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View Full Version : Router capabilities of AirPort


patrick0brien
Jun 16, 2003, 03:18 PM
-All

I have a number of questions about Apple's Airport base station, and after trying to cut through the marketing dreck on Apple.com, I felt I'd get better - to-the-point questions with you guys.

I understand the wireless capabilites of the Airport Extreme, but I'm primaritly interested in the Wired capabilties in this discussion.

I'm moving soon and will need a new router. Right now I use a Linksys router for NAT using a Comcast Cable Modem as I have several machines that need the connection.

What is the router capabilities of the Airport and what is your general experience with it?

FatTony
Jun 16, 2003, 04:23 PM
If you aren't using the wireless capabilities, then you would be better off with a wired router product like this (http://www.netgear.com/products/prod_details.asp?prodID=131&view=hm).

I have a ABS (not extreme, but the later, snow model). It works well as a (wireless) router. It takes the one IP address from the ISP and distibutes private IP address to the clients. You can set it up for port forwarding and other things.

I did have a problem with my Cisco VPN connection. It seems that the snow ABS doesn't work well with the Cisco VPN (maybe others, I don't know) and drops the VPN connection after 20 or 30 minutes. I'm not sure if the ABS extreme has this problem.

patrick0brien
Jun 16, 2003, 04:59 PM
-FatTony

I'm sorry if I wasn't as clear as I'd have liked.

I am interested in the wireless capabilities of an AE Base station, but, only two of my machines will use this method of communication, and only the times when it is desired.

I have my answers with the wireless, what I'm looking for is the capabilities of the wired use as many of my machines will be wired and using a 100baseT LAN.

The reason for this question is I'm hoping a AE Base station can satisfy both wired and wireless needs as it relates to a router. I'd hate to have to buy another linksys AND AE Base. I'd rather the AE Base do all the work.

Thanks for the response though, I think we're getting closer to the answer I'm looking for.

molain
Jun 16, 2003, 05:00 PM
Linksys is better (at least in my own experience). For less money, you get more LAN ports, more configure options, DHCP cloning, 802.11b, and more. Granted, you don't get that kickass UFO look, and I don't know if they have any 802.11g products... I own an AirPort base station (the old one with ONE ethernet port) and wish I'd gotten a Linksys instead.

jimthorn
Jun 16, 2003, 05:06 PM
A more technical and less biased report than what you find on Apple's site:

ZDNet review (http://reviews-zdnet.com.com/Apple_AirPort_Extreme_base_station_wireless_access_point/4505-3334_16-20852329.html?tag=pdtl-list)

andyduncan
Jun 16, 2003, 05:15 PM
The ABS itself does do NAT for an internal ethernet network. you'll still need a hub to plug into the "LAN" port (as opposed to the "WAN" port that the cable/dsl modem plugs into) in order to connect more than one wired machine to it.

I haven't used many other wired routers, but the ABS has been just as capable as those that i've tried.

chicagdan
Jun 16, 2003, 05:19 PM
Question -- do you have DSL or cable? If you have DSL, you need a router and AirPort will work just fine, but if you have cable (and since I live in Wicker Park, we probably have the same cable provider, Comcast) you need a switch to divide up the multiple IP addresses Comcast makes you buy ($5 a month for 4 IPs.)

I can't get Airport Extreme to work on Comcast cable. But I've fashioned a good workaround. I hooked up a cheap $30 linksys switch, then attached Airport Extreme to one of the Ethernet ports while keeping my iMac and PC hooked up to the wired connections.

There are two advantages of this ... one, each computer gets a unique IP address (not a virtual IP address) and two, I can keep the Airport Extreme base station on full G speed (my iMac has the slower B card) and believe it or not the wireless connection is a bit faster on AE. Comcast's connection is blazing fast, about five times faster than what I was getting on SBC DSL.

andyduncan
Jun 17, 2003, 01:24 AM
Originally posted by chicagdan
Question -- do you have DSL or cable? If you have DSL, you need a router and AirPort will work just fine, but if you have cable (and since I live in Wicker Park, we probably have the same cable provider, Comcast) you need a switch to divide up the multiple IP addresses Comcast makes you buy ($5 a month for 4 IPs.)



How can Comcast make you buy multiple IP addresses? They would need some serious packet filtering systems to block NAT traffic. Judging by the original post, it would appear that you can in fact run NAT on a comcast account:

Originally posted by patrick0brien
Right now I use a Linksys router for NAT using a Comcast Cable Modem

In which case an Airport Base Station providing NAT should pose no problems.

I'm not sure why you would be having a particular problem with plugging the Airport Base Station directly into the cable modem, as that's a pretty common installation.

