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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jun 29, 2010
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    3
    G5 and Airport Express, wants to extend to iPad
    I'm not so Mac savvy as I am PC savvy, so I'm hoping that someone here can point me in the right direction.

    I have a friend who has a G5 which his internet directly connects to and he shares it via wireless from an installed Airport card (not sure what speed, it's a few years old the G5). The wireless is used to offer connectivity to his iPad, iPhone, Apple TV and visiting guests; unfortunately, the wireless capabilities of the iPad are poor and he loses connectivity half the distance the iPhone and my laptop can go!

    He went to the Apple store, explained his configuration to an employee there and they said he needed an Airport Express router to extend the range of his signal from his G5. Sounded like a possible idea to me...

    Unfortunately, it seems that for whatever reason, the option to 'extend wireless signal' is not possible as the Airport simply states that it cannot extend the signal of this network. Tried the Airport Express by itself rather than attempting to extend and the signal strength was exactly the same, so that's not a replacement.

    As I've been able to do this with various non-Apple routers, extend the range of a wireless card, I was hoping I could do this with the Airport Express but it doesn't seem possible. Is he forced to spend more money on multiple expresses to extend the range or should I simple pick him up a router I'm familiar with that might offer further range?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    IvanLasston's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location
    Rocky Mountain High, Colorado
    Posts
    2,116
    Specs:
    1.8 GHz i7 MBA 11" OSX 10.8.2
    I think the Apple Rep mis-understood your friend's configuration. The Airport Express can extend a WDS network - not an ad-hoc network. So - the Airport Express should be fine but I would connect the Express into the back of the modem - then use it as a wireless router. You can then enable WPA2 so that your wireless is protected. Running ad-hoc means you can only enable WEP as a security measure.

    Should be pretty simple to setup. Plug in the Express, plug in the ethernet to the express, go to the G5 and and open the airport utility - usually under applications -> utilities -> airport utility and set up the Express as a router. You should be able to glean whether it is dhcp/ppoe/etc from the setup on the G5.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jun 29, 2010
    Posts
    3
    So you're telling me to have this guy buy a second airport express then? I'm not sure if you understood my post or if you left part of your advice out. Also, the network security irrelevant at this place for various reasons.

    Perhaps with all the detail I provided, my point may have been lost.

    - G5 has wireless shared internet, signal just too shy of where he wants the ipad to connect (imac connects fine though)
    - Airport Express's wireless signal exactly the same quality as G5's wireless signal

    So I have a G5 with wireless, an Airport Express free to use, can I extend the G5's wireless to the Airport? No? If not, then I either need a better router with stronger wireless or a second Airport Express to extend what the single Airport Express can not... going the Apple route may be a waste of money since it will take two routers for $100ish for what a single router from another company can do?

  4. #4

    IvanLasston's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location
    Rocky Mountain High, Colorado
    Posts
    2,116
    Specs:
    1.8 GHz i7 MBA 11" OSX 10.8.2
    First - no I am not saying you need 2 expresses.

    I'm saying that the Airport Express cannot extend your G5's signal.

    What I am also saying is that I would use the Express as a router - and stop trying to do use the G5 as an AD-Hoc network.

    If you are saying that the Express as a router has the same signal strength as the G5 I would be surprised. I have Airport Expresses sprinkled throughout my house and have good signal strength throughout. I can see Expresses from 3 floors away.

    If you want to extend a WDS network with apple products - you have to use apple products. That is the WDS created by Apple's Airport Expresses, Airport Extremes, and Time Capsules can only be extended by Apple products. They lock you in and it sucks.

    If you are more comfortable with another vendor feel free to recommend and use that - you are right there are plenty of choices out there with bigger antennas, range extenders, and the like.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jun 29, 2010
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by IvanLasston View Post
    What I am also saying is that I would use the Express as a router - and stop trying to do use the G5 as an AD-Hoc network.
    One does not offer anything further than the other, as the user keeps his PC on all the time, so it doesn't make sense to keep the Airport Express router if it doesn't do what the user needs. The signal strength is exactly the same, tested both with a signal meter.

    Quote Originally Posted by IvanLasston View Post
    If you want to extend a WDS network with apple products - you have to use apple products.
    I was hoping to keep the user on an 'all apple' configuration, as that's what he likes and is easiest for him to work with, but may not be possible.

    I now have the peace of mind that what I assumed is actually how it is. I'll leave the final decision with the user... Thank you for the response!

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