Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm about to invest in an Airport Extreme for my company network, just as a little "boost". I have two internet lines, and I'd like to use one for all the wired network, servers and most of the workstations, and the other to plug the Airport Extreme and make some of the workstations use it also (with 128 WiFi PCI-cards). I want to do it because I have some issues with the network cables making that two workstations not work properly. So what I'd like to know is, if it's worth it to buy the new Airport Extreme in terms of quality and speed? What I have to add is that nobody works on Macs in my office.

EDIT: Based on that first comment, I wouldn't buy it... but the other comments look good.

EDIT: The WiFi router in place now is a DLINK DI-524 but we almost don't use it.

share|improve this question
    
Sorry, not clear. You have two internet lines (do you mean, say, two DSLs? Are they different providers? Why two, anyways?). Do you want to tunnel the wireless traffic through one line, and the wired traffic through the other? What if a laptop with a wireless connection wants to access a server? –  lorenzog Nov 26 '09 at 11:23
1  
So if you already have a wlan thingie and don't use it, why buy another? If buying new wlan thingies - aim for business/enterprise class stuff imo, like Cisco Aironet or compatible devices from the leading vendors... –  Oskar Duveborn Nov 26 '09 at 11:31
    
Ok, right it's not clear. So I should just say I plug the Airport directely on my DualWAN router. –  waszkiewicz Nov 26 '09 at 11:36
    
@Oskar: Can't I just wish to increase my network possibilities? –  waszkiewicz Nov 26 '09 at 11:38

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

An Airport Extreme operates over 802.11g (54mbps) and the newer 802.11n (108mbps) in dual-band mode (Allowing older g-clients and newer n-clients to operate simultaneously). 802.11n is faster, and operates over a greater distance.

An Airport Extreme has one USB port, to which you can attach a USB hub, to which you can attach several USB drives and/or USB printers. Computers on the network can access the attached drives and printers as shared devices.

You could plug your second Internet connection into the Airport Extreme, and connect your Airport Extreme to your existing wired network (Giving the Airport Extreme an IP on the same range as your existing wired network). If you do this, be sure to turn DHCP off on the Airport Extreme as two DHCP servers operating on the same network can cause issues. Once you've done this, your existing gateway device will hand out IP's and designate itself as the default gateway. You can then manually configure some of your devices (e.g. the servers) to have static IP's on the network range, using the Airport Extreme as the default gateway (As a cheap and nasty way to 'load balance' between your two Internet connections)

It's a bit of a convoluted and inefficient setup, but it will work. Be sure to thoroughly document your setup if you go down this route.

It's up to you whether an Airport Extreme would be a wise purchase for your situation. I can't speak for the quality or reliability of them, but the USB port could be handy if you can find a genuine use for it. There will be cheaper 802.11g/n Wireless Routers without the USB port, and there may be cheaper ones with the USB port, I'm sure someone can comment on this.

share|improve this answer
    
Very nice explanations; thank you. The USB port is a great advantage. I think your answer cleared my view. Thanks again. –  waszkiewicz Nov 26 '09 at 12:10

I have to say that Airport extreme works with all sorts of input connections, including comcast cable, where ddwrt didn't.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.