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AirPort base stations: Setting up and configuring an extended wireless network (802.11n)

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Question: AE settings for extended wireless network?

Expanded AE wants a LAN connection and modem reset. How to do this without an ethernet cable back to

AE base station for wifi network? Otherwise extra AE isn't recognized through wifi!


Thanks:)

MacBook Pro with Retina display, macOS High Sierra (10.13.1), Apple since 1985

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Answer:
Answer:

I reset everything, including AE's.


Basically, I renamed the comcast default setting to the same name and PW as my AE's, for passthrough, just in case.

Then, after restarts on all there were green lights! Hooray for green lights!!!


Somehow, it now works but my brain is a little spongy so I don't recall all the details.


IAE, your comments along with the others gave reassurance and eliminated some otherwise wasted SWAG's (and more efforts).


Thanks again for hanging in there with support.

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Nov 17, 2017 2:55 PM in response to NeedMo In response to NeedMo

No it is not necessary.. but since you are in a new network setup .. reset it to factory and start over.


If it keeps asking for a wired connection, we can do the whole install manually.. not hard.. just you will need ethernet to a computer.. ie short patch cable.. hopefully one of your Macs still has ethernet.. or you have thunderbolt to ethernet adapter.

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Nov 17, 2017 2:58 PM in response to NeedMo In response to NeedMo

The problem is that Airport Utility recognizes the extended AE (set to bridge mode) but the second setup step asks for a wired LAN connection into the WAN port - as on the base station (connected to the modem).

I'm not sure which "second step" that you are referring two. The setup "wizard" will not ask for this.


Please try the following:


Power up the second AirPort Extreme for a minute or two

Hold in the reset button on the back of the AirPort Extreme for 7-8 seconds, then release

Allow a full minute for the AirPort Extreme to restart to a slow, blinking amber light status


Temporarily, locate the second AirPort Extreme close to the "main" AirPort Extreme


Click the WiFi menu at the top of the Mac's screen and look for a listing of New AirPort Base Station

Just below that listing, click directly on AirPort Extreme


User uploaded file


When you click on AirPort Extreme, the setup "wizard" will open up automatically and take a few seconds to analyze the network, then display a screen that looks similar to the example below, except that you will see your devices and network name displayed


User uploaded file


Type in a short simple name that you want to call the second AirPort Extreme

Click Next, and the setup "wizard" will automatically configure the second AirPort Extreme with the correct settings.


When you see the message of setup complete, click Done


Now move the second AirPort Extreme to a location that is about half way between the "main" AirPort Extreme and the general area where you need more wireless coverage.


Power up the second AirPort Extreme, and you should be all set.

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Nov 17, 2017 1:12 PM in response to NeedMo In response to NeedMo

Explain the whole setup..


You have a modem.. is it a router or not? What is the make and model?


You have an AE (is that extreme or express) plugged by ethernet into the modem?

You have it setup in bridge or router mode?

What model is this AE?


You have another AE (what model is this one) which you hope to use to extend wireless?

Have you reset it to factory.. placed it a few feet (meters) away from the wired AE.. and run the setup.. it should automagically connect as extend wireless.. Then you can move it to the location in the house where you need it.. but if the wireless signal is too low.. move it a couple of rooms closer to the main AE.

Nov 17, 2017 1:12 PM

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Nov 17, 2017 2:08 PM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

AE = Airport Extreme. All is current, just moved homes.


Base AE is connected to Comcast Gateway modem by a short ethernet connection. It then works fine as wireless router to create a network.


The problem is that Airport Utility recognizes the extended AE (set to bridge mode) but the second setup step asks for a wired LAN connection into the WAN port - as on the base station (connected to the modem).


In the past this has not been the case. I simply forgot how to get the second AE to be recognized as part of the

network without running an ethernet cable to it


Do you know if it require a wired connection in the setup process?


Thank you.

Nov 17, 2017 2:08 PM

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Nov 17, 2017 2:55 PM in response to NeedMo In response to NeedMo

No it is not necessary.. but since you are in a new network setup .. reset it to factory and start over.


If it keeps asking for a wired connection, we can do the whole install manually.. not hard.. just you will need ethernet to a computer.. ie short patch cable.. hopefully one of your Macs still has ethernet.. or you have thunderbolt to ethernet adapter.

Nov 17, 2017 2:55 PM

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Question marked as Helpful

Nov 17, 2017 2:58 PM in response to NeedMo In response to NeedMo

The problem is that Airport Utility recognizes the extended AE (set to bridge mode) but the second setup step asks for a wired LAN connection into the WAN port - as on the base station (connected to the modem).

I'm not sure which "second step" that you are referring two. The setup "wizard" will not ask for this.


