Can I use an Airport Extreme to extend the range of an Airport Express base station?

I currently have a wireless network configured using an Airport Express as a base station, with 3 additional Airport Express units connected to extend the range of that base station and to stream iTunes music to each unit, each of which is connected to a powered speaker or hi-fi.

What I want to do now is add the more robust Airport Extreme as a another range extender for the Airport Express base station and place the new Airport Extreme in a central location in our home. We will not be using the Extreme for anything except 802.11n range extension (e.g, no music streaming), but I am expecting that with its additional power and range, it can provide wireless connectivity to iPhones, laptops and iPads that are used typically in this core area of the home. My Airport Express base station and the additional range extension units are located in adjacent home office, libraary and fitness center rooms all located on the same (ground level) floor. The base station is perhaps 50 feet away from where I will situate the new Airport Extreme range extender unit. It is nearly of sight with two intervening windows and a single 6" thick brick/concrete wall between the base station and where I will place the Airport Extreme. With this understanding of what I need to accomplish, will the Airport Extreme fill the requirement? Every question I have browsed talks about the opposite situation--extending the range of an Extreme using Airport Express routers. My primary use of these products is streaming music and secondarily we obtain widespread use of wireless connectivity for other needs.

Another option for an Airport Extreme is to locate one of these units in upstairs in a distant, remote area of the house. I have supplied this area with a CAT-5 cable that originates in my office using an ethernet switch, so a wireless router can be added to deliver service in that area. Will this work using the Extreme? Thanks!!

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QA AirPort Extreme Base Station

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3 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    I am the original poster of the question "Can I use an Airport Extreme to extend the range of an Airport Express base station?"

    To answer my own question and to provide useful information to other readers of this site, the answer is YES. I configured the Extreme as a range extension router to my existing Airport Express base station. The Extreme is located about 50-feet away in the main core portion of my large concrete-constructed home. It is able to rebroadcast the original 802.11n signal sent to it by the AEBS-configured network (consisting of the base station, an iMac and two range extension Airport Express units) and thus provide WiFi connectivity in the main house. This signal is sufficiently robust that we have total coverage in all areas of the main home, although it weakens in the outermost 2d story room. We control three different amplifier & speaker combinations located in our two backyard wings and pool area...these are connected using our 2 Airport Express routers attached to each stereo source in addition to my Bose speaker-equipped iMac. I can walk around any area oif the home and using my iPhone or iPad as an Apple Remote, switch songs and change the volume of the current selection being streamed by the base station. It all works seamlessly.

    The only area I am still unsure about is whether or not I really needed the Airport Extreme to extend my network or if another Airport Express would have accomplished the same result. From my study of the technical description of each device, I chose the Extreme because it appears to have a more robust signal to power the new extension. In any event, my particular application of Apple's WiFi technology works well for us.

    We also have a CAT-5 cable running directly from a Buffalo Box (connected to the base station by jumper) to the most remote part of our home and guests always have the option of plugging their PC into this cable drop if the WiFi signal isn't strong enough to meet their needs.

  • I recently purchased an Airport express as I was not getting the wireless signal from my Airport in one corner of the house. This is an easy plug and play, and has extended WiFi into the blind spot in the corner of the house. So the short answer is yes.

  • I purchased an airport extreme today replacing previous generation due to password lockout. however house is 15,000 sq feet and where it is connected to cable at one end of the house, wireless coverage goes right to the middle of house,
    Should I buy another for otherside of house? Will they bridge without another cable going into the second extreme?
    Would an express do well to double the area of wireless coverage?