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I was on Sierra at that time (finally moved to Mojave just this past week!). Don’t remember if the update was through a notification via App Store / Software Update or, generated by the router, as done for firmware updates, nor do I recall the reason given for it. The October 2018 ”modified” date could have been a background stealth update. Might find some trail breadcrumbs if I pulled up and started poking through Time Machine.
If you have launched an earlier version of Airport Utility it will notify of upgrade availability. If you want to delete and start over, you can download 6.3.1 from Download AirPort Utility 6.3.1 for Mac that currently downloads a pre-Catalina version which should be upgradable from there.

My current Airport Utility Version 6.3.9 (639.9) on Mojave is of equally determinate provenance.

I have not previously looked at the Airport Utility version on any Catalina system. My Catalina Beta system, created by erase and install of Catalina 10.15 Beta in June, has no Mojave history and is now running 10.15.1 (Build 19B68f). Airport Utility reports 6.3.9 (639.13).

The two Airport Utility 6.3.9 builds, 639.9 and 639.13 are not interchangeable. This is probably due to the differing path structures that came with Catalina's dual volume configuration. The Catalina version also adds an Airport Analytics... item in the Base Station menu.
 


Thanks for that info! I checked my macOS Sierra system, checked Apple's idiotically dysfunctional "downloads" page, found nothing at the Mac App Store, did a search of Apple's website, and jumped through a few other hoops but missed that update. What macOS version are you running? Any idea where and when you actually got that version?
I'm on Mojave with AirPort Utility version 6.3.9, modification date of 8/2/19. I have things set for manual update. Checking System Report\Software\Installations, I see that macOS 10.14.6 was installed on that date. I wonder if the Airport Utility version was part of that update? It could also have been coincidence, or I did other housekeeping items at the same sitting.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
If you have launched an earlier version of Airport Utility it will notify of upgrade availability.
I have macOS Sierra, all updated with everything, and my AirPort Utility is Version 6.3.7. The app preferences are set to check for updates, but no updates are shown, even though your Mojave version is newer.

I followed up by email with Jim, who provided more version details:
The availability of an Airport Utility update is a function of the host OS. Checking several machines which are at their latest version of the installed OS:
macOS VersionAirPort Utility Version
Snow Leopard5.6.1 (561.3)
Sierra6.3.7 (637.6)
High Sierra6.3.8 (638.9)
Mojave6.3.9 (639.9)
Catalina6.3.9 (639.13)
 
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I have two AirPort Extreme 802.11ac base stations, but I can't wirelessly extend the main AirPort's network. The AirPorts are close enough that reception is not an issue.

This weekend I tried extending a client's AirPort Extreme 802.11ac using their older 802.11n that the ac model replaced. I had the exact same errors I'm getting with my AirPorts. (The only functional difference is their network is closed/hidden, mine is not.)

My AirPort is setup with Bridge Mode and uses Timed Access. Internet is DHCP. Configure IPv6 is Automatically. The 5GHz network has a separate name.

After doing a factory reset on the extender I used AirPort Utility on a Mojave Mac with the 802.11ac base station. I also use my iPhone's Settings > Wi-Fi. I also tried an El Capitan Mac's AirPort Utility. Regardless of what sets up the extender, it says there's no Internet Connection (and hence no DNS servers).

I know the AirPorts are talking to each other, because when I added each AirPort's two radio MAC addresses to the Timed Access list on one AirPort, the entries show up on the other.

Turning off the separate 5GHz network name didn't fix it. I exported the extender's configuration and saw that it was using the main AirPort's 5GHz radio. I edited the file so it used the 2.4GHz band and imported it, but that didn't fix it.

I used Snow Leopard's AirPort Utility to check both AirPorts. The Main one has "Allow this network to be extended" checked. The Extender's "Connect Using" is set to "Wireless Network".

FWIW: Before I had the ac AirPort model, I had "n"-model AirPorts. Setting one up to be a wireless extender just worked.
 


I have two AirPort Extreme 802.11ac base stations, but I can't wirelessly extend the main AirPort's network. ... FWIW: Before I had the ac AirPort model, I had "n"-model AirPorts. Setting one up to be a wireless extender just worked.
Are you following AirPort documents?

