Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Dec 3, 2013 7:17 PM by Bob Timmons
Don Schultz Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

I am trying to extend a gen 4 Airport Extreme by hardwiring ethernet to a 2nd gen Airport Express and will add a second Airport Express if I can get the first one to work.  I have a large network with a 24 port switch and aiport utility 6.3.2 (most recent as of this date)

 

First question:

 

When expanding my network using the hardwired Airport Express can I name the new network anything I want or should it be exactly the same as the Extreme Network.  I would prefer to name it differently so I can keep track of which network my devices are acturally joining but I will be happy simply to get this to work either way.

 

Second question:

 

After repeated attempts to configure my hardwired Aiport Extreme, I get the following yellow status error:

 

Yellow Internet Connetion

Yellow No DNS Servers

Yellow Conflicting DHCP Range

 

Observation:

 

Many of the suggestions here and the link posted in a previous post are not based upon the most recent Airport Untility software so that may contribute to my lack of success so far.  I am using the most recent version.


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (87,700 points)

    Let's tackle the second question first, since it will logically lead to the answer to the first question.

     

    After repeated attempts to configure my hardwired Aiport Extreme, I get the following yellow status error:

     

    Yellow Internet Connetion

    Yellow No DNS Servers

    Yellow Conflicting DHCP Range

     

    This tells us a couple of things....1) the AirPort Extreme is not in Bridge Mode (it should be) and .....2) that you are not likely using Apple's very simple setup wizard in AirPort Utility to configure the AirPort Extreme. If you use the wizard, you don't have to worry much about details.

     

    Assuming that you have verified that the Ethernet cable connections and ports on the switch are operating correctly, and you have hard reset the AirPort Extreme by holding in the reset button for 10 seconds, releasing and then allowing a full minute for the Extreme to restart.....

     

    Click the AirPort icon at the top of the Mac's screen and wait a few seconds for a listing of New AirPort Base Station to appear. Just below that, click on AirPort Extreme. The example below shows an AirPort Express....you will see AirPort Extreme.

     

     

    New AirPort Base Station.png

     

     

    AirPort Setup will open up automatically and take a minute to analyze the network, then announce that the AirPort Extreme will be configured to extend your main network.

     

    Enter a device name that you would like to use for the Extreme and click Next

     

    Wait a minute while Airport Setup configures everything for you. You should see a message that the Extreme is being configured to extend using Ethernet.

     

    When you see the message of Setup Complete, click Done.

     

    Now, to your first question.......

     

    The current setup will configure the Extreme to use the same wireless network name, security, password, etc so that it will extend the network and devices will not have to change networks to pick up the signal from the Extreme.

     

    If you want to go back in and assign a different wireless network name and password to the Extreme's network, you can do so.

     

    This will force computers in close proximity to the Extreme to manually change networks to log on to the Extreme's network.  Then they will have to manually log back onto the "main" network if they change locations.

     

    Please clarify if you want to assign a separate wireless network name for the Extreme to use.

     


  • Don Schultz Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    If I understand this, my airport extreme is going to appear as a new airport base station and I will reconfigure it using the setup wizard.  Correct me if I am wrong but in order for my airport extreme to appear in the menu as you describe, I would need to reset it which I am not going to do.  I have 2 dozen port settings in the extreme that I don't want to loose.  Is it as simple as going to AP Utility, Network and changing router mode from DHCP and NAT to OFF(bridge mode).  If no,t could you suggest a way that I can add a hard wired airport extreme with and eye toward my desire not to loose my current settings on the extreme?

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (87,700 points)
    Correct me if I am wrong but in order for my airport extreme to appear in the menu as you describe, I would need to reset it which I am not going to do.

     

    Correct, you need to reset the Extreme if you want to use the AirPort Setup utility.

     

    I have 2 dozen port settings in the extreme that I don't want to loose.

    The AirPort Extreme needs to be in Bridge Mode if you want it to extend the network.

     

    This is the first time in the discussion that we have heard about port settings for the AirPort Extreme. You cannot have port settings enabled when the AirPort Extreme is in Bridge Mode.

     

    So, maybe we have confusion with terminology here. If we understood exactly what you want the AirPort Extreme to do, we maybe we can offer a solution without breaking too many networking rules.

