I have a modem/router that came with my ISP and I have two Airport Express. I have the Airports so I can extend my signal further.

My current setup is: Modem -> ethernet -> Airport Express 1 -> wireless -> Airport Express 2.

On the Airport Express 1 - I can either create a new wireless network for AE2 to connect to, or I can join the modems connection.

What advantages / disadvantages do I have to creating a new wireless network on AE1 vs. joining the existing one from the modem?

1 Answer 1


The advantage is you can locate the airport potentially closer to you than the modem. The disadvantage is you need to set it up and perhaps string an ethernet if you wish to avoid delays of wirelessly extending a network.

If I could, I would always run an ethernet cable (gigabit if possible, but 100 is usually faster than any WiFi consumers use in practice) from the router to all base stations.

That allows you to choose different channels and devote 100% of the wireless bandwidth to serving clients as opposed to backhauling traffic to the router.

  • If I wirelessly extend my network, will they delays exist everywhere or just to the extended areas? Doesn't this defeat the whole purpose in the first place? Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 15:33
  • @JacobRaccuia It depends. You always lose performance if one radio spends some or all time relaying information. If you only need 24 Mbps and your WiFi link between the nodes is 55 Mbps - then you won't measure a delay. if you need 150 Mbps and you only get 55 - then the delay might cut your bandwidth available in half. So, it depends.
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 15:35
  • So I bought another APE and I set it up as an extender, and it is connected to the first APE wirelessly because if i were to run an ethernet, I'd probably just move the first one to the new location. However, the download speed seems to be more than half of the original speed. If i connect to the extended wifi I'm getting ~25 and if I connect to the modem, I'm getting ~50. Is this expected or did I probably mess up something? Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 5:59

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