See links at the bottom of the page for Roaming (requires base stations wired) and Extended (wireless). I don't recommend IPv6 be on. And I also don't recommend mixing old and new AirPort products. But double-check the config as one base is the primary (extended wireless base stations should be in bridged mode).
 


Thanks, Ed. The document's procedure worked fine when I set up my now-retired two 802.11n AirPorts a few years ago. The doc is outdated and applies to 802.11n AirPorts and older versions of AirPort Utility. For the primary AirPort it says "Select the “Allow this network to be extended” checkbox." This option was removed in newer versions of AirPort Utility, which is why I used Snow Leopard's version to verify this setting.

I watched a couple of YouTube videos showing how to do this (basically what's in the doc); it worked for them but doesn't for me.

I wonder if the latest 7.9.1 firmware on the 802.11ac models broke this.

The fact that neither another 802.11ac nor an 802.11n could be used as an extender points to the primary AirPort. But what's the problem?
 


... But what's the problem?
I found what caused the problem! I got the extender AirPort set up and running by resetting it to factory defaults and then doing a Manual Configuration using Snow Leopard's AirPort Utility 5.6.1. It just worked. I didn't change anything on the primary AirPort.

That means the extender AirPort was not being configured properly by any of Apple's current software (Mojave's AirPort Utility 6.3.9, iOS 13.2.2's Settings > Wi-Fi, and iOS 13.2.2's AirPort Utility).

After I got it set up, I changed some settings in Mojave, and it continued to work.
 


Depending on your use, "extending" an AirPort-based network might not be your best solution. WiFi extension always imposes a substantial performance hit on the throughput delivered to devices connected to the secondary WiFi access point, as part of the WiFi bandwidth is used to connect the two access points.

Modern mesh WiFi systems avoid this problem by using a separate, dedicated frequency for a "backhaul" channel to connect the access points. This minimizes the downstream throughput hit.

It might be worth your while to ditch the AirPorts and upgrade to a newer system.
 


Depending on your use, "extending" an AirPort-based network might not be your best solution. ...
Good points, but I don't actually need an extender since I live in a small apartment. I just couldn't accept that I couldn't get it to work. I'll leave it running for a couple of days to verify it's working OK and then keep it as a spare for my primary AirPort.
 


Good points, but I don't actually need an extender since I live in a small apartment. I just couldn't accept that I couldn't get it to work. I'll leave it running for a couple of days to verify it's working OK and then keep it as a spare for my primary AirPort.
I agree completely. Accepting this network challenge and succeeding builds confidence to address future issues that may or may not be outside your comfort zone.
 


Good points, but I don't actually need an extender since I live in a small apartment. I just couldn't accept that I couldn't get it to work. I'll leave it running for a couple of days to verify it's working OK and then keep it as a spare for my primary AirPort.
Sorry, Sam. I thought you were mixing old with new (which kind of explains why you needed Snow Leopard to configure that one). I will admit, once I moved to Orbi (small home), I kept the Time Machine AirPort Time Capsule and a few AirPort Expresses on separate WiFi for sending iTunes and home backup (until I get a NAS for Time Machine). I put a 4TB drive in the Time Capsule. I want a RAID-1 NAS for my local backups, and Apple's deficiency is here, wanting us to depend on them for cloud. Glad you got it resolved!
 


FWIW, here's my experience:

Had a 'refurb' Apple AirPort tower. Bought two of them via Amazon, one for home, one for other home in France (unfortunately the second one was opened in France where it was found to be DOA). The one here worked fine, but performance wasn't all it could be.

Read about mesh systems; the house in France is old and multi-story, and WiFi doesn't penetrate well. Bought a LinkSys Velop over here and set it up. Worked well. Seemed to provide noticeably quicker performance around the house, although really didn't seem to need the three stations I'd bought. (Took 'em to France and they worked well there.)

Decided that I'd like the nippier performance here, too (not to mention an actual supported product), so I bought a couple more of the things to install here. Yayy! Same nippy performance.

But there's one big difference. The AirPort's wifi network was, as best I could tell, the same network as the wired network in the house. Hook up your music server to the wired network, and your wifi'd iPhone saw it.

Not so with the Velop. Your iPhone cannot see the wired devices. To fix this, any device you want to be seen via wifi has to be wired to a Velop (via an ethernet switch if needed).

