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Got Time Capsule, Need Network Help

I received my 1 TB Time Capsule today and, pursuant to the comments on my earlier entry, I'm hoping to get some help in setting up my new network.

For the past several years I've run an 802.11g network named "Netski." I have a domed AirPort Express ("Dome") that has served as a printer share point1 as well as the main access point2. I have an AirPort Express in the living room3. I also have another unused AirPort Express.

The items that need to access the Internet include a Mac Pro, a 12" PowerBook, a Wii, and a MacBook Pro. The "Living Room" also needs access. Additionally, I now have a Time Capsule and a MacBook Pro.

I'd like to run as pure an 802.11n network as possible. What I mean by that is that I'd like the Time Capsule, Mac Pro, and MacBook Pro to communicate via 802.11n without being slowed down by any 802.11g devices. Again, people seem to believe that's possible from the comments.

I plan to give Dome and the PowerBook to my in-laws, so if I can do this with an AirPort Express, that would be great. Here's what I imagine the network will be, with lines indicating ethernet and parentheses indicating wireless.

[Internet]
    |
Cable Modem
    |
    |
Time Capsule  ))))) Mac Pro, MacBook Pro
    |
    |
Airport Express  ))))) APE Living Room, iPhone, Wii, etc.
                            |
                            |
                            |
                     Xbox 360, DVR

Several questions:

  1. Is this possible? If so, how? What settings do I use for the APEs and TC?
  2. Will I have to create two networks?
  3. Will AirTunes (Mac Pro -> Living Room) continue to work? Will printing from an 802.11g device (the printer is plugged into the Time Capsule's USB port)?
  4. Will this accomplish what I want - a "full-speed" 802.11n network with g compatibility? Seamlessly (except for perhaps having two networks)?

Footnotes

  1. HP LaserJet plugged into the USB port.
  2. Plugged into the cable modem.
  3. It is hooked to both the stereo for AirTunes as well as an ethernet hub for the DVR and Xbox 360.

9 Responses to "Got Time Capsule, Need Network Help"

  1. Hmm, I think that will work assuming your Airport Express connected to the TC is treating the TC as "The Internet" and uses it's own SSID. Make sure all your G devices connect to the AirPort Express and all your N devices connect to the Time Capsule. That *should* work.

  2. I have a Linksys 802.11G network running at 2.4 Ghz and my Airport Extreme running A/N at 5.8 GHz. This allows my N devices to run full speed, while allowing the Xbox and Tivos to work just peachy. They are two separate wireless networks with different names that connect to the same LAN. I'd imagine this would be a workable setup for you.

  3. Yes your scenario will work. You will be basically creating two wireless networks (let's call it Netski-N and Netski-G for simplicity's sake), with ethernet connecting them together (Airport Express needs to be set in bridge mode).

    Have Netski-N run on the 5GHz network as (802.11n only) and Netski-G on 2.4GHz (802.11 b/g).

    At that point, just connect all of your 802.11g/b devices to Netski-G and all of your 802.11n devices to Netski-N.

  4. Chris G. said on March 4, 2008:

    You will be basically creating two wireless networks (let's call it Netski-N and Netski-G for simplicity's sake), with ethernet connecting them together (Airport Express needs to be set in bridge mode).

    Since "Netski" is the name of my network, I just named the "G" network "Getski." Doesn't make any sense except the "N" and "G" thing.

    Currently:

    Time Capsule ("Einstein"): 802.11n only (5 GHz). Printer plugged into USB port. Wireless mode is "create a wireless network" (Netski). WPA2 Personal security, channel 36 (automatic), connect using Ethernet. IP address is my external IP (24.xx.xx.xx).

    AirPort Express ("Access"): Plugged in via ethernet to Einstein. Participating in a WDS network (Getski) as the main station. WPA2 Personal, channel 1, bridge mode, AirTunes disabled.

    AirPort Express ("Living Room") Connected wirelessly (Getski) as WDS remote. WPA2, AirTunes enabled, bridge mode.

    Everything seems to work. I only see the two networks on N-capable devices (like the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro). The older stuff only sees Getski, of course.

  5. Good work. I'm interested to hear about your experiences with Time Capsule now that you have your network all hooked up.

  6. Sounds good. It's the same situation (although a Netgear N router instead of a Time Capsule) we had up until a couple of months ago when one of the AEs died. 🙁

    Would like to know how your performance is streaming from a Mac to the Xbox 360. I still get random connection issues with my current setup; Like yours minus the second AE, and using a wireless adapter for the Xbox 360.

  7. Yes, it will work, and if you port forward the AirTunes port to the Express, and use a Bonjour relay, you should be able to use AirTunes too.

    I used to do exactly this sort of thing, when I had a TiVo with a b-only WEP-only network adapter. I didn't want the WEP network to have access to the corporate VPN, so my setup was like this:

    modem--MR314--VPNbox--AirportExtreme

    The MR314 created a WEP 802.11b network, and the Airport created a WPA 802.11g network.

    Trivia buffs might be interested in the other convoluted parts of my network:
    - airport express linked via WDS to the Airport Extreme
    - Vonage box connected to the VPN box
    - triple NAT (MR314 and VPN box and Airport)
    - triple port forwarding (MR314 and VPN box and Airport) to allow for remote access to certain services behind the Airport

    I have since changed jobs and decommissioned the TiVo, so now I have just the Airport WDS network (Extreme + Express).

  8. First of all, let me thank all you who take your valuable time off to help novice Mac users like me.

    I bought a Time Capsule yesterday and have a similar setup like that of Erik's.

    Here is my setup:
    One wireless network for "N" and my MacBook Pro accesses this network and the older "Super G/G network" with DLink DI-624 as the wireless router. My windows-machines access this DLink Network. My Time Capsule is directly connected to the internet via Cable modem. The DLink Wireless Router is connected to the Time Capsule via Ethernet. The "N" Network has a WPA2 password and the DLink network has a WEP 128 bit passwor. (I am not sure whether this matters). I have a network printer, Dell 3100CN, which is connected to the DLink network and all the machines on the DLink network can access that printer. (Btw, I do not have a USB Printer). I also have a USB hub that is connected to the Time Capsule's USB Port and I am not able to access the USB hub from my MacBook (using the N network).

    Now, could anyone help me to figure out how I can access the Dell Network printer which is on the DLink network and access the USB hub?

    I really appreciate any help in this regard.
    Thanks in advance.

  9. I've had a similar question for a while and just recently found upon this discussion from Google. Hopefully someone will still read this.

    I want to know if purchasing a Airport Express that is N capable will solve the problem without the need for dual networks.


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