Two times wireless?
November 15, 2007 11:55 PM   Subscribe

Is it even possible: Connecting a computer to two wireless networks - one for internet access, one for playing music.

Here's the setup. In our little office me and my two partners are connected to the internet via wireless lan.
We have set up a pair of speakers in our comfy corner where we hang out to relax. At the moment we connect our ipods directly to the speakers.
One of us has brought his spare Apple airport thingy from home, so that we can stream music directly from our laptops to the comfy corner.
The problem: Either I am connectet to the interwebs or to the music airport thingy. Is there an easy way to connect to both at the same time?
(We're using Macbooks Pro.)
Thanks in advance!
posted by ollsen to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
There's only one transceiver in your box. It can only operate on one frequency at a time. The two networks you want to connect to cannot operate on the same frequency, so the answer is "no".
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:09 AM on November 16, 2007

You could add an extra wireless adapter to your computer. Possibly one of those cheesy USB dongle thingies. In theory, it would be very straightforward after that point.
posted by anaelith at 12:35 AM on November 16, 2007

Yup, just buy another adapter and connect it.
posted by randomstriker at 12:44 AM on November 16, 2007

What you'll want to do is turn that Airport "thingy" into a wireless access point, as opposed to a router. It's not a hardware thing - it's a simple change of settings. Should only take a few minutes.

My GoogleFu on the exact settings to change on the Airport is failing me at the moment but here's the basics.

The idea is that the Airport hub doesn't do DHCP, and doesn't actually provide any router functions. It's basically a signal repeater for the actual router. So, check the settings and make sure it's not assigning IP addresses, or doing any DHCP functions, and it should be all good. I used a NetGear wireless router as an access point for my wired router up until a few months ago - so it IS doable :)
posted by revmitcz at 12:48 AM on November 16, 2007

I have my home wifi set up this way. Go into the Airport Admin utility and go to the Airport tab. Change the Wireless Mode to "Join an existing network" and fill in the SSID/name of your internet's AP. Click the Wireless Security button to the right and fill in your internet AP's security settings (if any). Click "OK" and "Update" and you're golden. You'll then connect only to the internet AP by SSID, and the speaker selector will show up fine in ITunes.
posted by rhizome at 1:19 AM on November 16, 2007

GREAT! Thank you all for your support.
I will give it a try.
posted by ollsen at 1:53 AM on November 16, 2007

I have two Airport Express units in my house connected to two stereos AND an Airport Extreme for internet access.

All computers can access the internet and both Expresses can be playing music (via iTunes) from separate computers, simultaneously.

Pretty much what you are looking for. As usual for Apple, it works right out of the box. (I have a mixed network of Mac/PC.)
posted by FauxScot at 7:02 AM on November 16, 2007

Yes, the first three answers here are way off base. Those "networks" can definitely coexist without extra hardware, since the AirTunes part of the Airport Express was designed to be a secondary base station in the first place.

Also, adding a USB dongle wifi adapter to a laptop that already has a wifi adapter can cause very strange interference, since they are so close together. Different frequencies or not, that's a lot of output a few inches apart.
posted by rokusan at 9:50 AM on November 16, 2007

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