Damned nuisance, but all fixed now.
 


Sorry, Sam. I thought you were mixing old with new (which kind of explains why you needed Snow Leopard to configure that one). ...
Ed: I did mix old and new at my client's. I couldn't get it to work there, it had the exact same symptoms I had at home extending an "ac" AirPort with another "ac". I don't think the client needs the extender, but now I should be able to get it to work if necessary.
 


FWIW, here's my experience...
... Not so with the Velop. Your iPhone cannot see the wired devices. To fix this, any device you want to be seen via wifi has to be wired to a Velop (via an ethernet switch if needed)..
Can't you put the Velop into bridge mode? I did that with my Mercku mesh system, and everything is on the same network (although I wouldn't use it for IoT, but that's another story).
 


Can't you put the Velop into bridge mode? I did that with my Mercku mesh system, and everything is on the same network (although I wouldn't use it for IoT, but that's another story).
It’s a fair question, but as best I could tell, the Velop setup is one-track - you get their idea of a mesh system.

That said, I have (here at home) Ethernet holes in the wall, so a simple cable switcheroo tidies things up (plug wall into Velop, then Velop into local switch).
 





Need suggestions on a WiFi to Ethernet bridge.

This is essentially a "WiFi extender" with an ethernet port, configured to join WiFi and share the port. I have been using an old AirPort Express (A1264, the one that looks like a laptop power supply) running v7.6.8, which is not great. Aside from the security issue(s), it has a habit of going into a standby mode if the ethernet port detects no device link for 30-60 minutes. This requires unplugging, replugging and waiting the few minutes for the A1264 to finish starting up.

While I can easily find many devices for sale, I want one that is:
1. Reliable and effective for this purpose​
2. Will not require re-plugging due to standby​
3. Is from a company that updates the firmware for security issues.​

The updates issue is crucial. There are far too many manufacturers that seem to drop support minutes after a product lands on store shelves, if you know what I mean.

(As a side note, about the only thing the A1264 is good for is creating a quick-and-dirty WiFi from ethernet with basic settings.)
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Need suggestions on a WiFi to Ethernet bridge.
I bought an $89.88 Ubiquiti AmpliFi Instant WiFi Router recently, which seems like a good answer to your question, although it seems to be out of stock at Amazon now. I haven't specifically tested your functionality yet, but the AmpliFi Instant has an Ethernet port, and I've been very happy with the Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD as a more powerful, mesh replacement for an AirPort Extreme.

If I get time, I'll try the setup you're seeking with the AmpliFi Instant. I was trying to decide between doing that vs. using a power-line Ethernet adapter, which has also worked well for me as an "extender".
 


I bought an $89.88 Ubiquiti AmpliFi Instant WiFi Router recently, which seems like a good answer to your question, although it seems to be out of stock at Amazon now. I haven't specifically tested your functionality yet, but the AmpliFi Instant has an Ethernet port, and I've been very happy with the Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD as a more powerful, mesh replacement for an AirPort Extreme.

If I get time, I'll try the setup you're seeking with the AmpliFi Instant. I was trying to decide between doing that vs. using a power-line Ethernet adapter, which has also worked well for me as an "extender".
Just over a year ago, we installed a Netgear AC750 WiFi Range Extender (Model EX3700) to connect between two buildings just over a year ago. The sensitivity was amazing compared to every device I ever tried. I had to cycle power once to make it happy after a powerful storm came through. The only setup problem was selecting the least populated low band channel because of many neighbors. High band automatic channel worked perfectly. It cost about $30.
 


Need suggestions on a WiFi to Ethernet bridge.
May I suggest you take an old non-Apple wireless router and put DD-WRT on it? You can then make use of WDS to create a wireless bridge. Plus, you get the extra ports of the switch. DD-WRT is continuously updated by the developers. Sure, you might not get Wifi 6, but it will solve your problem with minimal (zero?) cost.

I used to have the same setup as you and ended up instead using the Airport Express as a wired AirPlay receiver for my older Sonos system (pre-AirPlay 2-capable Sonos devices).
 


