View Full Version : Create a wireless network with a wifi source

Aug 19, 2008, 08:10 PM
So here's the deal. I moved into a new apartment complex and found out that the "included internet" is actually wireless network. This causes quite a few frustrations, but I am willing to work with it if possible. Anyway, I don't really want to use the complex-wide wireless network if possible but would rather create my own. This would provide me a few personal luxuries such as AirTunes with my Express, a networked printer, and further security.

So what I am looking to do is create my own password-protected network using my Airports. The source for my internet will need to be this other wireless network. I figure there might be a way to have the Express connect to the provided wireless network, and then pass it on to the Extreme with ethernet. Maybe that is too complex, but I am looking for any ways I can might be able to do this. Keep in mind that I have no access to the router that provides the internet, I can only log onto it.

It also appears that every so often I need to log into the network through a web portal, much like a hotel. However the ISPs website says that it is possible to connect an XBOX and other gaming consoles, despite the fact they don't have web browsers that allow you to log into this webpage.

Aug 19, 2008, 10:10 PM
The only way I can think of (which is admittedly limited) that might work is if the complex router supports WDS functionality (Wireless Distribution System). You need the wireless MAC address of the complex router and the only way I would know how to obtain it is via the admin interface of that router. There might be some tool you can use to find it but I don't know what that would be.

If the complex router supports WDS, you setup your Airport to be a WDS Remote, enter the MAC address, the username and password (if one is needed to log on to the network, and not the one for the hotel style web interface you mentioned).

Actually now that I think through it this might not work because you want to set up your own side of the wireless, whereas WDS just extends an existing wireless network. You might be able to get your Airport connected like this, but I don't think you can then set up a specific network name with its own protected wireless access like you want. It would be fun to try but I don't think it will work now that I walk myself through it. If it doe, sweet. If not, sorry for being a goober.

Anyone feel free to confirm my goober-ness on this idea.

Aug 20, 2008, 01:10 PM
I figure there might be a way to have the Express connect to the provided wireless network, and then pass it on to the Extreme with ethernet.

I think you might be do this. Put the Express into "bridge mode". This will put the Express' wireless side and Ethernet side on the same network. then connect the Eithernet cable to the Extreme's WAN port.

What I'm not sure about is how the Express will bridge? It may only work from the cable to the wireless side. That is the only direction I've tried myself.

Worst case is you will need a fancy router with two wireless ports. Any kind of computer that runs a Unix-like OS can be used as a router. I'd go with BSD or Linux. You'd need a to install two PCI wireless cards

Aug 21, 2008, 10:00 AM
ChrisA offers a compelling idea.

What if you used the Express as a bridge to a wire, then put the other end of that wire into the WAN port of another wireless router and used that one as your private home wireless network? That might do the trick.

Aug 21, 2008, 09:33 PM
I am getting closer to a functional network. No it does not work yet, but I have ideas. As was mentioned, I want to use the Express as a wired-to-ethernet bridge, and then have the extreme's wan port connected to that ethernet. Now, apparently my express (802.11g) doesn't do this pass through without the use of WDS. Again, since I have no access to my wireless provider's routers, WDS is pretty much out of the question. Now, the new 802.11n Airport Expresses have a feature called ProxySTA that allows for this wired-to-ethernet bridge to add wireless n to computers, etc. At that point I can connect my extreme to the express and create my own, secure, wireless network.

This all gets more tricky when you consider the log-on web page. The answer lies in using my Macbook to log onto the service with a spoofed MAC address. It will be either the express (directly connected to the network, but a bridge) or the extreme (my router that will share a public ip). I tried spoofing a few times tonight, but have run out of "sessions". So I feel like I need to call them and take a few of those MAC addresses off of my account and make it so the only MAC address associated with my account is that of one of my airports. I just need to figure out which one, and get a wireless-n express.