[Last Call] Learn how to a build a cloud-first strategyRegister Now

x
?
Solved

Airport Extreme can't connect to a network that a normal Airport can

Posted on 2009-12-16
15
Medium Priority
?
949 Views
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Hey everyone,

I need to connect a couple of devices on the other end of my office to my wireless network who's router resides in my room. My router is a linksys wrt54g2.

At the other end of the office is a vonage device that is not wireless, so to remedy the situation I purchased a normal airport, had it join my wireless network (which it did without a problem and it worked phenomenal) I then connected the vonage device directly to the airport using ethernet and voila, everything worked flawlessly and it could receive and make phone calls (faxes in this case since its connected to a fax).

A few days later my coworker purchased a new apple laptop and noticed his wireless signal wasn't so great, so I disconnected the vonage device from the airport and plugged his laptop in, and found that his internet worked extremely well when it was connected to the airport. So... we had two choices, to buy another airport (so we could have one for the vonage unit and another for his laptop), or to upgrade to an airport extreme.

We figured since the investment was the same we may as well return the normal airport and get the extreme (as an extreme costs the same as two normal airports). The idea was to join the extreme to the network in the same manner we had done with the regular airport and hook both his laptop and the vonage device to the airport extreme via ethernet (just as we had done with the normal airport). Well turns out it's easier said than done.

When running the automated wizard, it asked if I would like to connect to an existing network, I specified the network, etc. and when it was all done it would hang upon reboot. I then tried to configure manually, but in manual configuration I don't get the option to join a network, instead I get the option to either create, or extend an existing wireless network, and if I tell it to extend the network and specify my wireless router, it says "this network cannot be extended".

So needless to say I'm confused as to why I can use a normal airport to connect his PC and/or the vonage device to my wireless network without problems, but not an airport extreme. Any help would be much appreciated.
0
Comment
Question by:IHumble
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • +2
15 Comments
 
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 26070910
How are you connecting the airport to the vonage device? Ethernet or wirelessly?

Is the vonage device you internet gateway or is it the Linksys?
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:mfranzel
ID: 26071683
What you will need to do is to go to the configuration for the linksys and somewhere there should be a box to allow the wireless network to be extended. My network consists of an airport extreme and an airport express. However, my airport express wasnt able to extend my network because I did not have this option checked. However, I am not sure that the airport is able to extend networks that are from 3rd party routers.

You may be better off if you get an airport extreme and an express for the other side of the room.
0
 
LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 26071815
Exactly what do you mean by an "ordinary Airport"? Do you mean an Airport Express, or one of the really old original Airports?
0
New Tabletop Appliances Blow Competitors Away!

WatchGuard’s new T15, T35 and T55 tabletop UTMs provide the highest-performing security inspection in their class, allowing users at small offices, home offices and distributed enterprises to experience blazing-fast Internet speeds without sacrificing enterprise-grade security.

 

Author Comment

by:IHumble
ID: 26074246
string: I mean an Airport Express, the small ones with only one ethernet port.

mrfranzei: I checked my linksys settings and see no such parameter anywhere, though if as you say, the airport cannot extend networks from third party routers, that would not matter anyways.

nappy_d: the linksys is my internet gateway.. and i was able to connect a vonage device to it wirelessly by using an airport express, and connecting the vonage device to the airport express via ethernet, likewise when the laptop exprienced poor wireless signal, i would conect it to the airport express via ethernet and it would start working great again
0
 
LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 26074288
In that case, why not just connect a $20 ethernet switch to the Airport Express and attach both the Vonage and the laptop to the switch?

That should work. I am not sure that you can use an Airport Extreme to extend a network in the fashion you propose.
0
 
LVL 53

Accepted Solution

by:
strung earned 2000 total points
ID: 26074324
Either that, or connect the Airport's Expess's ethernet port to the WAN port of the Airport Extreme.  Use the Airport setup utility to set the Airport Extreme to Bridge Mode (not WAN) and to NOT distribute IP addresses. Make sure the Airport Extreme is on a different channel than the Express (if the latter is the default channel 6, use channel 1 or 11 for the Extreme) and also make sure the Airport Extreme has a different SSID from the Linksys.

Then you will be able to connect wirelessly (or by wire) to the Extreme and bridge through it and the Express to the Linksys.
0
 
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 26074355
I would not necessarily connect a voip device over my wireless network.  The traffic generated could certainly bring wireless communications to a halt, as you have experienced.