As far as what type of system you need for Cable Vs DSL there isn't much difference. With DSL you'll need to make sure that your router handles PPPOE if in fact that's what your provider is using (Airport and most others do). Otherwise, once you have an ethernet connection to the internet, there's not much difference.

chicagdan
Jun 17, 2003, 05:41 AM
I'm not sure why you would be having a particular problem with plugging the Airport Base Station directly into the cable modem, as that's a pretty common installation

Maybe so, but AppleCare was ZERO help. Every other time I've called AppleCare the support was excellent ... in this case, they just gave up. I was stunned.

patrick0brien
Jun 17, 2003, 11:35 AM
-Thanks guys

That answered my questions!

iJon
Jun 17, 2003, 02:06 PM
this is my current set up. dsl modem to wan port in the AE, then i have a 8 port hub plugged into the lan port of the base station. then i have 3 computers hard wired from teh hub and 2 wireless computers running off of it. it works like a charm. i love the admin utility, so esay to use and powerful. my dsl modem reconizes my base station as a NAT so i can open up ports just for it and all my computers wil have those ports open, im much more happy with it than my linksys i had before. but i will admit, the linksy had about double the range, but i dont go far from my base station anyways. plus with passwording on my linksys i never did it because i never wanted to enter a bunch of gibberish numbers and letters, the airport skips that part and just lets me enter my orignal passphrase and it encrypts it all for me. although the linksys may do that too, i may have been doing something wrong. if you have any more questions let me know but it sounds like you have gotten them all.

iJon

hacurio1
Jun 18, 2003, 10:10 PM
Originally posted by iJon
this is my current set up. dsl modem to wan port in the AE, then i have a 8 port hub plugged into the lan port of the base station. then i have 3 computers hard wired from teh hub and 2 wireless computers running off of it. it works like a charm. i love the admin utility, so esay to use and powerful. my dsl modem reconizes my base station as a NAT so i can open up ports just for it and all my computers wil have those ports open, im much more happy with it than my linksys i had before. but i will admit, the linksy had about double the range, but i dont go far from my base station anyways. plus with passwording on my linksys i never did it because i never wanted to enter a bunch of gibberish numbers and letters, the airport skips that part and just lets me enter my orignal passphrase and it encrypts it all for me. although the linksys may do that too, i may have been doing something wrong. if you have any more questions let me know but it sounds like you have gotten them all.

iJon

Question:
Will a print server work ok if itís connected to the LAN hub? Thanks! Iím not very familiar with networking yet, but this is what I plan on doing. I bought a Jetdirect print server on eBay, which allows me to connect my LaserJet 6MP to a network. Iím also going to buy a new PB, an Airport station, and a USB printer. The plan is to connect the WAN to the Airport station, the USB printer to the Airport station, and a hub in the LAN port. Iím planning to connect to the hub my old G4 and the Print server with the LaserJet 6MP. I donít know if this set up will work! Any suggestions? Thanks. Sorry, one more question. Since the WAN connection comes form my school (Dorm Ethernet), would you thing Iíll be better to connect my Roommate's computer to the hub in the airport LAN, or buy a switch to divide directly form the ether port on the wall?

iJon
Jun 19, 2003, 12:03 AM
it should, let me redo my setup, i left one thing off. my hub has a long ethernet cable goign across the house to another hub, so my mom can plug in here stuff. on the network we have 3 hardwired computer and a apple laserwriter all plugged into the hub, which leds to another hub, which is all connected to the lan port of the airport. so basically your answer is yes, as long as you have the appropriate print drivers. now i havent gotten my windows machine to see it yet, but i think thats a lack of me trying and not have the right drivers.

iJon

hacurio1
Jun 19, 2003, 12:47 AM
Originally posted by iJon
it should, let me redo my setup, i left one thing off. my hub has a long ethernet cable goign across the house to another hub, so my mom can plug in here stuff. on the network we have 3 hardwired computer and a apple laserwriter all plugged into the hub, which leds to another hub, which is all connected to the lan port of the airport. so basically your answer is yes, as long as you have the appropriate print drivers. now i havent gotten my windows machine to see it yet, but i think thats a lack of me trying and not have the right drivers.

iJon

Thanks alot! I just have one more question and I promise I will leave you alone. What would be the difference between using a switch instead of the hub?

Thanks again!:D

iJon
Jun 19, 2003, 01:10 AM
Originally posted by hacurio1
Thanks alot! I just have one more question and I promise I will leave you alone. What would be the difference between using a switch instead of the hub?

Thanks again!:D
ah dont worry about, thats whats great about this site, any problem or question you have someone can answer, and no one makes you feel stupid (or we try not to). anyways. a switch is a lot like a router, so im gonna rephrase the question to whats the differnce between a router and hub. now somebody else can go into more detail about routers and switches, but from what ive read a router should do you fine. a hub will just extend an existing ethernet cable, but will not assign ip's. a router will route your connection to whatever computers you have. thats why i have 2 8 port hubs connected to my airport, because the airport is a router. if i plugged the hubs into my dsl modem the other computers wouldnt get a connection (unless your modem is a router as well, which some are). since your airport base station is already a router, you just need a hub to connect your g4 and printer. your setup is pretty much exactly like mine (i have some more computers on it but generally the same thing) so i think you should just be fine with your school internet plugged into the wan port, a hun in the lan port, your printer and g4 pluggen into the lan, then your usb printer plugged into the airport. that was really confusing, its late, if that didnt make sense let me know, if you would rather talk more fast paced hit me up on aim: JTaylor2D

iJon