10 Replies Latest reply: Mar 24, 2013 3:39 PM by LaPastenague
Sully71 Level 1 (0 points)

Looking for help...


My setup...


2 buildings



Detached Apartmen/Garage:

Comcast Modem/Wireless Router



Main House:

Time Capsule and 4 Airport Express



How should I configure my Time Capsule after the Comcast router?

Same question regarding the 4 Airport Express modules in the main house?


Because of the long distance between the 2 structures, I need WiFi available in the detached from the Comcast Modem and a separate WiFi in the house being served by the Time Capsule . Have ran one of the wired Ethernet ports from the Comcast Modem/Router in detached garage to the other structure (large house-single story). This line is running into WAN port on Time Capsule. I have 3 wired devices connected to the Time Capsule (AV components). The 4 Airport Express Modules are in various locations around the home.


If someone could please explain the Time Capsule Configuration and Airport Express Configs as well, this would be most helpful.


Thanks in advance!!

Time Capsule 802.11n (4th Gen)
  • LaPastenague Level 8 (48,822 points)

    Very good.. you have done everything just right.


    The TC should be in bridge mode.




    Then it simply becomes a part of the single network to the comcast.


    Now your airport express are just set to extend the wireless from the TC??


    Let me suggest you do things a bit different. There is nothing wrong with extend wireless but you can setup roaming network will work better.


    If any of the devices plugged into the TC is at a fair distance.. in another part of the house, at that point use a small gigabit switch (10/100 is also good enough if you don't need gigabit). Plug the airport express into the switch and set it to create a wireless network.. same name and same security settings as the TC.


    See the roaming network info for more details.




    The normal extend wireless is explained in the normal documents for setup of the apple routers.


    See also here.


  • Sully71 Level 1 (0 points)

    First, thanks so very much for your detailed explanation.


    Yes, I currently have the TC set to Bridge and all of the Express set to extend network.  Currently, all of my wired devices are in the Living Room AV cabinet. Three of the four Express are used simply to give better range throughout the house. The forth Express is serving as an Ethernet port for my Slingbox in the Master Bedroom.  Would it be a problem to add a switch attached to one of the ports at the TC in the LR AV cabinet? This would be nice as I feel my Apple TV in that cabinet (currently wireless) might work best wired? Sometimes get network skips while using Airplay to that LR  Apple TV.  I only run it wireless now as I am out of ports on TC. Could I then connect existing home run from Master Bedroom to port on TC in AV and eliminate the Express on Slingbox in the MB?  Finally, could I instead add a second small switch off the run to the MB? This way, I could also hardware my Apple TV in the MB as well as my Slingbox. Then, potentially add the Express back onto the MB switch and apply Roaming Config as suggested to maintain wireless access in the MB?


    Not sure if that would be too much to keep quality speed and connections across network. 

    This is important to me as well.


    Liking your suggestions and thinking of expanding on them :-)


    Your input and suggestions are appreciated!!

  • LaPastenague Level 8 (48,822 points)

    Switches are ideal for you situation.. and they are cheap consumer items.. go into any large computer store or order online.. you can get yum char brands.. Tenda, TP-Link, edimax asus.. very cheap and they are just as good as the netgear, linksys etc.


    buy one 8 port gigabit.. it is worthwhile to offload all the ports from the TC to the switch. Plug everything you need into the switch.. although for home use this is probably a step too far.. the more things connected to the one switch the better. So you have TC.. ethernet .. switch.. everything else plugged into the switch. 


    Then yes, use a second small switch at the other end.. that can be a little 5 port either gigabit or 10/100.. IMHO now that gigabit is cheap enough.. keep everything gigabit but it is up to you.. apple TV and express are only 100mbit.. so there is no particular need for it.


    The more wireless you get connections off, the better the rest will work.. and nothing beats ethernet.. !!


    Does that give you enough to go on with.. ??


    Then, potentially add the Express back onto the MB switch and apply Roaming Config as suggested to maintain wireless access in the MB?


    Any place you can use express as AP instead of extend wireless everything will work better. You basically double the speed for whatever connects to that AP back to the main router. And switches can be thought of as double adapter .. or power boards.. plug in one link to the main router.. and now you have 4 or 7 extra ports.. but using gigabit will help keep the speed up.


