Airport Express On The Road...Experiences and Questions

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by PrometheusG5, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #1
    I snapped up an Airport Express (AXP) from the San Francisco Apple Store. Plugged it in at the office, and it worked like a dream.

    On the road, however, things haven't been quite so easy - although I do not think it is the fault of AXP. At one hotel, I had to manually enter the IP address of their DNS server manually for my PowerBook to get Internet connectivity via AXP. (Incidentally, the AXP had my office's domain name still in the Domain Name field.) When the Ethernet cable was directly plugged into my PB, I had instant connectivity.

    Next stop at a Marriott, I've had zero success in getting it to work. Marriott uses STSN to provide in-room broadband access. Again, connecting the Ethernet cable directly from the STSN box (I don't really quite know what to call this box) to my Mac worked fine. When connected to AXP, however, I could not get Internet connectivity. Airport signal strength is full; I can use the Airport administrator to configure it. When I first went in to configure AXP, the domain name of the last place I stayed was still hardcoded. I reset it. Now the AXP acts like it has access to the WAN - it has an IP address, subnet mask, and DNS servers. But NO Internet access on my Mac! I can connect to the Airport network, but for some reason AXP is not passing along the appropriate information to my Mac. I'm thinking it may just be the way Marriott/STSN has the network configured, but it's puzzling. Anyone else experience issues like this while traveling with AXP?

    One minor note...my partner's PC was not able to see the Airport network at all in our first stop. (The Airport network is broadcasting its SSID.)
     
  2. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #2
    Screen shots from my AXP

    Here are screen shots on how my AXP is set up at the Marriott/STSN network.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #3
    Sometimes hotels have webpage agreements to allow you to grab an IP. An APX wouldn't be able to fill out and agree to that before getting the IP, therefore you wouldn't be able to access the internet (or even the WAN) because the APX couldn't get an IP.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #4
    This is true; however, shouldn't AXP be able provide DHCP to client computers once the web page has been accessed and accepted?

    But you have a good point - hadn't thought of that.
     
  5. macrumors member

    WCat

    #5
    Crazzyeddie is on the right track, but the system is probably recording your machine's MAC address and only allowing access to that one piece of hardware. In order to make it work, you should have first plugged in your Airport Express to let its MAC address be the one that's recorded, then accessed the agreement web page (you're first access redirects you there). I'll bet lunch that you first plugged in your laptop directly, then later tried it again with APX. I noticed in your screenshots that APX didn't get a router address communicated to it by the STSN box. That is one way it is saying "Go away! I only allow one MAC address, and it's not you!" Your APX has no router address to talk to.

    You could try cycling the STSN box's power and trying again if your laptop's MAC address wasn't recorded by equipment deeper in the system. Some cable modems in home systems do this same trick to prevent multiple computers from using them (yeah, I know--makes no sense to me either). They only allow access from whatever the MAC address was that first accessed them since the last powerup.

    I've successfully used the STSN service in hotels with APX, so I know it can be done this way. Next time, plug in your APX as the first device, and sign on wirelessly.

    Cheers,

    WCat
     

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