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Set up Airport Express and third-party wireless Network
This hint will help you set up the Airport Express to join an existing wireless network, extend an existing wireless network, and broadcast AirTunes all wirelessly on a Mac.

Read the rest of the hint for the steps...

Here's how to set it up...
  1. Connect the AirPort Express directly to the wireless router via an Ethernet cable.
  2. Use the Airport Express signal as the Internet signal for surfing.
  3. Open Airport Admin Utility
  4. Scan for a signal and modify the Airport Express you are currently using.
  5. Select Join an existing network (under wireless mode)
  6. Change the 'Wireless Network' to the wireless router you would like the Airport express to join (ie NETGEAR -- this is the SSID name of the wireless router you are joining).
  7. Enable AirTunes on the Airport Express.
  8. Reboot the computer
  9. Disconnect the Airport Express so only one wireless signal will be visible.
  10. Unplug the Airport Express and plug it back in.
  11. Now you can transfer music from iTunes to the Airport Express and/or print wirelessly
To Extend the range of the internet signal you are using with Airport Express, do this:
  1. Open Airport Setup Assistant and change the existing network
  2. Scan for wireless signals; the Airport Express signal from the existing network will become valid through the SSID of the original wireless router (ie NETGEAR).
  3. Click on the 'Start Again' button on the bottom of the configuration screen of the wireless router (ie NETGEAR).
  4. Select 'Extend the range of my Airport network.'
  5. Finish the Setup Assistant, and you're all set ... it's that easy.
[robg adds: I haven't tested this one at all. A similar hint may also provide useful info, but some comments indicated that it didn't work as described ... hence I chose to run this one as well.]
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Set up Airport Express and third-party wireless | 13 comments | Create New Account
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Set up Airport Express and third-party wireless
Authored by: edwardsx on Mar 10, '05 08:28:29AM

I have a WAP plugged into a NON wireless router. What changes do I have to make. I set up my airport express, but a few days it does not work again. I am tired of playing with the thing.

Thanks

Dennis



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Set up Airport Express and third-party wireless
Authored by: rbriber on Mar 10, '05 11:03:33PM

I have a Linksys WAP-54G (version 2) as my main wireless router connected to my cable modem. I have this upstairs in my house.

I have a Airport Express (AXP) downstairs acting as a WDS remote station extending the range of my wireless network to the downstairs. In the downstairs area I have a Ti PB connecting to the AXP wirelessly. The PB can both get on the network and send iTunes music streaming to the AXP (which is connected to my stereo). Also connected to the AXP through the ethernet port is my TiVo box via a USB to ethernet adapter. The TiVo box can also access the network. The AXP is both extending the range of the wireless network AND bridging non-wireless clients onto the wireless network and allowing them to connect to the internet via the wireless link to upstairs (I thought this was pretty cool).

Now with all this said, WDS is supposed to work only for the AXP with Apple Products (i.e. newer Apple Base Stations) but there is custom firmware released by Sveasoft you can download for the Linksys WAP-54G that allows the (modified) Linksys WAP-54G to work with the AXP in WDS mode.
See
http://www.linksysinfo.org/modules.php?name=Downloads&d_op=viewdownload&cid=16

Note that the Linksys uses firmware based on linux so they release the code periodically allowing people to make modifications (i.e. Sveasoft). Sveasoft has a public version of their Linksys firmware and a private (pay$) version. I used the public version and got everything to work.

As I recall there are some tricks, like explicilty putting the MAC address for the AXP into the Linksys WDS Sveasoft firmware WDS configuration page. Also it's tricky to get any password protection security working. I am running an open network at the moment, but I am still trying to figure out what security I can implement. I think there is also an issue with the "version" of the Linksys WAP-54G. The Sveasoft firmware works with a specific chip set and I think Linksys may have recently changed their WAP-54G to a different chip. I would recommend that you research this a bit (there are a number of forums, etc about these topics).

A bought my Linksys WAP-54G for $30 at a midnight madness sale at CompUSA (this price also required a rebate). I had previously tried with both D-Link and Netgear wireless routers unsuccessfully. (What's wrong with this picture?: Linksyst WAP-54G $30; Airport Extreme $199).

The Sveasoft "free" firmware has some other cool features such as being able to increase the power of the Linksys wireless signal by about 8X over the stock version.

Finally, there are other people modifying Linksys firmware besides Sveasoft (do some google-ing to find out more). I have no experience with these. Also I think there is modified firmware for some other routers floating around. Generally uploading these modified firmware is not too dangerous because it can be flashed back to the original version if you don't like it, though I suppose if it messes up your router to such an extent that you can't talk it, either with your browswer or tftp, you could be out of luck. For $30 for the Linksys I was willing to try ;-)

As always, your mileage may vary.



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Set up Airport Express and third-party wireless
Authored by: Mucho Grande on Mar 10, '05 10:16:11AM

I have had no end of trouble trying to get Express do what I thought it would do. I thought I could use it to join my wireless network, and use the ethernet port of Express to get on to the network with a wireless machine. I should have read the fine print. I have also tried this hint, but it didn't work for me, I'm using a Belkin 54G Wireless ADSL Modem/Router.

I think your Wireless hub needs WDS for this to work.



