I have a desktop computer with a non-Mac OS (it currently runs Windows XP Home Edition, but I'm about to replace/add Ubuntu) which I can't connect to my home network (again, the router is not a Mac product): I don't have an ethernet cable where it currently is and it doesn't have a wireless connection option. I do however have an Airport Express and I wanted to know if it was possible to use it as an "antennae" to set a wireless connection to my network.

I mean, the idea would be something like this:

PC <--(ethernet)--> Airport express <--(wireless)--> Router

EDIT: It CAN be done. I was not allowed to touch a lot of things in the router/network, but I managed to configure the Airport without changing things in the current network. I had to set the IP manually but it is currently working.

3 Answers 3


This doesn't answer your title, but your question I suppose. Unless you just have the AirPort lying around without any use, a cheaper solution would be to get a USB Wireless Adapter. You can get those for almost a tenth of the price of an Airport.


The official word seems to be that the router needs to be Airport Express or Airport Extreme (or, presumably, Time Capsule). Searching around, some folks are reporting success when the router is a WRT54G. Either way, you'll need the Apple Airport Utility to set it up initially which itself will require OS-X or Windows.

  • I do have a macbook if it is only required to set it up. Do these people left a guide in a webpage or something like it?? (I really don't know a lot about routers; mine is a TRENDnet TEW-432BRP = ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41sSsUf4TLL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
    – Nordico
    Aug 20, 2011 at 0:05
  • Since you have all the pieces, see if you can set up the AE to bridge your existing wifi to it's own ethernet port. Worst case is it doesn't work.
    – JRobert
    Aug 20, 2011 at 16:47

No. When Airport Express is connected to an existing wifi network (referred to by Apple as "client mode") it's ethernet port is disabled and it's only use is for AirTunes or printing.


I fear my information (and Airport Express box) was a little bit outdated. According to Apple this may work on newer boxes with 802.11n, but not on older ones with 802.11g.

While in client mode, AirPort Express with 802.11n will be able to use the Ethernet port to pass Wi-Fi traffic to a device connected to the Ethernet port. However, the original AirPort Express 802.11g doesn't support this feature and will disable the Ethernet port. Only compatible USB printers or audio devices are supported.

At that it might even work if you have a WDS network and set the Airport Express to "Participate in a WDS network".

  • Not true, setting an Airport Express in Bridge mode is perfectly fine. Dec 16, 2013 at 1:28

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