Torsten Curdt’s weblog

AirPort Express extending Linksys WRT54G

148794187 9ee96115cb t AirPort Express extending Linksys WRT54GAt home I am using a Linksys WRT54G router to give me wireless connectivity. But the house is quite big and it’s really not like I have wirless everywhere. So I thought of getting a bridge to extend the range. As I was blogging before you can increase the transmit power of the router …but that did not really do the trick for me – especially since I do not want to fry my access point. The recommendet max power was just not good enough.
After some investigations I found that it is -despite what apple says- possible to use that tiny little white airport express device to extend other non-airport networks. So all you really need is WDS support. Antonio pointed me to the excellent Sveasoft firmware for the Linksys.I had some problems getting my PPPoE working for T-Online but once that was working tried to connect my Airport Express.

First thing you need to do is to configure the Linksys. You will need the MAC address of your Express. Attention: you need to pick the right one! Of course it has two. A lot of people have spent a lot of time fiddling around with the wrong one.148794215 340530fb08 t AirPort Express extending Linksys WRT54GThe WAN address is written on the bottom of the Express. The wireless MAC is meant to be off by one. I found it safer to just connect to the Express and “ping” the gateway and then get the MAC from the arp table (”arp -a”). In the end using the Airport
Utility seems to be the best choice. Just connect to the Airport Express network. You want the “Airport ID”. Ok, back to the Linksys. Under the WDS tab you now need to register the Express as a LAN extention. Use the “Airport ID”. Also make sure the “WDS subnet” is disabled. Having “Laszy WDS” disabled works for me. Although with the new Firmware you also can choose WPA you have to use 128Bit WEP. After those settings are active you are ready to go with the Airport Express configuration.

148794255 027ba16338 t AirPort Express extending Linksys WRT54G148794296 9b6ead7f69 t AirPort Express extending Linksys WRT54GDon’t spend any time mocking around with the Airport Express Wizard – it just won’t work. Again use the Airport Admin Utility. On the “Airport” tab select the name you want. Actually it can be same like the network you are extending. I’ve chosen a different one because I want to be able to explicitly choose. Also because the Airport speakers are only available on that very access point. Make sure you select the same channel your Linksys is running on. Select “Create a Wireless Network” as wireless mode – not the client mode. On the “Internet” tab tell your Express to connect to the Linksys via WDS. Let him get a DHCP address from the WDS host and enable wireless clients.148794327 7a592b2659 t AirPort Express extending Linksys WRT54G148794364 2f1b5c645e t AirPort Express extending Linksys WRT54G
On the “Network” tab deactivate the DHCP server. On the “WDS” tab you define the WDS host and tell the Express to act as “remote base station”.

Well …so that should be it. Configure your Airport Express and after a while you should get a green light.

  • Depends on the AP. But usually you can.
  • Mazal
    Do you know whether I can connect a wireless access point to an Airport Express and thereby extend my network ? Thanks
  • You can see the version on the screenshot. Top right corner. But that was years ago. Today I am running DD-WRT.
  • stumped
    Hi, this seems to be great advice as I have been trying to get my AX going with my WRT54G for over a month now... but - I don't have a WDS tab. What versions firmware are you running?
  • Fred
    The following link shows out to reach the desired outcome without third party firmware.


    Just made it work on V7.00.4
  • Steven
  • What firmware are you referring to?

    The sveasoft works just fine for me.
  • CrockettS
    Just one thing to note:

    With the current firmware, you CANNOT use security features on the wireless side of either the Airport Express or the WRT54G as they are not compatible!

    The Airport Express will NOT be able to communicate with the WRT54G if any security is enabled.

    The alternative is to lock down the wireless side via MAC address lists. Both the Linksys and the Airport Express support MAC access lists, so this does get around the problem.
  • todd jamer
    a thousand thanks for this info. Torsten - worked out great. I've been looking for clear instructions on this setup - your screenshots did the trick !

    just wondering, If i had 2 airport express bases, could i extend the range further - under the same name?

    example: base station name: charlie

    airport express 1 name: charlie

    airport express 2 name: charlie
  • Duncan Bernhardt
    So I can't get this work with WEP enabled. What steps did you use for WEP in Airport Admin Utility, they seem to be missing from the posting.
  • Hehe ...I really doubt it's warmer over here, mate :) But yes - around 50-60mW was the recommended maximum I found in several postings. As for the atennas - I haven't had the time to play with that yet.
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