Configuring Multiple AirPort Extreme Access Points On A Single Network
When setting up more than one AirPort Extreme, configure each device with the Airport Utility app using the exact same setup referred to as “Create a New Network”. This type of network is called a ‘Roaming Network’ and is similar to the network cell phone providers use. It is designed to ensure that a travelling mobile Wi-Fi device like an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or computer remains connected to a network without breaking the connection as it moves throughout the house.
If you are setting up more than one AirPort Extreme, do not use any of the following defaults that the AirPort Utility app will recommend during the setup process: (a) “Extend a Network”, (b) “Add to an Existing Network”, or (c) “Replace an Existing Device”. For each AirPort Extreme, always “Create A New Network” and input the exact same network name and password for each individual AirPort Extreme. (see below)
Each AirPort Extreme should be assigned a different “Device Name” in the setup process associated with it’s location in the home. Using Device Names will help to easily identify each individual AirPort Extreme on the network. If the main AirPort Extreme is located in the Living Room and secondary AirPort Extreme is in the Kitchen, each Device Name should reflect their respective locations. (see below)
Understanding Dual-Band Networking With AirPort Extreme
AirPort Extreme can be setup to run dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks at the same time for improved speed and reliability. All Wi-Fi devices connected to both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz networks work together seamlessly, but each network serves a different purpose as outlined below.
A dual-band network setup allows you to isolate various devices and reduce competing Wi-Fi traffic that can slow down the entire network. It allows streaming devices such as iPhones, iPads, and computers access the fastest internet speeds for streaming audio and video, while simultaneously, devices such as Airhome, printers, and other peripherals will access reliable connectivity to the network within the home, but do not require access to the fastest internet speeds.
(1) 2.4GHz networks have a longer range but slightly lower speeds.
(2) 5GHz networks have a shorter range but much higher speeds.
For the best Airhome user experience, connect each Wi-Fi device on the network as outlined on the right.
Streaming devices such as computers, iPhone’s, iPad’s, Apple TV’s should be connected to the 5GHz network for the fastest available Wi-Fi speeds.
Peripheral devices such as Airhome, printers, and thermostats should be connected to the 2.4GHz network which travels the greatest distance to maintain reliable connections.
Important Note: All devices will work together even though there is a dual-band network setup.
Configuring AirPort Extreme With The AirPort Utility App
Start by plugging the AirPort Extreme into an AC electrical outlet. Next, download the free Airport Utility app on the app store and follow the configuration steps listed below to configure a Wi-Fi network. The configuration begins by opening the iOS Settings menu and going to Wi-Fi.
Enabling A Dedicated 5GHz High Speed Wi-Fi Network With AirPort Extreme
First, configure the AirPort Extreme as outlined above.
Next, connect to the AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi network and open the AirPort Utility app. Follow the steps below for adding a dedicated 5GHz network.
Connecting Wi-Fi Devices To Dual-Band 2.4GHz And 5GHz Networks
(1) Connect all computers and mobile devices to the 5GHz network for access to fast Wi-Fi and internet speeds for streaming audio and video content.
(2) Connect Airhome and all other peripheral Wi-Fi devices such as printers to the 2.4GHz network where local reliable Wi-Fi connectivity is required within the home.
Connecting iOS Devices To The Fastest Network
Open “Settings” then “Wi-Fi” and select the 5GHz network to join your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to the fastest available Wi-Fi network speeds.
Devices connected to both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz networks will work together on the network regardless of which frequency they are connected to.
Important Note: If a user walks out of range of the 5Ghz network, they may switch to the 2.4Ghz network to maintain connection to the network at further distance but reduced speeds.