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Just to second this, my Airport Express also works fine for streaming and music with a 2015 iMac 5k, Airport Utility 6.3.9, and Mojave 10.14.3.
The three Airport Expresses I had were the 1st-generation models. At the time Apple discontinued them, I had one of the 2004 WiFi 802.11g only and two of the updated n's released in 2008 and sold new through June, 2012. I had purchased more and given those to family.

I believe I was running Mavericks when I decided to change the password on one of my n's and Airport Utility had updated to 6.3.1, which was released July 11, 2013. I just presumed the inability to "find" the device was a device fail, which had happened before, and Apple had swapped a replacement as it was tied to a Mac purchase with AppleCare. Was able to change the password with a laptop still running Snow Leopard and Airport Utility 5.6.1

The 2nd-Generation Express continues to receive updates, though not at an encouragingly frequent rate. The most recent security update is 7.6.9 from December, 2017. Information at this Apple support article:

In August, 2018 Apple issued Firmware Update 7.8, which added AirPlay 2 support for the 2nd-Generation Airport Express.

Yes, it is possible to "manage" the old devices by getting Airport Utility 5.6.1 to run on a current OS. But they haven't had any security updates since 5.6.1 in 2012, which is why the ones I own are not in service.
 


For anyone that might be interested in extending their use of Apple Airport Extreme, I just got a notification that LA Computer has the Airport Extreme on sale until March 5.

(I have no affiliation with LA Computer, but have purchased from them over the last few years.)
 


For anyone that might be interested in extending their use of Apple Airport Extreme, I just got a notification that LA Computer has the Airport Extreme on sale until March 5. (I have no affiliation with LA Computer, but have purchased from them over the last few years.)
I understand AirPlay is important for many out there, but is there any other real benefit of spending $200 for the above-mentioned AirPort Extreme over something similarly priced, such as the Synology RT2600ac?
 


One of the great attributes of Apple's Airport wireless system was that it didn't require a web interface to set up the stations. Less of a chance of the station being hijacked.
 


I have an Airport Extreme (AC) wireless router (the tall one), as my main wireless router in my studio. I also have the small Airport Extreme (hockey puck size) set up in a bedroom configured as an extension to the main network, being used for a wired Ethernet connection to a TiVo.

I have not been successful connecting a Toshiba FlashAir SD card to the small Airport Extreme; the FlashAir card only works on the 2.4 GHz network.

The first problem is when using the Airport Utility app, I am having difficulty setting up the names of the 5GHz network and the 2.4 GHz network so I can tell them apart wirelessly. I can't find how to set up the name of the 2.4GHz network, so I can configure the FlashAir card to use that network.

So, my questions: Using Airport Utility, by what method(s) can I clearly name both networks separately? Is there I way I can temporarily disable the 5GHZ network on the tall Airport Extreme so only the 2.4 GHz network is transmitting?
 


... The first problem is when using the Airport Utility app, I am having difficulty setting up the names of the 5GHz network and the 2.4 GHz network so I can tell them apart wirelessly. I can't find how to set up the name of the 2.4GHz network, so I can configure the FlashAir card to use that network. So, my questions: Using Airport Utility, by what method(s) can I clearly name both networks separately? Is there I way I can temporarily disable the 5GHZ network on the tall Airport Extreme so only the 2.4 GHz network is transmitting?
Actually Apple names the networks differently for you. Say you name your network "George" and you're in the Wireless section of macOS Airport Utility. At the bottom of the sheet you'll see Wireless Options; click on that, check the box for 5GHz name, and it will automatically be called "George 5GHz".
 



... Using Airport Utility, by what method(s) can I clearly name both networks separately?
  • Open Airport Utility.
  • Select the basestation and click Edit.
  • Select the Wireless tab.
  • Set Wireless Network Name: to the desired name for the 2.4GHz network.
  • Click on Wireless Options...
  • Select and set 5GHz network name: to the desired name for the 5GHz network.
  • Click Save.
  • Click Update and approve doing it.
Is there I way I can temporarily disable the 5GHZ network on the tall Airport Extreme so only the 2.4 GHz network is transmitting?
I have not found a way.
 


  • Open Airport Utility.
  • Select the basestation and click Edit.
  • Select the Wireless tab.
  • Set Wireless Network Name: to the desired name for the 2.4GHz network.
  • Click on Wireless Options...
  • Select and set 5GHz network name: to the desired name for the 5GHz network.
  • Click Save.
  • Click Update and approve doing it.
I have not found a way.
Thanks to Tim and James for the directions.

I note that when on the page whereby you can enable a separate name for the 5GHz network (which I have now done), down below you can set the preferred channel. One of the options for the 5GHz channel is "Off", which I guessed might disable the 5GHz radio completely. That would seem to not be the case, however, as after selecting "None" and restarting the AE, my wife's MacBook Pro still showed the 5GHz network as available for selection.
 





