I have a household with mostly Apple products with a Cisco base station. I was wondering if I can use an Airport Express as a range extender. If it works, it would be very attractive for me since I could also use it to play music from my iPhone through it.

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I would say without doing the research on the specific model (generation) of Airport and the specifics on the firmware on the Cisco device - they may work but it's certainly not guaranteed.

It's almost inconceivable the first part would fail. The express will join almost any network and AirTunes will work as long as it is in range.

The extending is where you want to do your homework if you need that to work as well to not be disappointed with a purchase. WDS is the main standard - so be sure you read up on the Apple WDS documentation as well as whatever Cisco provides.

WDS in and of itself isn't necessarily a bad protocol, but it makes your network much more complicated and much more likely to fail since any one part failing cascades to the rest. Many people (even professionals) have lost days to trying to make WDS work and maintain/troubleshoot it when problems arise.

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    Thanks for your informative answer - its exactly what I was looking for. Looks like a mixed network is not a great idea. I think I'll just get an AirPort Extreme/Express combo at some later time after the next update. Commented Jun 23, 2011 at 23:02
  • I've had a long string of successes with Apple to apple networks, extending the network up to 5 base stations. They just work well together.
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 23, 2011 at 23:06

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