1 Reply Latest reply: Jul 12, 2013 8:02 PM by Bob Timmons
Dr. Livingstone Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Presently, I'm running a wireless network which consists of an Airport Extreme and two Airport Expresses. The Extreme is on the main floor of a three level home.

 

Older Express is used to extend the wireless network, but it primarily functions as an Airplay device connected to speakers.

 

Newer Express is in the basement near the entertainment center. I configured it to wirelessly extend the network, in an effort to get better wifi reception to the various devices - PS3, Blu-Ray, AppleTV, AV receiver.

 

Wirelessly extending it works, but I know it's not the optimal situation. I'm exploring adding a new Extreme to the basement, wired to the current Extreme.

 

I referred to this Apple KB article which is very helpful. Running ethernet from the family room directly down to the utility room is easy. The basement/entertainment center is adjacent to the utility room.

 

From there, I have two choices.

 

First option:

Mount the new Express just outside the utility room, on the ceiling. Easy access to a power outlet and the ethernet cable can easily connect. After following the configuration directions, I should have a better wifi signal in the basement, for the fixed devices and occasional mobile devices. In this case, the two Extremes would be 25-30 feet apart, via a staircase. Do I need to address channel configuration? Or is using 'automatic' sufficient?

 

Second option:

Run a longer ethernet cable into the utility room, and tack it along the baseboard. Set up the new Extreme alongside the devices for an optimal signal, or utilize any of the three LAN ports for direct wiring. In this case, the two Extremes would be 50-60 feet apart. Again, what do I need to do for the channel configuration?

 

In both cases, I'm likely adding in a switch, since all three LAN ports on the current Extreme are in use; I'll need one free port to wire to the WAN port of the new Extreme.


iPhone 4S, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.1), MBP, 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (86,875 points)
    I'm exploring adding a new Extreme to the basement, wired to the current Extreme.

     

    By far the best way to extend a network, since the Ethernet cable maintains maximum network bandwidth. This is the way the pros extend a network.

     

     

    Do I need to address channel configuration? Or is using 'automatic' sufficient?

     

    "Automatic" will work fine, but if you want to set the channels manually, you need to separate them by at least 4-5 settings. So, if one AirPort is on channel 1, then the second should be on 6 or higher for 2.4 GHz. For 5 GHz, just use a different channel.

     

    The second option gives you more of a "gap" between AirPorts so you may notice a slow down in signal about mid way between the AirPorts depending on the number of walls, ceilings, or other obstructions the signal must pass through. Same rule for setting the Channels applies.

     

    In both cases, I'm likely adding in a switch, since all three LAN ports on the current Extreme are in use

    Make sure that you get a Gigabit Ethernet switch to take full advantage of the Gigabit Ethernet ports on the AirPort Extreme.

     

    I referred to this Apple KB article which is very helpful

    The article does have some good general information, but it is several years old and assumes that you are using the Leopard or Snow Leopard operating system on your Mac.

     

    If you are using Lion or Mountain Lion, things have changed, (and Apple is now almost 2 years late in providing updated information specific to using Lion and Mountain Lion), so you will become very frustrated if you try to configure things according to the older article.

     

    Post back for some tips when you are ready to move forward with the Ethernet connected AirPorts.