6 Replies Latest reply: Aug 12, 2013 11:54 AM by Tidy
Tidy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi, just got the new June 2013 "tower" airport extreme in my ongoing quest to improve non ethernet wifi in my large house (lots of bathrooms and solid block walls, no cable)

 

Trying to figure out best set up for the various routers and whether or not to use "Bridge" mode. Have the following

 

New tower airport extreme

2 x older airport extremes

3 airports

5 apple tvs each in a different room for streaming media to 5 televisions

 

SO planning to factory re-set all my old airports and then install the tower airport in prime receiving position. It will recieve the wifi signal via an ethernet cable from the "radio" on my roof which receives my internet signal. (Actually faster than most wired internet in the small town I live in).

 

Tower = main receiver and distributor of internet

1 x older airport extreme distributing this signal further into the house - SHOULD THIS BE IN BRIDGE MODE?

2 or more others distributing the signal from the older airport extreme further into the house - SHOULD THEY ALSO BE IN BRIDGE MODE?

 

I'm very unclear on the benefit of bridge mode. Currently all my routers operate freely and are just extenders - not in bridge mode. Devices just hook into whatever router is nearest - some of which show Excellent wifi and the furtherest show only "Good wifi. I have one room at the very end of my house where the wifi is pretty weak.

 

Any comments on set up or especially the value of Bridge mode and whether all down-stream routers should be bridged or just extended much appreciated. I guess there is a possibility that I place the 2 older extremes in two main extending locations. One for one section of the house and the other to receive the signal direct from the Tower Airport Extreme to distribute the other end of the house section. So should they both be bridged....?

  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,585 points)

    When an AirPort is properly configured to extend the wireless range of another, it is automatically reconfigured into Bridge mode.

     

    Each of AirPorts that you will use to extend the new 802.11ac AirPort Extreme would all need to be configured as such. Please check out this Apple Support article on how to extend AirPorts.

     

    The key here is to understand that the extended network works in a wheel-like fashion with the base station being extended at the hub of the wheel and each of the extending ones on one of the spokes. This should help you plan the best placement of each base station for maximum performance. For more details on optimum placement, please see the following AirPort User Tip.

  • Tidy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    So I have re-set all my airports and extremes - ie held the reset button while powering on and waited for the amber light to flash.

     

    Now my new tower extreme is up and running fine

     

    1 of the airport extremes is discoverable and has a green light and appears in airport utility (it doesn't appear to have lost any of its identity though - same name as in the past).

     

    2. my original airport extreme (it used to be the base station for my whole network) just reverts to flashing amber no matter what I do and is not working or discoverable. Is this because it conflicts in some way with the new tower base station that has taken over its role and settings (I chose the same wifi network name) - but it should be re-set should it so no conflict????

  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,585 points)

    It appears that neither of your older AirPort have reset properly. Please check out the following Apple Support article on how to perform a "factory default" reset for each of them. Note: It may take several attempts to do so. In addition, to help facilitate the initial setup bring each of the base stations into the same room. This way you can be assured that they are all within range of each other and communicating.

  • Tidy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, I ended up re-checking the reset - then bringing all the airports into the room with my tower and my mac in order to make them discoverable. They showed up immediately. So now have the tower as the main base station beaming to two extremes in the upstairs wing of house and seems to work well. One other question I have is what to do with my "spare" airport expresses. I am thinking of plugging them in directly into 3 of my apple tvs with ethernet. Would that mean more efficient use of my internet. Does that mean that those airport expresses are then "tied" to the appletvs and don't dilute or disrupt my general extreme network? I assume it would make the apple tvs faster.

     

    Lastly - thank you apple for the joys of appletv - it has freed me entirely from conventional and cable tv and the media available through podcasts, itunes, youtube, airplay, itunes sharing is now pretty diverse.

  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,585 points)

    One other question I have is what to do with my "spare" airport expresses. I am thinking of plugging them in directly into 3 of my apple tvs with ethernet. Would that mean more efficient use of my internet. Does that mean that those airport expresses are then "tied" to the appletvs and don't dilute or disrupt my general extreme network? I assume it would make the apple tvs faster.

    If by "older" you mean 802.11g versions of the Express, you will not be able to do this without significantly affecting bandwidth performance. However, if they are 802.11n models, then they can be reconfigured to perform as wireless Ethernet bridges. They would join the extended wireless network and their Ethernet ports would be enabled for the Apple TV. However, you may want to experiment as using them this way may not offer any performance advantages vs. just connecting the Apple TVs by wireless.

  • Tidy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    So another question. I currently have 1 new airport extreme as my incoming wifi station sending to 2 (1-2 year old) airport extremes (bridge mode) and an airport. I now have pretty good wifi throughout the house which has a lot of solid walls and bathrooms hence the need for many routers.

    However I notice that 1 of the airport extremes is taking all the load - ie 3 of the apple tvs and various ipads etc are connecting to it automatically - lowering its performance to "good". Meanwhile the airport which is nearby is getting no connections and has "excellent" performance. Is there a way to determine which routers the apple tvs connect to? I've started turning them on in sequence to force a connection but it does not really seem to work.