Please try the following:


Power up the second AirPort Extreme for a minute or two

Hold in the reset button on the back of the AirPort Extreme for 7-8 seconds, then release

Allow a full minute for the AirPort Extreme to restart to a slow, blinking amber light status


Temporarily, locate the second AirPort Extreme close to the "main" AirPort Extreme


Click the WiFi menu at the top of the Mac's screen and look for a listing of New AirPort Base Station

Just below that listing, click directly on AirPort Extreme


User uploaded file


When you click on AirPort Extreme, the setup "wizard" will open up automatically and take a few seconds to analyze the network, then display a screen that looks similar to the example below, except that you will see your devices and network name displayed


User uploaded file


Type in a short simple name that you want to call the second AirPort Extreme

Click Next, and the setup "wizard" will automatically configure the second AirPort Extreme with the correct settings.


When you see the message of setup complete, click Done


Now move the second AirPort Extreme to a location that is about half way between the "main" AirPort Extreme and the general area where you need more wireless coverage.


Power up the second AirPort Extreme, and you should be all set.

Nov 17, 2017 2:58 PM

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Nov 17, 2017 3:42 PM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

There seems to be a problem with trying Thunderbolt to second A-Extreme. It works, but... .


It sets up an either-or first or extended AE but not both at the same time. For example, the #1 AE base coming

off of Comcast's Gateway modem is set up in bridge mode. I changed it's default built-in network to my own nw in

bridge mode. Fine, there's wi-fi with my renamed NW.


However, when setting up the #2 AE with Thunderbolt adapter this #2 AE becomes the new base and the

prior one disappears (in Airport utility). AE #2, now new base, shows 3 errors to edit: network, +2 others, but AE #1 has gone from the display!


There's something about the settings from Comcast's Gateway (internet, phones, TV) to #1 AE's settings. I have

tried various combinations of network settings but it seems to want only 'bridge' mode! This is all in the same room,

so signal is not the problem.


I suppose I could add my own Motorola modem for a signal and reset it all but somehow this defeats the purpose of

Comcast's all-in-one modem. Any ideas where the bug lies???

Nov 17, 2017 3:42 PM

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Nov 17, 2017 4:10 PM in response to NeedMo In response to NeedMo

No, I am not sure.. but I can help you do the whole thing manually..


What I need to start the process is the home IP of the comcast router.. I would also like to know its DHCP LAN setup.


If you can tell me those I can probably figure it out.. unless it is using IPv6 on the local LAN.. then I get a bit lost.. since we are long way from IPv6 here.


A screenshot of the LAN page from the Comcast router will not reveal any info that is going to compromise security and will help.

Nov 17, 2017 4:10 PM

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Nov 17, 2017 6:14 PM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

I appreciate your willingness to help and others' input.


I'm an old timer on SOP's on Macs but now and then there's a hiccup that's new. I think that's what this problem

is about. I have been through multiple iterations of resets, restarts and other in-book efforts.


I will work on it a bit tonight and get back on tomorrow.


Many Thanks.

Nov 17, 2017 6:14 PM

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Nov 17, 2017 6:39 PM in response to NeedMo In response to NeedMo

I'm not sure which "book" you are referring to here, but hopefully, it is not this one:


Wi-Fi base stations: Setting up and configuring an extended wireless network (802.11n)


Reason......all the setup examples in this document assume that you are using a 5+ year old version of AirPort Utility on your Mac. These examples would be OK if you are using a Mac that is running an older operating system like Leopard (10.5.x) or Snow Leopard (10.6.x).


But......your tagline tells us that you have installed High Sierra (10.13.x) on your Mac, so the document linked above really has no relevance to the version of AirPort Utility on your Mac that you are using.....if you are using the Mac with High Sierra (10.13.x).


Unfortunately, Apple has not yet provided an updated support document for the 6.3.x version of AirPort Utility installed on your Mac, so you might need a few more hints to get things working the way that you want.


If what we are saying seems to make sense, post back and we'll start over again on your project, after we ask a few questions to clarify what it is exactly that you are trying to accomplish.

Nov 17, 2017 6:39 PM

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Nov 17, 2017 7:26 PM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

I’m trying to say I’m not new to tech on Macs. I don’t presume to know it all - just a lot of hands on time, comfortable

with trying new and different techniques.


Ask away. I’m totally receptive and appreciative of new or different thinking;-)

Nov 17, 2017 7:26 PM

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Nov 17, 2017 8:16 PM in response to NeedMo In response to NeedMo

I was not questioning your knowledge......only wondering if you were trying to use a long out of date support document as a reference for what you were trying to accomplish.


If you are referring to this document......Wi-Fi base stations: Setting up and configuring an extended wireless network (802.11n)......It is frankly useless if you are running High Sierra or any other recent version of the operating system on your Mac. So, you will need to be willing to set this document aside, as it will only further confuse you.


I'm still not clear on whether your "main" AirPort.....the one that you have wired to the gateway.....is working correctly at this time. In other words, if you power off the extending AirPort, does everything seem to be OK with the "main" AirPort Extreme? If yes, then we can proceed to setting up the second AirPort to extend the network.


Assuming that the "main" AirPort is working correctly.......how will the "extending" AirPort connect to the "main" AirPort?


