Apple Express Bridge Mode
March 9, 2009 5:03 AM   Subscribe

Cannot get my Airport Express to extend my network?

For the last few months I have tried on and off to get my Airport Express to extend my network from my Airport Extreme. I know it should be simple, I know there is a lot of confusion about using bridge mode out there and I have decided that AskMeta is going to be my last stop on this issue.

Here are the facts:
Airport Extreme Base Station 802.11n v. 7.4.1
Airport Express Base Station v.6.3

Airport Express is HARDWIRED to the Extreme

When reverted to default settings Express has a "status" error that reads: "The Apple Wireless device rejected a DHCP address in the same subnet as its internal DHCP server. You should probably switch your Apple wireless device to be in bridge mode. If you still want to be using DHCP and NAT to share a single IP address, you should change your DHCP Range."

For extended reading on the things I have tried over the last two months, you can check these forum posts.

Apple Forums post on this issue

MacNN forum post on WDS issues

I have not tried creating a WDS because I was told I did not need to and it only makes networking more of a scramble than it is.
posted by silsurf to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
If you're going to bridge two antennas in close proximity, make sure that they are on different channels. For example, antenna A should be set to channel 1, and antenna B should be set to channel 11. Also make sure the SSIDs are identical. Otherwise, just set up WDS — that's what it's for.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:36 AM on March 9, 2009

Response by poster: I was going to setup a WDS when I was referred not to.

"I wouldn't use WDS since you can hook up the Express through wired Ethernet. Set it up as a wireless access point in bridge mode. More stable and superior performance compare to WDS."

From a forum user at MacNN (see link above)

Also, I really need some specific guidelines and instructions, I have already invested many hours into this project, thanks mucho.

posted by silsurf at 6:44 AM on March 9, 2009

Short(ish) version of that error message: The Airport express is, by default, handing out IP addresses via DHCP on the ethernet port. So is your Airport Extreme. The two are clashing.

Those links you provided are confusing, as they confuse the difference between an ethernet bridge, a wireless bridge, and WDS.

What you want to do is, on the Airport express (assuming you're using Airport Utility to configure it):
  1. Select the "Internet" tab (icon)
  2. Set "Connect Using" to "Ethernet"
  3. Set "Configure IPv4" to "Using DHCP"
  4. Set "Connection Sharing" to "Off (Bridge Mode)"
If you do this, your Airport Express will grab an IP address for itself from the Extreme over the ethernet connection, then pass all traffic from the wireless side of things to the Extreme over that connection. Any wireless clients connecting to the Express and requesting an address via DHCP will get it allocated to them by the Extreme, and internet traffic from them will go like
Wireless client -> (wireless) -> Airport Express -> (ethernet) -> Airport Extreme -> WAN Port -> Internet.

posted by Pinback at 7:11 AM on March 9, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, I will try this when I get home. Hope it works!

posted by silsurf at 7:44 AM on March 9, 2009

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