How To Use Apple Airport Express to Extend a Network?

I've been pulling my hair out over the following: I have a linksys EA3500 router set up with 2.4 and 5ghz wifi. Connected by ethernet is an Airport Express which I use to extend the range of the wifi and serve as Airplay device. It's set up as 'create wireless network' with the same SSID as the EA3500 and it's set to bridge mode. I've got a mixed bag of devices on the network including ipads android phones a MBP and a windows laptop. All the devices connect to the internet fine when connected to the Airport Express but for some reason my MBP which is connected wirelessly directly to the EA3500 (either 2.4 or 5ghz does't matter) can't see devices connected to the Airport Express and vice versa (this happens most of the time but not always). The router is able to ping both MBP and AE connected devices. Sometimes an android phone will also not ping an AE connect device when it's directly on the router. I've been reading the internet for days but I cannot find a solution. Is there anyone here who might be able to tell me what's going on? Thanks in advance.

  • 2 Answers
  • Apple Airport Router
  • Haiden

Apple Airport Express to Extend a Network

It's my understanding that the problem you are experiencing is common. By extending your wifi you have reduced your bandwidth because the devices are using some of the bandwidth to communicate with each other.

The way around this is to connect the two airports via Ethernet (either direct or using power line converters).

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1 >> In "Wireless" section don't use "Extend a wireless network"! Instead use "Create a wireless network" and enter the same SSID and Wi-Fi encryption as the network you're extending.

Background info: If a computer finds multiple Wi-Fi networks with the same SSID it'll assume they represent the same network. It'll then pick the one that's best suited (usually the one with the best signal strength).

2 >> In the "Network" section you need to set "Router Mode" to "Off (Bridge Mode)".

3 >> You need to plug your Ethernet cable into the WAN port not the Ethernet port. Note: I've only tested this with an AirPort Express Base Station of the second generation. As far as I understand it on the first generation you need to plug your Ethernet cable into the (only-existing) Ethernet port instead.

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How To Use Apple Airport Express to Extend a Network?

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