The information that you have provided above implies that you want the the "extending" AirPort to connect to the "main" AirPort using only a wireless connection. Is that correct? If it is, I have already provided the step by step instructions to configure the extending AirPort in my initial response above. What happens when you follow these instructions?


Or, did you mean to say that you were planning to connect the extending AirPort to the main AirPort using a permanent, wired Ethernet cable connection? If this is the case, then another different setup will be required.


We will wait for your response to our questions.

Nov 17, 2017 8:16 PM

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Nov 18, 2017 11:08 AM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

The first method, by WiFi is the setup. However, AE #2 does not want to extend the base. I’ve tried iterations of

resets and even using a Thunderbolt connection (adapter) to AE #2 (Which sets up a new network but elimates

the pré existing one on the base AE).


I think the problem may be in the base AE. It’s set in bridge mode coming off the Comcast all-in-one modem

gateway. So, in concept am I not just trying to extend the Comcast device vs the AE? IOW, the create network

setting are on the Comcast device, thus AE #2 is trying to extend the network created on the non-Mac device.


Does this make sense? Maybe if I put a Motorola modem between Comcast and the base AE, to get an internet

signal I can then set base AE to ‘create network‘ and AE #2 to extend network???

Nov 18, 2017 11:08 AM

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Nov 18, 2017 12:07 PM in response to NeedMo In response to NeedMo

The first method, by WiFi is the setup

OK, thanks, got that.


I’ve tried iterations of resets and even using a Thunderbolt connection (adapter) to AE #2 (Which sets up a new network but elimates the pré existing one on the base AE).

If you want to setup the second AirPort to extend using WiFi, then you would not ever use any type of wired connection between the AirPorts to set up the second AirPort. You must use wireless only to set up the second AirPort Extreme. More on that later, once we have the "main" AirPort working correctly.


I think the problem may be in the base AE

This is possible, and the reason why I pointed out that the "main" AirPort must be working correctly before you can extend the network with a second AirPort Extreme.


It’s set in bridge mode coming off the Comcast all-in-one modem gateway.

Bridge Mode is the correct setting for the main AirPort Extreme.


So, in concept am I not just trying to extend the Comcast device vs the AE?

No, not if you are asking about extending the wireless provided by the Comcast modem/router.......unless.......the main AirPort #1 will be located at least a room or two away from the Comcast modem/router.


If the main AirPort Extreme #1 will be located in close proximity to the Comcast modem/router, then you would want to turn off the WiFi function on the Comcast device to reduce the chances of wireless interference that will very likely occur when you have two routers in close proximity both producing the same WiFi signal.


So, my first recommendation......if the main AirPort Extreme will be located in the same room as the Comcast modem/router would be to turn off the WiFi on the Comcast device if at all possible. If that is not possible, post back and we will try to work around this potential issue.


IOW, the create network setting are on the Comcast device, thus AE #2 is trying to extend the network created on the non-Mac device.

Sorry, but I am confused by this statement. We are talking about the "main" AirPort Extreme here....which would be #1. It is #2 AirPort Extreme that will be configured to extend the network that is being produced by AirPort #1.


But first, we need to get your "main" AirPort Extreme.....#1.....working correctly.


Keep #2 powered off for now and we will tackle that setup later.


So, the first question that I have for you is this:


1) Where will be AirPort #1.....your "main" AirPort.....be located in relation to the Comcast modem/router?


The next question is this:


2) If the main AirPort #1 will be located in close proximity to the Comcast modem/router.....are you able to turn off the WiFi on the Comcast modem/router?


Once we have answers to questions #1 and #2, my suggestion will be to start over and set up the main AirPort Extreme #1 again, to make sure that it is operating correctly. Then.....we will set up #2 AirPort Extreme to extend the network using only a wireless connection with the main #1 AirPort.


















.

Nov 18, 2017 12:07 PM

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Nov 18, 2017 12:21 PM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

I like your logical communications... .


1. The base AE is right next to the comcast modem. It is green and working fine.


Also, here's a tip from the comcast modem manual:


"WPS (WIRELESS PROTECTED SETUP)

—OFF (normal condition) Wireless

Protected Setup is not active. Blinking indicates the button has been pressed and

WPS is active so that a new wireless client can be added to the wireless network."


I read this as having to press this button to allow setup of AE#2; do you?


2. I do not know of a way to turn off the comcast Wifi other than unplugging the short ethernet cable to the base, AE#1


I'll be reading the manual as you consider this input.


Thanks.

Nov 18, 2017 12:21 PM

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Nov 18, 2017 12:22 PM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

Also, here's a tip from the comcast modem manual:


"WPS (WIRELESS PROTECTED SETUP)

—OFF (normal condition) Wireless

Protected Setup is not active. Blinking indicates the button has been pressed and

WPS is active so that a new wireless client can be added to the wireless network."


I read this as having to press this button to allow setup of AE#2; do you?


2. I do not know of a way to turn off the comcast Wifi other than unplugging the short ethernet cable to the base, AE#1


I'll be reading the manual as you consider this input.


Thanks.

Nov 18, 2017 12:22 PM

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Question: AE settings for extended wireless network?