Extending TC wireless range

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Hi there,

I've created a setup in my apartment in order to get music in almost every room.

My problem is, that the building I live in, is made of solid armored concrete, which makes it almost impossible to send a decent wifi signal from one end to the other. This leaves me with constant dropouts on the music when using Airtunes. I'm also having trouble connecting my macbook and iPhone to the network from the kitchen and the furthest part of the living room.

I've made a layout of the apartment and where I've placed the different hardware. (See image)

There are several reasons for the TCs position, so trying to move it to a more central position is more or less not a possibility.

I've tried setting up the AE to extend the network but it didn't work. I might easily have done something wrong.

Can anyone tell me how to set up my current hardware to have a solid Airtunes connection and a better connection for my macbook and iphone throughout the whole apartment?

I was thinking of buying an Airport Extreme and connect it to the ethernet next to my Mac Mini and then use it to extend the network. Would that be a better solution?

The Mini is running as a mediacenter, so I could use that in any odd way to extend the wifi range, that would be a posibility too..

Thank you very much.

The layout:


  • Reply 1 of 4
    So you have ethernet running from the TC to your Mini ?

    You should be able to set the Mini up to "share" it's ethernet internet connection over Wifi... in effect, it becomes a base station... of course you'd need to leave the Mini on and awake all the time. (System Preferences > Sharing)

    Or, if you want to be able to let the Mini sleep, and you're not averse to spending money... you could buy another Airport (TimeCap, Extreme, or Express)... and plug the ethernet into THAT and extend your network that way.

    If the AE that's already in that room gets a poor signal from the TC, then so would an AirportExtreme if you were trying to extend the network wirelessly (which the AE would be capable of doing.)
  • Reply 2 of 4
    Thank you for the fast reply KingOfSomewhereHot

    Would the "Share internet connection" on my Mini extend the wifi signal in general thus also making airtunes run smoother?

    If I did go out and buy an Airport Extreme, would I then need to configure my TC any different? And what settings should the Extreme have to extend the wifi correctly?
  • Reply 3 of 4
    ok... as far as I know... the Mini would extend your wireless network, but as a different network. So, for instance, you'd see throughout your house "original TC network" AND ""Jachobsen's MacMini network" ... I don't THINK there's a way to configure the Mini as an invisible extension of the TC network.

    If you go with a new TC or AirportExtreme, that can certainly be configured as an invisible extension of the original network (in other words, you'll only see one network name throughout the house, your devices will just pick the strongest signal whenever they are inclined look for one.)

    The only difference in set-up for the TC will be to find the checkbox (via AirPort Utility) to "Allow Network to be extended" ... then the NEW Airport would need to be configured as an EXTENSION to the current network... again, Airport Utility should walk you through it fairly clearly.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Extending a network is the easy method of setting up the WDS network. So you can try this first:

    Set the network on the TC as "Allow This Network To Be Extended". Next, select the AX that will extend this network (probably the LR one) and choose Base Station > Manual Setup. Choose “Extend a wireless network” from the Wireless Mode pop-up menu, and then choose the network you want to extend from the Network Name pop-up menu.

    If you are lucky the living room AX can extend the range for the kitchen one. I do this with a AEBS in the basement with the FiOS router and the TC in the den with the Mini using this method.

    If it doesn't work then you can try this:

    Take all your AXs and put them in the same room as the TC.

    Put your TC as a WDS Main station.

    Put one AX into WDS Relay mode (probably the living room...whichever seems to work better)

    Put the other two AX into remote mode.

    Make sure they all work. Now move them to the rooms you want.


    If you aren't lucky neither then LR or Kitchen AX will work out as a relay.

    In which case buy a AEBS and connect to the ethernet then plug the mini into the AEBS. If you do this then you want to use the instructions for setting up Roaming...ie setup the AEBS with the mini as a bridge and make sure it's on the same subnet.
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