Wi-Fi base stations: Setting up and configuring an extended wireless network (802.11n)

This article explains how to set up an 802.11n extended wireless network.

To learn about other options for expanding your Wi-Fi base station wireless network and things you should consider before expanding your network, click here.

Set up: Components of an extended network

➊  Primary Wi-Fi base station (this is the base station connected directly to the Internet)
➋  Extended base station

Configuring a wireless extended network

To create a wireless extended network, you must place any extended Wi-Fi base stations within range of the primary Wi-Fi base station.

Start with the device that will be configured as the primary Wi-Fi base station.  Then configure your extended Wi-Fi base stations, ensuring that each is within direct range of the primary Wi-Fi base station.The physical location of extended Wi-Fi base stations will vary according to the building environment and may require some experimentation.

If you have configured your Wi-Fi base stations in the past, it may be helpful to do a factory default reset of each Wi-Fi base station that will be part of the wireless extended network before you begin.

Configuring the primary Wi-Fi base station

  1. Power on all 802.11n Wi-Fi base stations and allow them time to appear in the AirPort Menu Extra.
  2. Open AirPort Utility (On a Mac, choose Go > Applications from your desktop, click the Utilities folder, then open AirPort Utility. In Microsoft Windows, choose Start > All Programs > AirPort to start AirPort Utility).
  3. Select the primary Wi-Fi base station in the Base Station Chooser, then click Continue. Note: If you see a message appear that indicates that the Wi-Fi base station has been reset, click Cancel to continue.
  4. Click Manual Setup. Enter the base station password if necessary.
  5. Click AirPort in the toolbar.
  6. Click Wireless.
  7. Choose “Create a wireless network” from the Wireless Mode menu.
  8. Select the “Allow this network to be extended” checkbox.
  9. Enter a Wireless Network Name.
  10. Optional: By default, Wireless Security is set to None so that no password will be required to join the network. We recommend you click on the Wireless Security menu,  select WPA2 Personal, and create a password between 8 and 63 characters long.
  11. From the Radio Channel Selection menu, select Automatic.
  12. Click Update.
  13. The next window may indicate that there are some problems. Resolve the problems, then click Update.

You are now ready to add extended Wi-Fi base stations to your network.

Configuring an extended Wi-Fi base station

  1. Place any extended Wi-Fi base stations within range of the primary Wi-Fi base station
  2. Ensure that all 802.11n Wi-Fi base stations are powered on and allow them time to appear in the AirPort Menu Extra
  3. Open AirPort Utility (On a Mac, choose Go > Applications from your desktop, click the Utilities folder, then open AirPort Utility. In Microsoft Windows, choose Start > All Programs > AirPort to start AirPort Utility).
  4. Select the Extended Wi-Fi base station in the Base Station Chooser, then click Continue. Note: If you see a message appear that indicates that the Wi-Fi base station has been reset, click Cancel to continue.
  5. Click Manual Setup. Enter the base station password if necessary.
  6. Click AirPort in the toolbar.
  7. Click Wireless.
  8. Choose “Extend a wireless network” from the Wireless Mode menu.
  9. Choose the network you want to extend from the Network Name menu.
  10. Enter the network and device password if necessary, then click Update.
  11. The next window may indicate that there are some problems. Resolve the problems, then click Update.

 

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