register Ethernet at that point - it behaves as if nothing is plugged in. The only way to connect to if from the iMac at that point is to reset it again....

    Why?

     

    Thanks,

    Thomas

     

    PS - just noticed that on my main computer, running Airport Utility it now doesn't see the Airport Express either. Is the Aiport Express maybe set up badly? I did: Join my Network (did not choose extend network)

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (88,075 points)

    So I thought I would try to use the AiportExpress vase station (only A1084) to do the wireless connect and then run an Ethernet cable into the old iMac. Would that be a faster connection?

    Unfortunately, the A1084 version of the Express does not have the capability to do what you want. You would need either the A1264 version of the Express or the "new" AirPort Express.

     

    Both of these models can join or extend a wireless network produced by another Apple router and the Ethernet port will be enabled, so you could connect an Ethernet device to the Express that way and it will work just fine.

  • Thomas Schaller Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)

    Ok, thanks.

    Do you feel that would speed up the Internet connection?

    My original Aiport Card is only capabale of 802.11b - would buying the A1264 give me faster speed?

    Is the iMac Ethernet connection capable of faster speed?

    Thanks!

  • edex67 Level 4 Level 4 (3,250 points)

    If your card is only 802.11b it will be limited to 11Mbps and WEP. You need to look at upgrading your WiFi card.

    The iMac Ethernet can go up to 100Mbit or Gigabit depending on the age of the iMac, but I think your model had 100Mbit.

    I wouldn't buy the A1264 as it is only draft-N, I would simply purchase the latest Express with dual-band technology, it's £79 from the Apple Store (look out for refurbs).

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