Previous 1 2 3 4 Next 58 Replies Latest reply: May 21, 2015 7:20 PM by mprattmd
VeronaNJ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I have an Airport Extreme and recently purchased 2 Airport Express units (the new ones that sit on the table top).  I was successful extending the network wirelessly but as soon as I introduce the Ethernet Cable (using the Airport units for Audio speakers so want to extend via ethernet) I continue to get the same problem when setting them up "Unexpected Error...Try Again".  I cannot figure out where I am going wrong.


Can someone please give me "dummy" instructions on how to extend the network via Ethernet.  I want to create multiple "Airport Express" zones that are hard wired via Ethernet.  Any insight or direction would be appreciated.


Thank you.

Airport Express, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (42,215 points)

    Do not check the box to "extend" your network wirelessly if the Ethernet cable is attached.


    Consider performing a "hard reset" and reconfigure the Expresses, one at a time. This time do not check the box to "extend" a wireless network. Instead, configure its Internet Connection to connect using Ethernet - not your wireless network.


    For "wireless", choose "Create a wireless network" and provide the exact same name as your existing wireless network.


    Make one work and then configure the other one exactly the same way. Both of them should be connected to your main AirPort router - either directly or through a switch.


    Even if you do everything right it is often necessary to perform a "hard reset" if things do not work as expected. It is easy to forget or misconfigure a setting that will result in a conflict, preventing further communication with AirPort Utility.

  • Joseph Kriz Level 5 Level 5 (5,050 points)

    I agree with John Galt.


    You would be better off creating a "Roaming Network" if you are going to connect them using ethernet.


    See this Apple article:

  • VeronaNJ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    Thanks!  So let me understand.  First, I should hard reset each airport express.  Set up each one - one at a time.  Do I plug the ethernet cable in at the extreme and express before starting?  Therer are 2 ports on back of the new airport express - does it matter which I plug ethernet into?  From there, go into airport utility (are you saying DON'T do it via phone?) - and set up from there? 



  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (92,240 points)

    Start over again by powering off one Express and keeping another powered up.

    Disconnect the Ethernet cable, but keep the Express powered up

    Hold in the reset button on the Express for 7-8 seconds and release

    Allow a full minute for the Express to start up

    Connect the Ethernet cable from a LAN <-> port on the AirPort Extreme to the WAN "O" port on the AirPort Express


    Click the AirPort icon at the top of the Macs screen

    Look for a listing of New AirPort Base Station

    Click on the AirPort Express just below that heading



    New AirPort Base Station.png


    AirPort Setup will open automatically and take a minute to analyze the network, then announce that the Express will be configured to "extend" the AirPort Extreme network

    Enter a device name for the Express and click Next

    AirPort Setup will take another minute to set up the network

    When you see the message of Setup Complete, click Done


    Set up the other AirPort Express the same way, but assign a different device name to keep things straight

  • Dan Belluz Level 2 Level 2 (165 points)

    Just finished doing what Bob has described (well I might add!) with a new airport express and it was the simplest setup of all time. It not only transferred basic settings, but also passwords and my timed access control info. I cannot say how absolutely impressed I am at how easy it was. Thanks for the info.


    Setup is: Cable Modem --> Airport Extreme --> 24 Port Switch --> Airport Express




  • corradokid Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    I went through this same process and it worked like a charm! ...until the next day. My MacBook Pro works fine and sees the networks, but my iOS devices says "Cannot join Network <SSID name>"


    • Late 2011 15in MBP

    • iPad 2, iPhone 5

    • Latest generation Airport Extreme

    • Latest generation Airport Express connected via ethernet to Extreme


    I let Airport Utility automatically setup the Express. Restarted iOS devices, but still nothing. Rebooted everything, Stumpped!

  • jarnot Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    These instructions worked perfectly!  Thank you for posting.

  • stueyhubb Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Bob - This worked for me by using a TP-LINK powerline extender TL-WPA281KIT!!!

  • Radcolt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Bob!  You made it totally easy to set up an extended network via Ethernet.  The new AirPort Extreme is the bomb.  The range is fantastic.

  • GMS99 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    I did what you recommended but the express is still expanding the network via a wifi connection, even with the ethernet cable connected.


    Are others actuallly getting an ETHERNET connection via this method?


    The device works fine via wifi with this method.


    any ideas?

  • Radcolt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Mine has an Ethernet connection as confirmec by the Airport Utility on my iPad.  Make sure you are running your Ethernet cable from the LAN port of the Extreme to the WAN port of the Express.  I have a large multiple level home and have two Expresses hooked to my Extreme via a multiport switch.  Bob's guide above made it cake to set up my wired network and extend the wireless network.

  • GMS99 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    well my setup is cable modem to airport extreme to a switch to the airport express.

    the ethernet cable is plugged into the wan port. I followed bobs instructions. Did the reset, hooked in

    the ethernet cable, followed instructions and it works, only its connecting through wifi still.

  • Radcolt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the exact setup.  I will check my settings when I get home tonight if you are still needing help.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (92,240 points)

    If your Express is working correctly, and the switch is working correctly, and the Ethernet cable(s) are working correctly, the setup that I detailed will work correctly.


    Did you test by resetting the AirPort Express back to defaults and then temporarily connecting directly to an Ethernet LAN <-> port on the AirPort Extreme using a spare Ethernet cable that you know is working correctly, then configure the Express that way?


    If it works that way, then you know that you have a bad port or bad cable somewhere....likely at the switch or the Ethernet cable from the switch to the Express.


    If the Express will not work correctly when you test as above directly to the AirPort Extreme, then you have a bad port on the Express. Take it back to get another Express.

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