Question: Airport Express range extension problem
I have an Airport Express running 802.11n, and today I extended the network using another Airport Express running 802.11n, but there seems to be no effect on signal strength. Airport Utility shows them both working, hooked up in sequence (modem to Airport 1 via ethernet; Airport 1 to Airport 2 wirelessly), broadcasting the same network. I'm running Wireless Diagnostics Performance (on my 2017 MacBook Pro), which displays a real-time graph of RSSI strength, noise, signal quality, and transmit rate, and there is literally no change whatsoever if I unplug or plug in Airport 2 (the extender). This holds true no matter where I move in my apartment, including in the room where I was hoping to boost signal strength.
I have tried:
- Placing Airport 2 (the extender) in various locations in the apartment, then walking my MacBook Pro around the apartment while watching Wireless Diagnostics graph the signal in real time.
- Updating the firmware on Airport 2 (Airport 1 is already up to date)
- Setting mode and channel to automatic for both Airports.
- Setting both Airports to 5GHZ.
- Setting both Airports to 2.4GHZ.
None of these made any difference. The presence or absence of Airport 2 simply does not result in any change of signal strength, signal quality, or transmit rate, no matter where it is or my computer is. It's like my computer can see it for the purposes of Airport Utility, but it doesn't boost the signal at all.
I live in an 800 sq ft apartment. Signal strength has always been spotty in the bedroom, which is about 25 feet from Airport 1 (we have concrete walls and a lot of competing signals from neighboring apartments). I tried placing Airport 2 in various locations between Airport 1 and the bedroom. I have tried minimizing the number of walls (down to none) and total distance (down to about 8 feet, with one wall in between). All of these spots get decent signal strength from Airport 1 - if I put my computer in these spots, I can stream video - so I know the signal is getting from Airport 1 to Airport 2. It just doesn't seem to be passed on by Airport 2.
MacBook Pro, macOS Sierra (10.12.6)