  • Don Schultz Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    I have a large property, 2 levels.  Its an old structure with lots of wood, lots of walls, beams and some iron structure.  I would like to run an airport extreme on the lower level and two airport expresses on the upper level.  I find that the airport expresses on the 2nd level of our stucture have diffuclty holding a solid connection to the extreme which is set up on the lower level of the property if wireless.  Therefore, I want to hardwire ethernet the 2 expresses on the second level to a 24 port ethernet switch which is fed by an airport extreme located on the lower level.  I have a dozen video cameras assigned ports on the extreme.  To sum it up, I want to hardwire an express (maybe 2) to a 24 port switch which is fed by an extreme and I don't want to loose the port settings that I have entered into the extreme unless I absoultly have to.  Hope that all makes sense.  It seems like it should be simple to me but I guess its not.  Thanks for the help!

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (87,700 points)

    We are going to have to go very slow and be very patient at this point, please.

     

    I would like to run an airport extreme on the lower level and two airport expresses on the upper level.

    Got it. AirPort Extreme downstairs.

     

    I find that the airport expresses on the 2nd level of our stucture have diffuclty holding a solid connection to the extreme which is set up on the lower level of the property if wireless.  Therefore, I want to hardwire ethernet the 2 expresses on the second level to a 24 port ethernet switch which is fed by an airport extreme located on the lower level.

    Got that, understand that using wireless to extend is not the way to go and that you want to use wired Ethernet connections for better bandwidth with the two AirPort Express devices.

     

    After repeated attempts to configure my hardwired Aiport Extreme, I get the following yellow status error:

     

    Yellow Internet Connetion

    Yellow No DNS Servers

    Yellow Conflicting DHCP Range

     

    This made me think that you had an AirPort Extreme upstairs, so my reply with configuration instructions used the term Extreme, which is really your router downstairs.

     

    So, understanding that you do not want to do anything to the Extreme downstairs, should we use the term Express to describe the device that you want to configure upstairs?

     

    The Express is the device that will need to be reset and set up again using the instructions that I detailed above.

     

    Are you OK with hard resetting an AirPort Express back to default settings and then setting it up again?

     

    If yes, be sure to connect the Ethernet cable to the WAN port on the Express before you begin the setup process by clicking the AirPort icon.  Since you will be configuring an AirPort Express, you will see AirPort Express exactly like it appears above in the instructions.

     

    Once the Expess is set up, it will use the same wireless network name and password as your AirPort Extreme network. If you want to change the name of the network, you can do so.

  • Joseph Kriz Level 5 Level 5 (5,045 points)

    You might also read this Apple document on adding single or multiple roaming devices.

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4260

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (87,700 points)

    Thanks, this is good general info, but has no detail on using AirPort Utility 6.x, which we must use here. The document is really about 3 years out of date at this point.

  • Don Schultz Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    I had the express plugged in to the switch during configuration and  was getting "an unexpeded error has occured" so I tried it with the express pullged directly into the extreme and get the same error.  The DSL modem goes into the extreme WAN port and the Express would go into one of the Extreme LAN ports correct?  Can't think of why I would be getting this error.

  • Don Schultz Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    Tried it a few more times and it worked.  I will now try to configure.

  • Don Schultz Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    Okay, I got it to work.  Thanks for the help Bob.  A few observations:

     

    1.  Even though the express was hardwired to the extreme during the set up process it was choosing to "extend" the 5 ghz network which I have activated on my extreme.  I assume this is okay.  It seems to be.  It offered me no other option during the set up.

     

    2.  I configured the express by plugging it directly into the LAN port of the Extreme.  Once configure, I plugged the express into my 24 port switch. It worked.

     

    3.  I choose to keep the express network name and base station name the same as those on the extreme.  They worked.  Since I really want to keep track of which network I am logged into, I later changed both the network name and the base station name for the express and it seems to all work under the new names.

     

    4.  I activated the 5 ghz on the newly configured and newly named express.  It seems to work.

     

    5.  While configuing the express I got the error message metioned above a couple times.  I kept trying the same procdure with out changeing anything and eventually it worked.

     

    6.  Since my AppleTV on the second floor has difficulties connecting with the extreme, I am thinking of plugging it in to the express directly.  How do you feel about this?  WOuld I be better off running another separate ethernet wire off the switch?

