[P1] Airport Express question

Mike Wallinga mwallinga at mailup.net
Thu Jul 15 19:48:04 PDT 2004

Hi Reid,

Brian Pearce already replied with the correct answer (as far as both he 
and I know, anyway!), but I'm in a talkative mood today, so I thought 
I'd expand a little:

The Airport Express can only work as a repeater with other Apple branded 
wireless products.  LinkSys, D-Link, and probably other networking 
companies also offer wireless repeater products (although not with the 
same options for music sharing and such that the Airport Express does), 
and the also will work only with wireless products from the same 
company.  As I understand it, this is because the WDS protocol that 
Brian mentioned is not part of the 802.11 spec, so each company's 
products implement the protocol just differently enough that they won't 
work with products from other companies.

Your assessment of what Mr. Pogue was referring to in his article is 
correct - that technique requires multiple WIRED base stations.  If you 
have, say, an Airport base station and a Linksys base station, you 
should be able to set up one network transparently by setting the SSID 
and channel to the same thing on both of them, but only if they're both 
wired to the network.

If you can run cable to the other room and hook up the Airport Express 
to the network using its ethernet port, then I think you could be in 
business.  But otherwise, I think you're out of luck.

Hope this helps,
Mike W.

Reid Conti wrote:
> Hope someone can help me with this.  I see that the Airport Express
> can work with an Airport Base Station or Airport Extreme Base Station,
> without being physically wired.  So it can act like a repeater, and
> then be used to output your music to the local speakers, no matter
> which base station you're actually closest to (and therefore using).
> Correct?
> Now can it do the same thing with other brand base stations?
> I found out recently through David Pogue's column that you can make a
> multi-node network by simply setting the SSID and channel of multiple
> base stations to the same channel -- cool!  So it doesn't matter what
> brand you use, according to him.  But I think this is only when base
> stations both have wired connections, it didn't address the issue of
> acting like a repeater (or, in my mind, a bridge).
> Anybody know?
> Looking to pick one up ASAP, but I have a Linksys BEFW11S4 router and
> my speakers are in the other room.. I'd like to be able to use the AE
> to play music wirelessly, but don't want to have to hop to a wireless
> network with no internat access to play music :)
> Hopefully my 802.11b gear is fast enough anyway...
> - reid

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