Need suggestions on a WiFi to Ethernet bridge.
This is essentially a "WiFi extender" with an ethernet port, configured to join WiFi and share the port. I have been using an old AirPort Express (A1264, the one that looks like a laptop power supply) running v7.6.8, which is not great. Aside from the security issue(s), it has a habit of going into a standby mode if the ethernet port detects no device link for 30-60 minutes. This requires unplugging, replugging and waiting the few minutes for the A1264 to finish starting up.
While I can easily find many devices for sale, I want one that is:
1. Reliable and effective for this purpose​
2. Will not require re-plugging due to standby​
3. Is from a company that updates the firmware for security issues.​
...
I'm very, very happy with the AmpliFi products from Ubiquiti Labs. It's a mesh wifi system, in which you set up one main unit and "n" satellite units, each of which can have an ethernet port and is automatically a Wifi-to-Ethernet bridge. You also get robust mesh networking that "follows" your devices as you move about your house (unlike traditional extenders) and always keeps you on the best signal. The base unit costs just over a hundred bucks, and each satellite costs just under a hundred bucks. (For some reason, these satellite units are out of stock; you could make it work just as well with two base units — they're interchangeable; the base unit has more Ethernet ports.)

I installed a large, complex network with 6 satellites on one base unit to cover an entire 6-bedroom estate. Some were Ethernet-backboned, some used over-the-air connectivity. Zero hassles during setup, super fast WiFi in every corner of the premise, easy smartphone app to manage all aspects – I put it on my client's phone after install. No follow-up calls have been required, because, in the good ol' Apple tradition, it "just works." I'm now recommending AmpliFi for all my SOHO customers – better tech at a lower cost than Orbi or Velop.
 


I'm very, very happy with the AmpliFi products from Ubiquiti Labs. It's a mesh wifi system, in which you set up one main unit and "n" satellite units, each of which can have an ethernet port and is automatically a Wifi-to-Ethernet bridge. You also get robust mesh networking that "follows" your devices as you move about your house (unlike traditional extenders) and always keeps you on the best signal. The base unit costs just over a hundred bucks, and each satellite costs just under a hundred bucks. (For some reason, these satellite units are out of stock; you could make it work just as well with two base units — they're interchangeable; the base unit has more Ethernet ports.)

I installed a large, complex network with 6 satellites on one base unit to cover an entire 6-bedroom estate. Some were Ethernet-backboned, some used over-the-air connectivity. Zero hassles during setup, super fast WiFi in every corner of the premise, easy smartphone app to manage all aspects – I put it on my client's phone after install. No follow-up calls have been required, because, in the good ol' Apple tradition, it "just works." I'm now recommending AmpliFi for all my SOHO customers – better tech at a lower cost than Orbi or Velop.
I've been wondering: where over-the-air connectivity is required, does the bandwidth split more or less n ways if the main unit and satellites are being stressed more or less equally?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I've been wondering: where over-the-air connectivity is required, does the bandwidth split more or less n ways if the main unit and satellites are being stressed more or less equally?
Bandwidth varies depending on the signal strength (and band) available to each device.
 


I've been wondering: where over-the-air connectivity is required, does the bandwidth split more or less n ways if the main unit and satellites are being stressed more or less equally?
I don't actually know how it performs, but – unless you set up device priority, which is an option – my expectation would be that the division would be egalitarian: all apps would have equal standing to draw on available bandwidth. Which does not mean that they will actually share the bandwidth equally, by the way; the rate of consumption has a lot to do with the protocols and the hardware/software, e.g., your Netflix video may pull at a different data rate than your macOS update, even on otherwise equivalent hardware. Some programs are better behaved than others! (FWIW, these Ubiquiti units display their bandwidth consumption on their built-in touchscreen; I have not audited this data for accuracy.)
 


I suggest that whichever WiFi product you purchase these days should be WiFi 6 capable. These devices aren't cheap and tend to last a long time. I'm still using about a decade-old Apple Airport Extreme for TimeMachine backups only, and it works as well as it did when new.

In my opinion, buying non-WiFi 6 capable devices when Apple is already delivering WiFi 6 products is a waste of money. You will surely want to replace 802.11ac-only hardware in the very near future.
 


I haven't seen the Eero Pro mentioned here, but I haven't read everything. I've been using an Eero Pro and two of the satellites, and it covers a 4200-square-foot, two-story home fine. Please let me know if there are any issues with the Eero products.
 


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