How can I add more computers to my wireless network with one ethernet jack?
April 16, 2006 9:29 AM   Subscribe

One ethernet jack + one networking newbie=too much trouble...

I have an Airport Express and I just got a Maxtor network drive. How do I get the Maxtor on the wireless network since the Airport Express only has one ethernet jack?
Do I just need a switch? Would the switch come before the AE or after? Or, is it easier to just get a new router?
posted by puckupdate to Technology (5 answers total)
Plug the switch into the AE, and plug both your computer and the Maxtor into the switch. A hub would also work (instead of a switch), and it'd be cheaper.
posted by jbb7 at 9:42 AM on April 16, 2006

Will that make the Maxtor available wirelessly?
posted by puckupdate at 11:07 AM on April 16, 2006

If I understand correctly, you've plugged the airport express into your cable or DSL modem and all your PCs access the net wirelessly?

If so, then putting a switch between the airport and the cablemodem means that your network drive will be accesable to the entire Internet without benefit of a firewall while your own computers would probably be unable to access it.

Probably the easiest thing to do would be to get another Airport express, configure it to join the existing wireless network as a bridge and plug the Maxtor into it.

Cheaper would be to get some third party firewall/router access point with a built in switch. Plug the cable modem into its Internet port, plug the Maxtor into one of its wired ports, and configure it to run your wireless network, setting the Airport aside (you might be able to get it to work as a range extender).

I've found the Linksys WRT54 line to be a good value. I think I'd look for a deal on a wrt54gs at staples or officemax or frys or something. Should be able to get them for less than $70
posted by Good Brain at 11:08 AM on April 16, 2006

Actually, one possibility I didn't consider: Is your airport express acting as your firewall/router or is the Cable or DSL modem doing that (check the config on your airport to see)?

If the Cable/DSL box is acting in that capacity and the Airport is just acting as a wireless access point, then you could just stick a switch in as jbb7 suggested.

One last option though. You could keep using your airport for wireless, but disable its router/firewall function and put a cheap router/firewall/switch inbetween it and your Cable/DSL box. That linksys wireless router I mentioned might actually be the cheapest way to do this, you'd just disable the wireless functionality. The advantage to this is that it would cause the least disruption to your wireless network.
posted by Good Brain at 11:16 AM on April 16, 2006

The linksys seems to be the path of least resistance. I'll get one and play with the configuration.
posted by puckupdate at 12:01 PM on April 16, 2006

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