I was wondering whether it's possible to use an Airport Express that is connected via Ethernet (using a powerlan/-line bridge-set inbetween) to extend an Airport Extreme network?

Basically the two places are a tad too far away from each other so connecting the Express to the Extreme via WLan hardly works reliably & I thought I read somewhere that the lan connected method should work, but after going through the Airport Utility Wizard that actually seems to offer this method & it restarted the Express, my Lan stops working.. for some reason.. heavy packet loss from my mac to the Extreme (via ethernet aswell) and all that... if I unplug the express from lan, it all of a sudden works again perfectly fine.

So basically the question is and if its doable, what do I have to do to make this work?

7 Answers 7


what you want to do is setup your express to be a "bridge" for your airport extreme network, you want to create a "new" wireless network (but if you use the same settings as your extreme, most macs should seamlessly work and switch as required)

make sure your airport express is configured not to do any NAT or give out IP's as that is maybe what is conflicting with your network currently, also make sure you give it an IP in the same subnet as your airport extreme and also that it does not conflict with any other machines

  • If I have two wifi's with the same settings (ssid, encryption-method & pw, channels and such..) won't the two interfere in one way or another? Jun 19, 2011 at 16:51
  • i've setup 2 extremes in the same office block with all same settings and its worked perfectly to date, clients automatically select the strongest signal of the 2 Jun 20, 2011 at 6:42
  • 1
    @Jörg When you're using Ethernet (or powerline adaptors or whatever, anything but Wi-Fi) as your backhaul, channel is the one wireless setting you want to have different between the two APs. If you're using 2.4GHz, make sure the channels are 5 apart (like 1, 6, and 11).
    – Spiff
    Jul 7, 2011 at 6:24
  • 2
    The magic word is 'roaming'. The Apple document with Anthony's answer is "Apple Airport Networks" which can be found here: manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/…
    – zzz
    Aug 18, 2011 at 15:20

So apple says to just set the same network name (but different device name), and password for all devices, and put them all in bridge mode. This seems to work, but it doesn't.
I have a 4th generation time capsule and an airport express 802.11g (2007 model), and although I can connect to both networks when I am in range, the connection is interrupted when I am listening to a radio stream, while walking from one to the other.
Note that the networks overlap, there is no gap with no reception from either, when I tried this.
Quite frustrating.


you're creating a network loop, that's why it starts freaking out. stupid Airport Express can't extend wireless network by connecting to backbone network via Ethernet. If you choose "extend wireless network"... on Airport that you want as an extender, it takes the signal from nearest Airport, not from Ethernet. You can connect client PC to this Ethernet and it would get a connection from air. Because you connect Ethernet to a backbone, instead of a client machine, it creates a loop (wire connection to backbone from other airpot - extending connection through air - putting it back through a wire)


In my experience the only reliable way to set up a combination of Airport Extreme + any number of Expresses to extend the network was not to use "let this Express extend Airport network" feature. Instead, configure each Express to create network of its own with the same SSID, only making sure that they are 5-6 channels apart and use the same security/password.


Was searching for this specific issue and the best answer is on the Apple Support site -- https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202056

I chose the roaming option.


I have successfully used an AirPort Express 802.11n (2nd Generation) to extend the network of an AirPort Time Capsule (4th generation) using Airport Utility 6.3. It didn't quite work the first time I tried it though: I had to do the configuration over wired Ethernet, from the Time Capsule.

Doing it this way, the Airport Utility will detect what's going on, and will suggest extending a network over ethernet. You do not need to change or configure anything apart from the name of the Airport Express device itself. (The device, not the network name--the network is shared with the Time Capsule.)

(In my particular configuration, the Airport Express and Time Capsule are connected via a Powerline device (devolo dLAN 500 AVmini), so I can report that this configuration works as well.)


If you're using Airport Utility 6.x, you'll need this answer here (it worked for me): https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5244532?tstart=0

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .