5 Replies Latest reply: Dec 14, 2013 8:13 PM by SnackFood
Morgs Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

Hello,

 

So I have been reading over this article: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4145

 

I am pretty sure what I want to create is a Roaming Wifi Network but I am also wondering once you have say 4 Airport Extremes connected via ethernet is it then possible to add further Airport Expresses to further extent the network?

 

airport.png

 

Also... Do the Airport Extremes manage their channels automatically?

Is there a limitation to how far you can build this out?

 

Thanks

  • Morgs Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Actually I think I have more questions...

     

    Do they all have to be Airport Extremes that are conencted via Ethernet or can you mix and match Airport Expresses in there too?

     

    And if so... then in the image above there are 3 Airport Extremes connected via ethernet. Can you add 4th and fifth devices(AX or AE)?

     

    Thanks

  • LaPastenague Level 8 Level 8 (44,125 points)

    You can use any wireless router you like.. it doesn't even have to be an Apple.. Roaming network is not a special mode at all.. it means nothing more than you have several AP's all running the same wireless name.

     

    If you install more than 3 units.. then wireless channels get tricky.. remember there are total of 3 non overlapping channels at 2.4ghz. And although Apple will recommend you use Auto channel settings with that much wireless I would not..

     

    Set them in sequence.. 1, 6, 11.. and then start 1 again if you insist on having more than 3. ie each router with channel 1 should be spaced as far apart as possible.

     

    Using inbetween channels is pointless because wireless simply overlaps.

     

    5ghz has more channels available.. but Apple routers do not allow you to turn off wireless.. the early TC gen1 AE Gen1&2 and the express gen1 are actually single band devices .. you can choose either band.. but the later ones are all dual band and stay dual band.

     

    Extending wireless is then a bit of a mystery bag.. you can certainly do it.. but the level of control you have starts to drop. Extend wireless halves the speed.. and with the amount of wireless you intend to install probably much worse than that.

  • Morgs Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Thanks LaPastenague for that info.

     

    I think your answer probably answers my original question but... if you can indulge me a little more

     

    So 'Extending a network' is differnt though as for this you do actually need an Apple network as far as I can tell?

     

    What about Dual Band Stearing?

     

    And if I use Airport Expresses to wirelessly extend the network does that just cause more channel issues? If I already have 1, 6 & 11 set then adding an EX wirelessly could mean that I would need to know what channel it's connected on and make sure I don't use that channel to broadcast and use the channel furtherest away?

     

    So obviously you would have more room to play with for the 5ghz, but all of your devices would need to be 5Ghz capable and close enough to want to use that over 2.4ghz, unless you could turn the 2.4ghz off, but you cannot with the Airport?

     

    WiFi is tricky man.

  • LaPastenague Level 8 Level 8 (44,125 points)

    How big is this place?

     

    Apple routers are not designed for business or industrial use. They are home devices.. most people do not live in castles or huge mansions.. if you do.. the correct way to get it installed is to ring your butler.. and say.. "James,,, see to the installation of wifi so I can get it anywhere in the house.. there's a good chap!!"

     

    And he will order real experts in who do not use apple routers.. they use Cisco or HP or Ubiquiti etc.. which have real controls and you don't need to go around banging your head against the wall to determine its thickness or wailing in the corridors about how hard wifi is!!

     

    If you are forced to extend wireless.. good luck.. just try and see.. there is not enough controls for you to properly manage it.

     

    So 'Extending a network' is differnt though as for this you do actually need an Apple network as far as I can tell?

     

    Yes, this is Apple propriety system.. other brands need not apply.

     

    What about Dual Band Stearing?

     

    ?? Stealing, Streaming,

    I do not know what Stearing means.. it sounds like cattle rustling..

     

    The latest airport express can extend both channels apparently but Bob Timmons is the eggs spurt here on that stuff.

     

    And if I use Airport Expresses to wirelessly extend the network does that just cause more channel issues? If I already have 1, 6 & 11 set then adding an EX wirelessly could mean that I would need to know what channel it's connected on and make sure I don't use that channel to broadcast and use the channel furtherest away?

     

    You have no control.. your roaming system has identical SSID.. the Express will connect to whichever is the strongest signal and extend it. Remember this is domestic equipment. Not pro.

     

    So obviously you would have more room to play with for the 5ghz, but all of your devices would need to be 5Ghz capable and close enough to want to use that over 2.4ghz, unless you could turn the 2.4ghz off, but you cannot with the Airport?

     

    You still have no control.. if you extend a system that is setup for roaming you have no control over which unit is joined.. Extend wireless by its nature is the same wireless channel as the unit it joins with.

     

    You do not need to use as many channels because you cannot simultaneously transmit on the main unit and the extender.. hence the dramatic drop in speed. You are picking up info a packet at a time and re-transmitting it.. avoid if possible.

     

    WiFi is tricky man.

     

    Only when you try to use multiple units to do the job of a pro system.. because you are using domestic equipment.

  • SnackFood Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I'm doing both ROAM and Extension.  Ya, we have a large house and thats why im doing roaming and extension.  Extensions are for very specific areas where I would only get 1mb.  The extenders go inbetween and made the connections usable in that area.  I plan to have the 2 Expresses hardwired when I get a chance to fish ethernet. The only thing I dont like is the Express only has a 100mb link so regardless of my wifi signal devices are stuck at 100 true rate.

     

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