     

    7.  This whole system with an extreme, 3 expresses, 3 appletvs, 12-14 cameras, a 24 port switch and up to 50 devices on the network at one time (computers, phones, ipads, etc, etc) works reasonably well considering the demands I put on it.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (87,700 points)

    Even though the express was hardwired to the extreme during the set up process it was choosing to "extend" the 5 ghz network which I have activated on my extreme.  I assume this is okay.  It seems to be.  It offered me no other option during the set up.

    Both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands will be extended if the extending device supports dual bands.

     

     

    I configured the express by plugging it directly into the LAN port of the Extreme.  Once configure, I plugged the express into my 24 port switch. It worked.

     

    That's a good way to do things. If the Express works when connected directly to the Extreme, and doesn't when you connect it elsewhere on the network, then you know that you have a wiring or switch issue somewhere.

     

    I choose to keep the express network name and base station name the same as those on the extreme.  They worked.  Since I really want to keep track of which network I am logged into, I later changed both the network name and the base station name for the express and it seems to all work under the new names.

     

    Either will work, as long as you don't mind logging on and off of networks to switch. Most users prefer to have one "big" network. Then, they can walk a laptop from one area to another, stay on the same network and the Mac will automatically switch to pick up the strongest signal from the closest access point.

     

    I activated the 5 ghz on the newly configured and newly named express.  It seems to work.

    As it should.

     

    While configuing the express I got the error message metioned above a couple times.  I kept trying the same procdure with out changeing anything and eventually it worked.

    I can't duplicate that issue, but glad that things worked after a few tries.

     

     

    Since my AppleTV on the second floor has difficulties connecting with the extreme, I am thinking of plugging it in to the express directly.  How do you feel about this?  WOuld I be better off running another separate ethernet wire off the switch?

     

    Always the best plan to connect any network devices using Ethernet if you can. The best networks are the ones with an Ethernet "backbone".  You can connect the Apple TV to the Express or the switch, whichever is easier. Personally, I prefer to connect devices to a switch if possible just to keep things simpler and make any troubleshooting easier.

     

      This whole system with an extreme, 3 expresses, 3 appletvs, 12-14 cameras, a 24 port switch and up to 50 devices on the network at one time (computers, phones, ipads, etc, etc) works reasonably well considering the demands I put on it.

    That's quite a home network. Glad that things are working. I am sure that you notice better wireless performance now with the two AirPort Express devices wired into the Ethernet backbone.

     

    If we could get more users to set up their networks this way, most of the complaints that we get about slow wireless, intermittent connections, etc would go away.

     

    It's not easy to run the Ethernet cable for some users, but I have yet to hear from the first user who ever regretted doing it.

  • Don Schultz Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    Bob:  Thanks for all of your help.  I would like to ask one more follow up:  considering what you now know about my network, is there anything else or any other deivce you would consdier to manage the bandwidth as effeciently as possible?

  • Joseph Kriz Level 5 Level 5 (5,045 points)

    Yes it is older Bob but still the same principle.

     

    A photo is worth a thousand words.

    I still use it for my quick reference and it has helped many others no matter what Airport Utility they are using.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (87,700 points)

    If you are looking for best network speed, a few things to check and consider.

     

    Since the AirPort Extreme has Gigabit Ethernet ports, you would want to make sure that you are using CAT5e or CAT6 Ethernet cabling to support those speeds, as well as a Gigabit Ethernet 24 port switch.

     

    The AirPort Express devices are a somewhat of a bottleneck when you consider that they will allow 300-400 Mbps wireless connections, but the bandwidth will get compressed down to 100 Mbps, since that is what the Express ports use. Hard to know what Apple was thinking here, when Gigabit ports would have only been a few more dollars.

     

    A potential future upgrade might be to go to two AirPort Extremes in place of the Express devices, then the faster wireless speeds will be maintained as they pass down to the "main" AirPort Extreme.

     

    After that, things start to get complicated if you want to try to manage the allocation of bandwidth of individual devices on the network. That would require a different "main" router to run the network.

     

    Good luck, hope that the network will run fast and strong for you.

Previous 1 2 Next