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Wiring Hierarchy for the Apple AirPort Extreme® Wi-Fi® Base Station

When wiring the Apple AirPort Extreme® Wi-Fi® Base Station(s), it is important to understand the hierarchy to properly establish a consistent and optimized home network.

Wiring A Wi-Fi Network With One AirPort Extreme

The diagram below shows how to setup a basic Wi-Fi network using a standalone modem and a single AirPort Extreme.

 

 

Wiring A Wi-Fi Network With Two AirPort Extremes

If two AirPort Extremes are required, the additional AirPort Extreme should be connected using an ethernet cable as outlined below. When multiple AirPort Extremes are used, there should always be a main master unit, and each additional unit should always be connected back through the main unit. Do not bypass the main master unit and connect additional units directly to the modem or router provided by the ISP.

Wiring A Wi-Fi Network With Three AirPort Extremes

 

If three AirPort Extremes are required, each additional AirPort Extreme should be connected using an ethernet cable as outlined below. When multiple AirPort Extremes are used, there should always be a main master unit, and each additional unit should always be connected back through the main unit. Do not bypass the main unit and connect additional units directly to the modem or router provided by the ISP.



Wiring For Larger Networks Using A Network Switch

In very large homes a network switch must be added to accommodate wiring larger volumes of network devices and AirPort Extreme access points.

A network switch does not require any programming or configuration. It is simply wired-in and automatically switches signals throughout a large network installation.

In this configuration, it’s important to observe that there is still a main master AirPort Extreme which is directly connected to the modem for internet access. The main master is also connected to a single input on the network switch to distribute internet throughout the network. All additional AirPort Extreme access points on the network are connected directly to the switch. Do not bypass the main AirPort Extreme and connect additional units directly to the modem or router.

 

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