two wireless networks on one airport extreme

Hi there,

I have an Airport Extreme set up to offer a wireless network throughout my flat, using a couple Airport expresses to increase the range to my office and back garden. I also use one of the Airport Expresses to run AirTunes so that I can play my music in the garden from my Apple TV.

The problem is that the signal drops out if my computer is on and downloading emails or surfing the net.

Is it possible to set up two wireless networks on the Airport Extreme so that I use one solely for access the internet using my computer and devises and one for my AppleTV and Airtunes?

Sure, I can set up a Guest Network (or similar) but, I guess my question is - will having two WiFi's set up still have the same problem where the music cuts out (obviously, if the music is cutting out, my internet connection is being hampered too)?

If you can make sense of it and are able to offer me some advice, I'd be grateful!



QA AirPort Extreme Base Station

QA AirPort Extreme Base Station

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3 Answers from the Community

  • Answer

    Not sure, but I'd try hard wiring the computer that downloads. That should take the strain off the wireless network.

    If that doesn't work, you can always put an ethernet hub between the downloading computer and everything else. (Wire this way: incoming internet > hub > one side goes to your router, the other side goes to your dl computer.) A hub (as opposed to a router or a switch) will always split the bw equally, allowing you to always reserve some bw for your music, some for your download. The down side is that your bw is always split, even when you'd rather get all the juice at one machine.

  • You can have 1 main network and 1 guest network

  • "two wireless networks on one airport extreme"

    This should not be necessary and there would be no advantage if the Extreme is "Model A1354." The Guest Network would have no access to anything on your main network.

    "The problem is that the signal drops out if my computer is on and downloading emails or surfing the net."

    Sounds as if the middle Express is unable to properly extend the network to the distant Express. Likely solution is to replace with a second Extreme, however, first:

    1. Verify that all AirPorts are 802.11n models (not 802.11g), and that firmware of each is the latest version.

    2. On the Extreme's "Wireless" pane of AirPort Utility>AirPort, verify that "Radio Mode" and "Radio Channel Selection" are set to "Automatic." Open "Wireless Network Options" and verify that "Multicast Rate" is set to the lowest possible setting and that "Transmit Power" is set to the highest.

    3. Verify that the "Wireless" pane of AirPort Utility>AirPort for each AirPort is using exactly the same "Wireless Network Name," "Wireless Security," and "Wireless Password."

    If the above adjustments don't resolve the problem, and if power cycling your modem does not help (Google "power cycling"), then moving the Extreme and Expresses closer together might be necessary as a test. If this is in fact the solution, but is not practical as a permanent solution, consider replacing the middle Express with a second Extreme.