Can I use my new Amplifi HD to extend my current Apple AirPort Extreme Network?


  • OK, I'm not an expert user and I fear I may have bought the wrong thing - the Amplifi HD. My current network is run by an Apple Airport Extreme close to the router and it has an even older Airport at the other end of the house attached to it via ethernet cable. All worked fine for many years but, for some reason, the speed in my office has fallen through the floor (0.5mbs). Our house is more than 450 years old with thick stone walls, plaster and lath and brick that wifi does not penetrate . . . hence the ethernet cable to the other end of the house. If I run a long ethernet cable from my office back to the AirPort Extreme (for testing purposes), I get good speeds, so the problem is clearly in the wifi. I can also run the test cable from my office to the older Airport at the other end of the house and that works fine too.
    I just bought the Amplifi HD and two Mesh 'extenders' thinking that I could add these to the network to extend the wifi into the places it won't reach (they haven't arrived yet) - the question is, will that work?
    I don't want to junk the AirPort Extreme because that acts as back up and, more crucially, I'd have to tell everyone and everything (all those devices these days) about the new network and its password and I am not 100% confident that I could even set up a new network! I was naively hoping to just unplug the older Airport at the end of the house and plug in the new Amplifi HD in it's stead. And, hopefully, configure it easily to pick up the existing network and extend it via mesh. Please tell me this will work and is easy!!


  • @DickPowell said in Can I use my new Amplifi HD to extend my current Apple AirPort Extreme Network?:

    My current network is run by an Apple Airport Extreme close to the router and it has an even older Airport at the other end of the house attached to it via ethernet cable. All worked fine for many years

    Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to your question, but I think it's safe to infer that if your house is more than 450 years old, but Wi-Fi was working well, it's FAR more likely that something electronic rather than something "house" has changed.


  • Yes, it's a mystery. In the room closest to the Apple Extreme, speeds are as before. But in my office, two rooms and two thick walls away, speeds have fallen to near zero. As you say, the house hasn't changed. But people say that the additions of new equipment (microwave oven, new AV system for example) can affect these things, as can tampering with settings (which I might have done in my efforts to make it all work! Hopefully someone can answer my question!


  • @DickPowell Sounds like issues with the older Airport in your office. I'd check both the device and the ethernet cable. As to your new planned setup, if the mesh points you are getting support wired backhaul it should work pretty much as your existing setup did. If they are wireless backhaul I think you may have issues.


  • Thanks for this Matthew. If I knew what 'wired backhaul' meant it would help! Maybe it means 'connected to the router via an ethernet wire'?
    The AmpliFi HD I have on order comes with 4 network out ports and one network in port (the latter conceived to be plugged straight into the router I guess). So I figured I could just exchange it for the old Airport so it will join the existing network via the ethernet cable (into the Amplifi 'in' port).
    I wonder if there is a way to measure which of the current Airports (the Extreme at one end of the house and the old Airport at the other, with my office in the middle) my laptop communicates with - I just get full 4 bars in the wifi signal strength indicator on my MacBook Pro.


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