can the older airport express that is 802.11g can extend the range of a new airport extreme now based on 802.11n?

  • Asked by Raymond T from Atlanta
  • Mar 25, 2010
QA AirPort Extreme Base Station

QA AirPort Extreme Base Station

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4 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    I agree with AH. To extend the Wi-Fi coverage range using Airport Utility app. the two devices have to be based either on 802.11n or 802.11g. Otherwise with an older Airport Express 802.11g and new Airport Extreme 802.11n, the Manual Setup in Airport Utility will ask you if you want to switch wireless network. If you agree in essence you'll create another wireless network in 802.11g mode. I just wanted to save some money and tried to 'merry' a new Airport Extreme (5th generation) 802.11n with an older Airport Express 802.11g to extend the range of coverage and it doesn't work!

    • Answered by Andrew K from Santa Monica
    • Mar 25, 2012
  • Clearly a lot of confusion is being spread here so I'll try to clarify exactly what you need to do to resolve this issue:

    The Airport Extreme is capable of hosting a total of three (3) different Local Area Networks, two of which can talk to one-another. (The third is the guest network which I personally do not use.)

    When setting up any 802.11n network you ALWAYS want to opt for a separate 5ghz exclusive network (found now under Wireless Options...) I chose to name this one differently to reduce confusion.

    If you don't separate the 5ghz 802.11n from the 2.4ghz channel, and opt for a "hybrid" any devices that are not 5ghz compatible will downgrade the entire channel.

    For comparison: 5ghz can transfer at 30MBps whereas 2.4ghz tops out at 6MBps.
    2.4ghz also suffers from interference with bluetooth peripherals and your microwave oven.

    So if you're streaming a movie to your Apple TV at 30MB/s and suddenly your iPhone jumps on the network, unsurprisingly the entire stream will slow to a crawl (relatively speaking).

    So to extend your entire local area network you need to have your older airport express extend the separate standard 2.4ghz n/g/b network and reserve your 5ghz network for newer devices (even the iPhone 4s only supports the 2.4ghz channel).

    These two networks can STILL talk to one-another. So you ARE extending the same network, just under different access point names.

    • Answered by Andrew C from Minneapolis
    • Mar 31, 2012
  • I'm not exactly sure where AH got his information from, but I have the exact setup you describe (with a dual band setup, one 5ghz and one 2.4ghz ) and I can very easily extend the 2.4ghz network using my older express.

    The setting is indeed in the Airport Utility and shows up under (Manual Setup)

    AirPort -> Wireless -> Wireless Mode: Extend a wireless network.

    • Answered by Drew C from Minneapolis
    • Jan 8, 2012
  • Technically speaking, it can not "extend" the range, as there is no setting in AirPort Utility to do that. However, it can join the network, which may have a similar effect for your needs.

    • Answered by Andrew H from Carmel
    • Mar 26, 2010