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Networking help: extend wifi network via ethernet (1 Viewer)

DaveF

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I bought an Airport Express hoping it could do a little magic for me. However, I'm having troubles. I want to extend my wifi network, to bolster wifi in the guest bedrooms for the upcoming family holiday visit. Since I have household ethernet, I want to extend the wifi via ethernet. That is, I want to create the setup shown in the apple support page linked below, titled "Connecting to an existing Wi-Fi network as part of a roaming network". Except there will be a router between the Airport Express and the Airport Extreme.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202192


I bought the Express based it this hack that worked with the previous gen. I can't get it to work with my gen 3 AE.

http://manski.net/2013/05/extending-wi-fi-networks-with-airport-express/


I confirmed that my AE is working: I did a hard reset of the device, and configuring it per the Apple Support article, plugged directly into the Extreme. That was Apple-easy: The Airport Utility popped up and configured it straight off. No problem.


Before I start searching the web's more deeply and posting to Apple and Mac Rumors, I hoped someone at HTF might know offhand how to do this...or know that it's not possible.


Thanks!
 

Clinton McClure

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Why would you want to place a router between the Express and the Extreme? Why not just create a guest network on the Extreme and extend that wirelessly with the Express?
 

DaveF

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There are a descending set of answers to that question :)


1) Extending wirelessly degrades performance -- up to 50% in the worst case. The right way to do it

2) I can't set up a Guest Network because of how my home is wired and where I've put the AEBS for best performance.

3) I can't connect the AE directly to the AEBS because of the home LAN


The right way to do this is extend the wifi network via ethernet. Apple supports this for direct connection. I'd hoped I could pull it off with the router in the middle.



I may reconfigure my home LAN to make this work, taking advantage of having an Express in the mix. I could go nuts and buy a second Express. That would make everything work gonzo.
 

DaveF

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Look forward to reading that review.

Ars took a look at home wifi with corporate-minded hardware and loved it.
“Review: Ubiquiti UniFi made me realize how terrible consumer Wi-Fi gear is | Ars Technica”

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/10/review-ubiquiti-unifi-made-me-realize-how-terrible-consumer-wi-fi-gear-is/


I've got a plan to redo my home wifi. But I can't get to it for a couple weeks. I need a full weekend to make sure it's working and stable. SAF is huge on home wifi. If it dies while I'm out of town on business, it won't be thing only dead thing...
 

schan1269

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I ended up running two routers. WNDR4500, then running a 75ft cat to the kitchen to a WNR2000 that sits on the fridge. The kitchen and dining room had 2 bars from the 4500.
 

Clinton McClure

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I guess I'm doing good. Our house is a single story dwelling, about 1500 sq ft. and my AEBS provides full strength in every room. I have an Airport Express in my office at work and have full signal with no slow downs all the way at the back of the production area about 200 ft away.
 

DaveF

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AEBS will give you great wifi, no doubt.

My AEBS in in the front of a narrow two story. It's great in all the rooms we use day to day, first and second floors. But it falls off appreciably in the rear guest rooms. And my family is staying with us for Christmas. So I want to bolster the wifi, or I'll ruin the holidays. :)
 

DaveF

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I burned the weekend working on this. I found th airport express must be connected directly to the base station to extend the network. So I rearranged my network to put the AEBS before my home network switch. I connected the airport express directly to the AEBS an airport express, bypassing the switch.

That worked great.

But Guest Network still didn't work, because my Verizon router was the first in the chain.

I tried some guides on how to turn a FIOS actiontec router into a bridge, but without success. I texted a friend who's a networking engineer if he knew anything about it. He had a leftover MOCA bridge from his last house's FIOS setup. I borrowed that, and got it working. And guest network worked.

But the express would no longer extend the network. In fact, connecting the express broke the network.

I walked everything backwards, put the FIOS router back in, and went back to the entwined newt work I had working at the start. And the Airport Express would no longer extend the network as it was two days ago.

So I may have stress tested my express into failure. Next weekend, I'll check the express in a simpler setup. And decide if I need to try and replace it at the Apple Store.

Through this, my wife asked me why I wasted a weekend accomplishing nothing on some technical issue that was working ok on Friday? "I'm an engineer?"
 

DaveF

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I got everything working this afternoon. I'm not sure what was wrong last weekend. To debug, I connected the Airport Express directly to the Base Station, and it configured automatically and correctly for network extension. I then moved it upstairs and plugged into the wall outlet and it worked fine. From there, I removed the FIOS router and substituted the MOCA bridge my friend gave me, and my base station configured straight away. Had everything as I wanted in about two hours. For those curious, here's a diagram I made of my LAN (for my own reference in the future).

DaveF Home LAN.png
 

DaveF

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Oh, yeah, one more needless graphic. This is what Airport Utility shows for an extended network.


Screenshot 2015-11-22 17.04.42.png



And here's a shot of Guest Network turned on. Because it's been my pursuit of this feature for the past year that lead to all of this :)



Screenshot 2015-11-22 17.09.14.png
 

DaveF

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This is my "home run" cabinet in the basement I've been working with, because, who doesn't like pictures of tangled cables?

DaveF LAN Home Run Cabinet.png
 

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