.,. One of the options for the 5GHz channel is "Off", which I guessed might disable the 5GHz radio completely. That would seem to not be the case, however, as after selecting "None" and restarting the AE, my wife's MacBook Pro still showed the 5GHz network as available for selection.
The WiFi channel selection is remembered unless you uncheck "Remember networks this computer has joined" in System Preferences > Network > Wi-Fi > Advanced....

A utility like WiFi Explorer can show you what WiFi channels are currently active.
 


My Apple AirPort Extreme started failing on me with its first failure being the inability to see USB hard drives attached. I like that ability, so I opted in to the Linksys Velop Mesh router, mostly because that's what Apple carries.

I like it so far. Web-based, but set up through the Linksys app. Very easy set up. The web page, as well as the app, gives you an incredible amount of info about not only the connection, but on all your devices that are using the wireless. Lots of nitty gritty control over everything, if that's your thing. It even come packaged in a nice "almost like Apple" box.

And, since I Have a Synology 218j NAS for backup, I was able to attach my USB drives directly to the NAS, and have global access to them. The only caveat here is for read/write access through the NAS, your USB media has to be formatted in FAT or FAT32. Not a big deal.
 



Great timing for a discussion. At home, I'm considering upgrading my franken-net (cable modem+Wi-Fi router, 2 Wi-Fi routers in bridge mode and powerline network) with a Velop mesh.

My plan (at least now) is to get a 3-node dual-band (not tri-band) Velop system, with the nodes connected via Ethernet as follows:
  • Existing cable modem/router reconfigured to become a dumb modem. (I'll probably replace this with a new modem, but I don't think I need to do that right now.)
  • Ethernet link from modem to primary Velop node
  • Ethernet link from primary Velop node to Gigabit Ethernet switch
  • Ethernet links from switch to a powerline network node (plus other computers in that room)
  • In each of two rooms:
    • Ethernet link from powerline network node to Gigabit Ethernet switch
    • Ethernet link from switch to remote Velop node
Based on what I've read so far, I think this should work. It appears that I need to have all three Velop nodes in the same room, meshed over Wi-Fi during the initial setup, but afterward, I should be able to distribute them remotely via the powerline/Ethernet links, causing the nodes to establish the mesh over Ethernet, freeing both Wi-Fi bands for my devices.

The powerline network nodes are rated for 500Mbit/s, so that should be plenty of bandwidth to keep it all working smoothly. And I know that modern powerline adapters can go significantly faster, if I need to do so in the future.

What do you think about a setup like this? My biggest concern is the use of Ethernet switches between the Velop nodes. Linksys doesn't seem to talk much about this type of configuration. What I've seen seems to indicate that it will work, but I haven't seen very much.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... What do you think about a setup like this? ...
I need to do something similar to my own "franken-net", but I don't have much to add to your post. The one question it raised is about the actual speed of the powerline part - my impression was that actual speeds could be much lower than advertised. Have you done any speed testing there?
 


Great timing for a discussion. At home, I'm considering upgrading my franken-net (cable modem+Wi-Fi router, 2 Wi-Fi routers in bridge mode and powerline network) with a Velop mesh. My plan (at least now) is to get a 3-node dual-band (not tri-band) Velop system, with the nodes connected via Ethernet as follows:
  • Existing cable modem/router reconfigured to become a dumb modem. (I'll probably replace this with a new modem, but I don't think I need to do that right now.)
  • Ethernet link from modem to primary Velop node
  • Ethernet link from primary Velop node to Gigabit Ethernet switch
  • Ethernet links from switch to a powerline network node (plus other computers in that room)
  • In each of two rooms:
    • Ethernet link from powerline network node to Gigabit Ethernet switch
    • Ethernet link from switch to remote Velop node
Based on what I've read so far, I think this should work. It appears that I need to have all three Velop nodes in the same room, meshed over Wi-Fi during the initial setup, but afterward, I should be able to distribute them remotely via the powerline/Ethernet links, causing the nodes to establish the mesh over Ethernet, freeing both Wi-Fi bands for my devices.

The powerline network nodes are rated for 500Mbit/s, so that should be plenty of bandwidth to keep it all working smoothly. And I know that modern powerline adapters can go significantly faster, if I need to do so in the future.

What do you think about a setup like this? My biggest concern is the use of Ethernet switches between the Velop nodes. Linksys doesn't seem to talk much about this type of configuration. What I've seen seems to indicate that it will work, but I haven't seen very much.
Consider going with Netgear Orbi. I have this system:


Tri-band, one base unit and two satellites. Backhaul channel can be either wireless (dedicated backhaul channel) or wired. The satellites each have 4 gigabit ethernet ports. The base unit has a WAN port and three gigabit ethernet ports. Mine have USB ports for printer sharing, but the web site photos now show that those have been removed. I have 400 Mbps cable internet, and using wireless backhaul, I get full speed over wireless throughout the house. The lack of need to use ethernet for backhaul simplifies the setup.
 


