macdevcenter.com
oreilly.comSafari Books Online.Conferences.

advertisement

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Extend your AirPort Network with AirPort Express

by Wei-Meng Lee, Contributor to Mac OS X Unwired
10/12/2004

For a while now, I've been using an AirPort Extreme wireless network in my home office. However, due to the limited coverage of the wireless network, I had difficulty getting a wireless connection in my bedroom (My AirPort Extreme base station is in the study). With the kitchen separating the two rooms, I had moderate coverage in the kitchen but I also wanted the ability to surf the Web on my bed using my notebook. So I visited the nearest Apple Center and bought an AirPort Express to extend the range of my network (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. The AirPort Extreme Base Station and the AirPort Express
Figure 1. The AirPort Extreme base station and the AirPort Express.

In this article, I'll show you the steps you need to perform to extend your AirPort wireless network using the Wireless Distribution System (WDS) feature found in Apple’s AirPort base stations.

Note that you cannot use WDS if you use WPA on your wireless network; only WEP is currently supported.

Here is what my wireless network looks like (see Figure 2):

Figure 2. My AirPort wireless network
Figure 2. My AirPort wireless network.

Setting up the AirPort Extreme

The easiest and fastest way to set up your AirPort Express is to use the AirPort Express Assistant application included on the CD that comes with your AirPort Express (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Using the AirPort Express Assistant to configure the AirPort Express
Figure 3. Using the AirPort Express Assistant to configure the AirPort Express.

The first step is to select whether you are creating a new wireless network or extending the range of a wireless network. For my case, I chose “Connect to my current wireless network” and check the “Extend the range of my AirPort wireless network” (see Figure 4) option.

Figure 4. Extending the range of my wireless network
Figure 4. Extending the range of my wireless network.

The AirPort Express Assistant will then proceed to detect any available AirPort Express adapter. Once it is found, click on Continue (see Figure 5).

Figure 5. Detecting AirPort Express
Figure 5. Detecting AirPort Express.

You now choose the current wireless network to extend. In my case, my current wireless network name is called AirPortExtreme. Also, you need to assign a name to your AirPort Express for identification (see Figure 6). Since I am placing my AirPort Express in the kitchen, I have named it “Kitchen.”

Figure 6. Choosing the wireless network to extend
Figure 6. Choosing which wireless network to extend.

If your wireless is protected with WEP, the AirPort Express Assistant will prompt you for permission to retrieve the WEP key from Keychain, if you store it there (see Figure 7).

Figure 7. Retrieving the WEP key for the wireless network
Figure 7. Retrieving the WEP key for the wireless network.

You will then be asked to identify the base station for your current wireless network (see Figure 8).

Figure 8. Identifying the AirPort Extreme base station
Figure 8. Identifying the AirPort Extreme base station.

Enter the password for the AirPort Extreme base station (see Figure 9).

Figure 9. Entering the password for the AirPort Extreme base station
Figure 9. Entering the password for the AirPort Extreme base station.

Pages: 1, 2

Next Pagearrow