• Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
  • Security: Public
  • Views: 956
  • Last Modified:

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

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
IHumble
Asked:
IHumble
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • +2
1 Solution
 
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
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
 
mfranzelCommented:
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
 
strungCommented:
Exactly what do you mean by an "ordinary Airport"? Do you mean an Airport Express, or one of the really old original Airports?
0
Protect Your Employees from Wi-Fi Threats

As Wi-Fi growth and popularity continues to climb, not everyone understands the risks that come with connecting to public Wi-Fi or even offering Wi-Fi to employees, visitors and guests. Download the resource kit to make sure your safe wherever business takes you!

 
IHumbleAuthor Commented:
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
 
strungCommented:
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
 
strungCommented:
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
 
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
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
 
IHumbleAuthor Commented:
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
 
strungCommented:
The switch and an express is all you need.
0
 
Owen RubinPrincipalCommented:
"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
 
IHumbleAuthor Commented:
"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
 
IHumbleAuthor Commented:
We should have a regular airport express today and will try again with that and report back on the airport express + switch suggestion.
0
 
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
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
 
IHumbleAuthor Commented:
It is using WEP with 128bit encryption.
0
 
Owen RubinPrincipalCommented:
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
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

Join & Write a Comment

Featured Post

Improved Protection from Phishing Attacks

WatchGuard DNSWatch reduces malware infections by detecting and blocking malicious DNS requests, improving your ability to protect employees from phishing attacks. Learn more about our newest service included in Total Security Suite today!

  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • +2
Tackle projects and never again get stuck behind a technical roadblock.
Join Now