    The only pain is plugpacks.. wall warts whatever you call them.. although some switches can be powered over ethernet or usb.. the cost increase is substantial and you will need power boards in places where you have all the stuff anyway.. but tag power supplies carefully so you plug everything into the right socket.. Curse all the manufacturers who don't stick to 12v for everything.. a plague on their houses.

  • Sully71 Level 1 (0 points)

    Perfectly, now I have some shopping to do tomorrow. 8 port and 5 Port Gig sound like the way to go. Will do best to  eliminate wireless as suggested and keep all connections on the switch. House has tons of home runs just needed the extra ports. You have taught me some good stuff here :-).


    Hope this may help someone else out there too.




  • Sully71 Level 1 (0 points)

    One last question if I could...


    I noticed in the TC setup the option for 5GHZ...

    Set it up with same network name followed by 5GHZ...


    My question is this, all of my devices are apple products and 5GHZ is available...

    I chose that network on all the wireless devices.

    Both 2.4 and 5 appear as possible network options...


    Should I only broadcast the 5GHz network or leave both broadcasting?


    Are their drawbacks or advantages to running both?


    Curious if I should only offer the 5GHZ since all devices are compatible at that band.



  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,184 points)
    Should I only broadcast the 5GHz network or leave both broadcasting?


    You cannot broadcast only the 5 GHz band. You can assign a different name to the 5 GHz band if you want....but the 2.4 GHz band is always being broadcast. There is no way to "turn off" 2.4 GHz.


    Most users should use the default setting of having both bands use the same wireless network name. That way, your wireless devices will automatically choose the best quality signal with which to connect.  I think that is what most users want.


    If you enable the option to assign a separate name to the 5 GHz band, then you must manually "point" your computers at that network. The problem here is that 5 GHZ signals are much weaker than 2.4 GHz signals. If your device moves some distance away from the TC......where the 2.4 GHz signal will be stronger and likely faster.....the wireless device will try to hold on to the weaker and likely slower 5 GHz signal.

  • Jeff P. Level 1 (135 points)

    Piggybacking off this conversation, as I have a similar situation, and want to make sure that I'm setting up my network in the best possible configuration.


    I have a single story house with a TC in the middle, connected to a Comcast modem (not a router), with AirPort Expresses at either end of the house. The TC is setup in DHCP/NAT mode, and the AEs are in Extend Mode. The 5 GHz band is setup with the same name as the 2.4 GHz band. Is this the best configuration that I can get, without buying switches, and running eithernet to them? I have several IP devices - iPhones, iPads, iPods, Macbooks, IP security cameras, and they all connect to the TC, though the AEs are phyically closer. And when many of these devices connect, the speeds are super slow or non-existent, though they show 4 or 5 bars of connectivity. I can sit outside with my French doors wide open in line-of-site of an AE, about 20 feet away, but not be able to connect to my network. Any thoughts or ideas? TC & AEs are all running the current version of Apple Firmware.

  • LaPastenague Level 8 (48,822 points)

    Are your express units the latest dual band ones?


    If not are you trying to extend 5ghz instead of 2.4ghz?


    Did all of this work ok up until the latest firmware update.. and then go bad?

    Or have you only just done the setup.. or the issue has always been the same, no matter which firmware?

  • Jeff P. Level 1 (135 points)

    LaPastenague, these are old single band AEs, so I'm extending the 2.4 GHz band. I've had this set up for a while, but never had great connectivity. Recently it's gone from marginal to terrible. I don't know if I can say that it's because of the most recent firmware update or not. I have added 7 wireless IP based security cameras, but again, I don't think that this is effecting the receptioin either ... but I could be wrong. I do know that I used to be able to go into my backyard, and have decent reception on my iPhone, and be able to stream music from my iTunes server. Not so much now.

  • LaPastenague Level 8 (48,822 points)

    How are you using the 7 ip based cameras.. are they setup to continuously stream to a some sort of security appliance.. software or hardware. If they are only for occasional external viewing that is fine.. but if you are streaming through them then you will kill your network for sure.


    Putting the wireless cameras to the side. The latest update would not have helped.. that is for sure. If there is nothing you want in the new version.. then go back to 7.6.1. You will need to factory reset the lot and start over.


    I would try to run ethernet or use EOP to the Expresses as your setup as it stands is obviously going downhill.


    I would even think about a non-apple AP with very high power wireless like the Asus RT-N66U or the AC unit.. it can make a big difference.