Are you running the original Linksys firmware or DD-WRT?
0
 

Author Comment

by:IHumble
ID: 26075166
nappy_d: as far as i knew it's the original firmware, i just checked in my routers contrl panel and it says Firmware Version: 1.0.00
strung: would a switch to the airport express actually work? i have one i can try with, i'd just have to go to the store and exchange the airport extreme with an express again... although this time i might bring in two expresses in case the switch fails to work, i'll just use two expresses and be done with it (one for vonage one for laptop)
0
 
LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 26075399
The switch and an express is all you need.
0
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Owen Rubin
ID: 26099465
"A few days later my coworker purchased a new apple laptop and noticed his wireless signal wasn't so great..."

What was not so great? He connected but it was slow? It did not get a very good radio signal? What?

Also, what "network" was he connecting to, the Airpport Express, or the Linksys?

I am surprised you get Vonnage to work over wireless anyway. Vonage is picky with network connections, and I suspect is using a lot of bandwidth. It is a chatty device anyway, even when not being used for calls.

But knowing what "wasn't so good" would help.

I also disagree with strung (which is unusual) but given the bandwidth that the Vonage device needs when in use, the MacBook will not be happy all the time, and if the Macbook is using a lot of bandwidth when the Vonage device needs it, the Vonage device could get errors in the call.

0
 

Author Comment

by:IHumble
ID: 26099519
"Not good" meaning very poor performance and a weak signal.

When it wasn't working good, he was connecting to the Linksys network. Which the airport was also connected to, and then when he stopped using his wireless and instead used an ethernet that went to the airport, it worked very rapidly.

I'm surprised the vonage worked as well, I didn't expect it to, but it did, and pretty reliably as far as I could tell.
0
 

Author Comment

by:IHumble
ID: 26099523
We should have a regular airport express today and will try again with that and report back on the airport express + switch suggestion.
0
 
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 26099634
orrubin hass just re-itterated what I said here about vonage and wireless data http:#26074355

Also, what encryption is enabled WPA or WPA2?

WPA2 adds alot more overhead and can tend to slow down wireless communications.  try switching to WPA if possible.
0
 

Author Comment

by:IHumble
ID: 26100088
It is using WEP with 128bit encryption.
0
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Owen Rubin
ID: 26102193
I can't help but wonder what speed the Airport is connecting to the Linksys at? On that Linksys, the speed of the link is the speed of the SLOWEST device that connects, so if it is connecting at a slower rate, everyone gets the slower rate.

If you disconnect the Airport, does the MacBook speed up?

Also note that the position of the antennas can and do make a difference. try moving the unit, rotating it, moving the antennas, etc.

Also, other items in the same area using the same frequencies can hurt the performance. In my house recently, we changed cordless phone positions and the WiFi went bad. Moving the phone back fixed the problem. Wireless cameras can also interfere with them.

The other thing to look at is the channels being used by the wireless devices. You should only ever use channels 1, 6 and 11. While 802.11 channels are 22mhz wide,  they are actually only 5.5mhz apart, so most bleed all over each other.  Channel 1 bleeds up to channel 3, Channel 6 bleeds down to 4 and up to 8, 11 bleeds down to 9. They all overlap except 1, 6, and 11. Try changing to one of those channels.
0

Featured Post

Free Tool: Port Scanner

Check which ports are open to the outside world. Helps make sure that your firewall rules are working as intended.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

This article is a step by step guide on how to create a basic PTP link using Ubiquiti airOS devices. This guide can be used on the following Ubiquiti AirMAX devices. Nanostation, Bullets, AirBridge, Nanobeam, NanoBridge to name a few. Please review …
Short answer to this question: there is no effective WiFi manager in iOS devices as seen in Windows WiFi or Macbook OSx WiFi management, but this article will try and provide some amicable solutions to better suite your needs.
Exchange organizations may use the Journaling Agent of the Transport Service to archive messages going through Exchange. However, if the Transport Service is integrated with some email content management application (such as an anti-spam), the admin…
With just a little bit of  SQL and VBA, many doors open to cool things like synchronize a list box to display data relevant to other information on a form.  If you have never written code or looked at an SQL statement before, no problem! ...  give i…
Suggested Courses

825 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question