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Set up Airport Express and third-party wireless
Authored by: uuilly on Mar 10, '05 11:11:28AM

Per accessing the ethernet port of airport express from a machine w/o wireless. (Is that what you meant?)
You can do this. I'm not in front of a mac right now, but if you open up the airport express in the airport admin utility, and carefully go through all the menus you'll see an option to enable ethernet accesss. Or somthing along those lines. Plug your machine into the port and if the airport express is on the network, you'll have interent access. Hope this helps.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Set up Airport Express and third-party wireless
Authored by: chris_on_hints on Mar 10, '05 12:18:09PM

In the small print, it says that if you get your express to join another network, it will disable the ethernet port.

So you CANT use the express as a multi-function wireless access point to give a non-WiFi computer access to an airport (or 3rd party) network.

Shame.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Set up Airport Express and third-party wireless
Authored by: Dunkin on Mar 10, '05 07:13:34PM

Yes the Express can bridge between wireless and wired either (or both) ways.

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=108038#2

Question: Can AirPort Express act as a bridge?

Answer: AirPort Express can act as a bridge in three different ways:

If you have an existing wired network, it can bridge this network to wireless clients.
If it is set up as a WDS remote or relay station, it can bridge the wireless network to wired clients.
If it is set up as a WDS remote or relay station, it can bridge the wireless network to wireless clients (or "wirelessly extend" the range of the network).

WDS only works between Apple products (Express and Extreme).

---
Please, not again.



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Set up Airport Express and third-party wireless
Authored by: StevenRiggins on Jun 11, '05 07:53:55PM

Airport Express can WDS to a Linksys WRT54G running Sveasoft firmware:

http://vafer.org/blog/tcurdt/archives/000184.html

I am doing this at home as well.

http://www.geeksrus.com/archives/000679.html



[ Reply to This | # ]
Set up Airport Express and third-party wireless
Authored by: momoe on Mar 10, '05 07:30:43PM

I have had my AE working with my Linksys WRT54G (WPA enabled) since the moment I took it out of the box.

I connected the AE to the Linksys via ethernet cable and used my Airport-enabled PowerBook to run the Airport Express Assistant, selecting:

1) Set up a new Airport Express

2) Connect to my current wireless network

3) Selecting the name of my wireless network

4) Named my AE "Living Room"

5) Exited the AE Assistant

6) Unplugged the AE, moved it to my living room, connected an optical audio cable to my receiver, plugged the AE into the wall and "Voila!" a solid green light, ready to go.

Since I haven't messed with the Linksys firmware, so the AE does not extend the range of my wireless network, but my purchase was to enable AirTunes which I use daily to pump my 95GB iTunes Library to my living room from a 400 MHz G3 iMac (+ 2 250 GB LaCie FW HDs) in my office.

The only glitch (off-line with flashing amber light on AE) was resolved by unplugging the unit, waiting a few seconds, and plugging it back in without the need to run any software again.

Hope this helps,

momoe




---
Mac User & Enthusiast for over 20 Years!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Set up Airport Express and third-party wireless
Authored by: hpeyerl on Mar 11, '05 01:03:20PM

So, I'm confused. I successfully used my AE to extend a wireless network (so I could work in the pub across the foyer last time I was working overseas), and I normally use it as my remote speakers at work... Now I want to take it home and use it as remote speakers on my G4 tower which doesn't have wireless...

So I think what I want to do is pair the AE to my WRT54G at home, and then hope that iTunes will see the wireless-AE through my wired ethernet connection to the WRT54G... Am I smoking something or will this 'just work'? I was about to buy an 802.11 adapter for my G4 tower but if this will 'just work' then I'll forgo that.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Set up Airport Express and third-party wireless
Authored by: momoe on Mar 12, '05 01:31:19PM

This may help...

I just tried to open Airport Express Assistant on my Airport-less G3 iMac (directly connected to the Linksys WRT54G) and it states "This computer does not have a wireless card installed" and quits.

Opening Airport Admin Utility however, shows my Airport Express "Living Room" and the AE can be configured from this computer.

But the caveat is that this AE was already configured by a Airport-enabled computer and is currently running.

Since you have already set up the unit at work, it may be ready to go if you plug it in at home.

Let us know.

momoe

---
Mac User & Enthusiast for over 20 Years!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Set up Airport Express and third-party wireless
Authored by: hpeyerl on Mar 14, '05 09:43:45AM

Yes, it did 'just work' amazingly. Since I wasn't told the password to the AE when I was overseas and it was previously setup to extend the office network, I had to do a hard-reset and reconfigure it from scratch. I simply plugged it into my ethernet, ran the setup utility, configured it to act as remote speakers, and to join my existing wireless network. I then unplugged it, moved it over to the stereo, plugged it in, and voila! It just worked.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Set up Airport Express and third-party wireless
Authored by: machard on Mar 18, '05 01:13:25PM

I think there is some confusion here... If you are not using WDS with either an Apple wireless product (AE, AEBS) or a linksys router with hacked firmware, you are not extending your wireless area. You are simply joining your wireless network. The two are very different.



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Set up Airport Express and third-party wireless
Authored by: amangels on Apr 18, '05 01:48:41AM

Okay, I'm stuck on step #6 of jfarb's tip... I sucessfully got the AE to show up on the Admin Utility after plugging it into my third-party (Belkin) wireless router. However, I must've entered the wrong SSID for the router, because it disappeared from the Utility's radar.

Is there any way I can hard-reset the AE and start over with the steps?

Thanks.



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