I need to do something similar to my own "franken-net", but I don't have much to add to your post. The one question it raised is about the actual speed of the powerline part - my impression was that actual speeds could be much lower than advertised. Have you done any speed testing there?
I haven't done much actual speed testing, but they don't seem to be a bottleneck at home. Most of my traffic is between the Internet (currently 60Mbps) and various computers. There isn't a lot of traffic between two computers on the LAN, where higher speeds might be possible. I'd have to set up some actual tests to see how close to that 500M speed my transceivers can actually deliver.
 


Great timing for a discussion. At home, I'm considering upgrading my franken-net (cable modem+Wi-Fi router, 2 Wi-Fi routers in bridge mode and powerline network) with a Velop mesh.
...
What do you think about a setup like this? My biggest concern is the use of Ethernet switches between the Velop nodes.
It is great timing! I have a similar, aging franken-net, and I'm thinking about a similar solution.

The biggest difference is that I already have separate devices for broadband, routing, and Wi-Fi, and I plan to keep that configuration. The main reason is that I frequently work out of a home office, and I can't afford service interruptions, so I maintain redundant Internet connections via a Netgear cable modem and an always-on DSL modem. I have both the cable and DSL feeding into a third party multi-WAN router, with cable as the primary WAN and DSL configured as a failover WAN.

I have a few LAN devices, including a Wi-Fi router configured as an [access point], wired into the LAN ports on the router, and everything else goes through the Wi-Fi access point or through powerline-connected bridged access points in distant corners of the house. In my scenario, I'd be putting the Velop (or similar) base station configured as an access point on the LAN side of the failover router, rather than using the Velop base as a router.

By the way, if anyone has tips on a current SOHO dual-WAN router that won't break the bank, I'm all ears. I've been mostly satisfied with mine, but it is six years old and nearing end-of-support.
 


I've got some powerline units I've been meaning to set up, too. I did actually start doing some testing to see how they performed. Using AV500 units I got speeds that varied from 80 mbps to 40 mbps. I used an app called "LAN_SpeedTest" for the testing. I was able to get close to the maximum speed with adapters on different breakers, but being on the same breaker was consistently faster.

Well, to be honest, on some of my tests I got 8 to 10 mbps writes, but that was because of the crappy SSD being written to. If I switched which computer initiated the test, I could reliably get the faster speeds mentioned above.

This is in a 100-year-old house with a variety of wiring types and breaker boxes that have seen some years.

I really should test the AV1000 and MOCA units I picked up cheap since then... Oh, and finish the networking project...
 


I haven't done much actual speed testing, but they don't seem to be a bottleneck at home. Most of my traffic is between the Internet (currently 60Mbps) and various computers. There isn't a lot of traffic between two computers on the LAN, where higher speeds might be possible. I'd have to set up some actual tests to see how close to that 500M speed my transceivers can actually deliver.
I second the notion that the actual power line transceiver speeds seem to be significantly less than the label. I find that the power line receivers are good for connecting laser printers.
 




Consider going with Netgear Orbi. I have this system:
Tri-band, one base unit and two satellites. Backhaul channel can be either wireless (dedicated backhaul channel) or wired. The satellites each have 4 gigabit ethernet ports. The base unit has a WAN port and three gigabit ethernet ports. Mine have USB ports for printer sharing, but the web site photos now show that those have been removed. I have 400 Mbps cable internet, and using wireless backhaul, I get full speed over wireless throughout the house. The lack of need to use ethernet for backhaul simplifies the setup.
I, too, am a very satisfied Orbi user. I did find that while the backhaul does work over the 5Ghz wireless band, it ended up diminishing the performance of other 5Ghz devices. I ended up hard-wiring the backhaul and got much better performance overall. Very easy to configure, too.
 



I used a 3-Orbi setup from 12/2016 through 4/2018, and the speeds were excellent, but reliability was troublesome, varying by device and culminating with the addition of an older iPad, which, when connected, would crash the whole network.

The house has walls with lath and plaster and metal mesh. It's small, but the yard is large, and there's a detached office. Getting good, even, fast coverage has been challenging.

Last year I started using a Plume system with four SuperPods, and it has been very reliable. It does take control of WiFi's technical aspects, and there is a subscription involved, so not the best choice for everyone. But for ease-of-use it can't be beat.

WiFi speed across the LAN is about 200 Mbps. The Orbi was about twice as fast but not as consistent or reliable.
 


By the way, if anyone has tips on a current SOHO dual-WAN router that won't break the bank, I'm all ears. I've been mostly satisfied with mine, but it is six years old and nearing end-of-support.
Can you elaborate on what tasks you need this box to perform? And, also what you currently use?
 


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