I'd like to set up my network like this, and I want to make sure it's possible using the hardware I have. I think it should be...

I've got my cable modem in one room. I want to plug it into an Apple Airport Express and create my wireless my wireless network here. The airport express will do the NAT and DHCP.

By my TV there are a few things to be networked (Xbox and Tivo). I have an airport extreme here. I'd like to have the airport extreme join the wireless network and share the connection to the ethernet ports.

Can anyone provide some assistance on the best way to configure to do this?


3 Answers 3


Here's what ended up working, via: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2725432&tstart=0

The following are the basic steps to configure a "dynamic" WDS with the 802.11n AirPort Express Base Station (AXn) being extended by the 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Station (AEBSn). Please compare them to what you attempted to see if anything was missed.

One thing to note is that the AXn is not capable of providing simultaneous dual-band operation like the AEBSn. That said, you will only be able to extend the 2.4 OR the 5 GHz radio of the AXn. Since the lower frequency band travels longer distances, I would suggest extending it.

o If practical, place the base stations in near proximity to each other during the setup phase. Once done, move them to their desired locations.

o Open AirPort Utility and select the AXn.

o Choose Manual Setup from the Base Station menu. Enter the base station password if necessary.

o Click AirPort in the toolbar, and then, click Wireless.

o Choose “Create a wireless network” from the Wireless Mode pop-up menu, and then, select the “Allow this network to be extended” checkbox.

o Next, select the AEBSn, and then, choose Manual Setup from the Base Station menu. Again, enter the base station password if necessary.

o Choose “Extend a wireless network” from the Wireless Mode pop-up menu, and then, choose the network provided by the AXn from the Network Name pop-up menu.

o Enter the base station network and base station password is necessary.

o Click Update to update the base station with new network settings.

  • Must stress the "allow this network to be extended" step. People always miss this and then wonder why they get an error when trying to set up the extender.
    – Harv
    Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 21:18


The configuration on page 27 should be what you're looking for. It will require that your modem be only a modem; not a router. We had trouble with that when we were trying to set it up with our DSL modem.

Have fun!

  • Is that the right pdf? Page 27 just has instructions for resetting a time capsule.
    – John
    Commented Jan 18, 2011 at 18:46

John.. the express apparently is not supposed to be able to handle more than 10 connections, according to Apple. Which means, you have have to set up the express so that it doesn't accept wireless clients, but can be extended.

You would then set up the Extreme to extend the Express, and to accept wireless clients. Then of course you would put it into bridge mode so that the wired clients can access the wireless...

Or you could move the Extreme to where the modem is. Of course that means you'd have to get a switch and connect it up to the Express. Blegh...

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