Can I use an AirPort Express to extend my existing wifi signal?

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  • Best Answer:

    Yes, I just finished doing it about 5 minutes ago! I bought an AirPort Extreme and installed it as my WiFi network using the AirPort Utility on my MacBook Pro. Then I plugged in my Airport Express to a power socket upstairs at the other end of my house where I lose signal. The AirPort utility on my MacBook Pro recognized the Express and asked me if I wanted to use the Express to extend my existing network. I clicked yes...done! The whole thing took less than 10 minutes.

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  • There are a lot of "Yes" answers here, but I had no success what so ever trying to extend a Billion router with the Airport Express, so do your research. I think that there will be many brands of equipment that are not compatible.

    The Airport extreme will connect with any equipment, but that is not the same as extending the wifi coverage of that equipment. If you need it for streaming music or connecting a printer or other such use cases then it should be fine as it will join the existing network, but using it to extend the coverage of non Apple wifi equipment seems tricky. In my case attempts consistently bricked the Airport Express which then required a hardware reset to bring it back to life.

    Extending wifi coverage is a common use case these days with access required throughout the house and I think that Apple's listing for this unit should explicitly detail what will and will not work when you use it to extend wifi coverage of non Apple equipment.

    I now have two units which are expensive adapters to make a set of wireless speakers. Not what I really had in mind.

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  • Not for anything other than Apple products. Apple has set up the express to only extend apple networks. I have called apple and asked this question and it was confirmed by Apple. Express can not extend any other network other than apple networks.

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  • Yes you can. This will be the default action setup takes if there is an existing airport WIFI network.

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  • My Airport Extreme lost network connection and can't rejoin. Tried everything per manual and internet recommendations the unit will obtain a connection showing a green light on unit and in airport utilities. But when attempt to connect WiFi a message pops up saying can't join and move Extreme closer to computer even though the Extreme is right next to my Mac. So I removed the Extreme from the Airport Utilities and install my Airport Express (as a test) with no problems and now can join the network.

    I believe my Extreme needs repair or replacing and the unit is ~7 years old. So do I have to replace my Extreme or can I use 2 Express's instead which is a cheaper route. I mainly use the units for streaming music and for Apple TV

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  • Yes you can, but you must understand the limitations.

    There is an excellent article under the Apple Support area search-

    "Wi-Fi base stations: Extending the range of your wireless network by adding additional Wi-Fi base stations"

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  • Yes.

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