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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

Error Extending Wireless with Airport Express


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PC2MacConvert

 
Member Since: Mar 29, 2009
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I have been using an AirPort Extreme 5.7 and an AirPort Express to extend the network to provide wireless access for two Macs and a PC at home. If I recall correctly, I had it set for WEP 128 bit due to a prior difficulty connecting the PC with WPA. Recently I decided to try and improve the security again. After changing it to WPA2 Personal I could not get the PC to connect so I tried to go back to WEP 128 bit, but can no longer extend the network with the AirPort Express.

I get the AirPort Extreme working, plug in the AirPort Express, and using AirPort Utility switch to the Express, setting it to join my current network, and to extend the range of my AirPort Extreme network. I select the wireless network set up with the AirPort Extreme (actually it's the only option), and it says it's configuring the main network for a new WDS Remote. Then it says, "There was an error setting up this Apple wireless device for WDS. Quit AirPort Utility and try again."

For testing I put in in the same room as the AirPort Extreme so they would be close together. I have tried soft and hard resetting the AirPort Express but continue to have the same problem. I tried changing the security back to WPA2 Personal but I still get the same message. When I hook an Ethernet cable to the AirPort Express I'm able to set up a network and connect to the internet, so it seems like the hardware is working. When I run the Check for Updates in AirPort Utility it says there are no new updates.

I'd appreciate any help.
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cowasaki

 
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I have explained how to do this on my website Upgrade Your Mac - Airport - WDS

Basically:

Extending a network to more than one airport device using WDS

In the Airport utility select the main device

Under the TAB [Wireless] change the Wireless mode to “Participate in a WDS network” and make sure “Allow this network to be extended” is selected.

Under TAB [WDS] on the main device change the [WDS Mode] to “WDS main” and click “Allow wireless clients” then add the hardware address of your 2nd device/3rd device into the WDS Remotes list by clicking on the [+] button and typing the hardware address

Now in the Airport utility select the 2nd device

Under the TAB [Base Station] set all the information the same as the main device other than the [Airport Express Name]

Under the TAB [Wireless] set all the information the same as the main device.

Under the TAB [WDS] change the [WDS mode] to “WDS remote” and click [Allow wireless clients] then type the hardware address of the main device into [WDS Main].

Your network will now extend to the 2nd device automatically

Experienced computer user, applications programmer and component level service engineer but came to the Apple platform with intro of intel!. Pro-photographer and director of electronics company.
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PC2MacConvert

 
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Thank you for your reply. The solution was definitely not intuitive.

I couldn't locate the “Allow this network to be extended” part, but it didn't seem to make a difference as your solution worked.

I eventually realized that I needed to click on the 2nd device (the AirPort Express) to look up the address (actually the AirPort ID), so for anyone else trying this, I would suggest writing down the ID's of all each device before proceeding). In addition, you have to click the Update button before going to the 2nd device or you lose your changes.

You wrote, "Under the TAB [Base Station] set all the information the same as the main device other than the [Airport Express Name]", though actually the passwords can be different.
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mattyc025

 
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Guys, I've just tried this 3 or 4 times and its not working for me. I only have a single mac and 2 Airport Expresses I am just trying to extend the coverage on my wireless. I've followed the instructions to the letter but no joy. I go through the procedure and each time I do the 'remote' fails to restart and I get an error message. That AExpress then doesn't appear to be broadcasting any signal and I have to do a hard reset in order to start again.

help please
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mandoman

 
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forgive my ignorance here.... but why are you wanting to use WDS as opposed to just setting up as a "wireless network"? I had the same problems you all are having, but once i changed my Base Station setting to "create wireless network" and then changed my AirPort Express wireless setting to "join a wireless network" and taadaah....problem solved! Let me know if this helps... i can give more details if needed... but it's all pretty much just setting everything up identical except for the last part that i mentioned..
Cheers!
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cowasaki

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandoman View Post
forgive my ignorance here.... but why are you wanting to use WDS as opposed to just setting up as a "wireless network"? I had the same problems you all are having, but once i changed my Base Station setting to "create wireless network" and then changed my AirPort Express wireless setting to "join a wireless network" and taadaah....problem solved! Let me know if this helps... i can give more details if needed... but it's all pretty much just setting everything up identical except for the last part that i mentioned..
Cheers!
This is not how to do it. If you do this then the Airport express is just joining the existing network rather than becoming a 2nd transmitter in a combined network with the other device.

Experienced computer user, applications programmer and component level service engineer but came to the Apple platform with intro of intel!. Pro-photographer and director of electronics company.
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brianbrewer

 
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I agree with cowasaki: mandoman's suggestion will not solve the problem.

Cowasaki -- THANK YOU for posting this. It solved my problem, which was as follows:

Situation: I have an XBox and want to stream NetFlix to my television. I also want to have wireless access to the Internet. Currently, I use AirPort Express (AE) as my wireless router, which is connected to a cable modem.

Problem: AirPort Express has only one ethernet port. I can't use it as an Ethernet hub. So I purchased a Dynex 4-port ethernet hub. My setup looked like this:

Internet > Cable Modem > Dynex Hub >> (1) AE and (2) XBox

I quickly learned that I could only EITHER have the AE connected to the Internet OR the Xbox connected to the Internet, but not both at the same time. (The XBox would give me an error message that it can't connect to the Internet, and none of its network configuration exercises fixed the problem.) Worse, it appeared that connecting the AE to the Dynex hub did SOMETHING to the hub that rendered the XBox connection completely dead. The only way to restore it was to unplug everything and then connect ONLY the Xbox to the hub (or directly to the modem, of course). NOT SATISFACTORY.

Microsoft's XBox support Web site doesn't offer anything that I could find on AE and ethernet hub issues.

Solution: We had to give up on the ethernet hub. I happen to have TWO AirPort Expresses, so I've plugged them in right next to each other (I know...this probably isn't good for overall wireless connectivity), and set them up as a WDS network according to cowasaki's instructions (but also finding the same difference that PC2MacConvert found with there being no option to "allow this network to be extended"). I have created a virtual ethernet hub this way, and it looks like this:

Internet > cable modem > primary AE WDS-enabled > secondary AE via WDS extended network > XBox via ethernet

Now I have wireless Internet connectivity for my computers AND can connect my XBox to the Internet.

The drawback to this, of course, is still the first problem: AirPort express has only one ethernet port. Which means I can't also connect my television or Blu Ray player to the Internet without a hub. So...when I'm feeling up handling the aggravation of it, I'll try connecting the ethernet hub to the secondary AE and see if anything is different -- though I don't expect that will help.

I wonder if an AirPort Extreme base station with multiple ethernet ports could solve my problem. But I'd rather not spend the money just to connect my TV and Blu Ray to the Web if I don't have to. Thoughts?

Thanks, again, cowasaki. I'm bookmarking this page in case I ever need to build the WDS network again. Yours was the clearest set of instructions I've found online so far.
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bluemoon222

 
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Anyone know any show stopper reasons why I should not upgrade an Airport Extreme .11b/g that I have picked up off Ebay to 5.7 f/w ?

More to the point...anyone have a pointer to how to do this ?
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