Base Stationless AirPort

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by Beej, Jul 18, 2002.

  1. Beej macrumors 68020

    Beej

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Buffy's bedroom
    #1
    I'm moving house soon, and I've been looking at the possibility of making my network wireless. I've been doing some reading, and there's some stuff floating around tthat you don't need a base station - you can just use a stationary computer as one. Nothing I've read has really convinced me of this, and a lot of it is conflicting with each outher.

    So what's the deal? I'll have a desktop server that serves Internet, and I need to be able to share files/game between about 5 other Macs in the house. I may also buy a wireless printer.

    Do I need a base station or not?
     
  2. sparkleytone macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

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    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #2
  3. mac15 macrumors 68040

    mac15

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    Dec 29, 2001
    Location:
    Sydney
    #3
    with rendevous, everything seems easy know, not thats I have ever needed to network anything, but it looks so hard
     
  4. ajob61 macrumors newbie

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    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #4
  5. kiwi_the_iwik macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
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    London, UK
    #5
    I've been reading in UK MacWorld that a base station is not required - as long as you can put an airport card inside, the computer itself acts as the base station. That's been a feature of OSX for a while, and you don't have to upgrade to Jaguar for it, either.

    I was thinking about just buying an "el-cheapo" iMac with an airport card for the lounge room (or maybe another cube!) to act as a base station for my nice little cube in the bedroom - it'll also be good to use as a network gaming system!

    :D
     
  6. ShaolinMiddleFinger macrumors 6502a

    ShaolinMiddleFinger

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    #6
    Well, that's $300 saved...unless if they decide to charge for that software....
     
  7. backspinner macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Location:
    Eindhoven
    #7
    First off, I have to say that my physical basestation is a wonderful piece of equipment. It is well worth the money I spent on it. But...
    When I bought my wireless network stuff I was planning to use software basestation in my girlfriends computer so that I could use my powerbook in her house as well. I was quite disappointed when I learned that sw BS was not included in osx, only in os9. There is a thing called computer-to-computer network, but that is only for file sharing between _2_ computers and is not the same as a basestation.

    So if you want to use the sw BS, then you can use os9 or wait for X.2. Airporting my home worked very well, it's wonderfull to be productive anywhere in my place!
     
  8. cleo macrumors 65816

    cleo

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
    #8
    Another (rather obvious, but still) thing to remember is that if you use the software base station, the computer acting as the server will need to be on and awake all the time. Over time, I'd imagine it would just be cheaper to buy the physical base station vs. electricity costs. Plus, it just looks so damned cool. :D
     
  9. Beej thread starter macrumors 68020

    Beej

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
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    #9
    Yeah thanks Cleo. The machine that will be acting as the base station is the server, so it's on 24/7 anyway.

    So there seems to be a bit of cunfusion... can you use OS X 10.1.5 as a sw base station, or do we have to wait for 10.2?
     
  10. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #10
    I don't know how large of a house you will be getting, where you will be setting up the computers, or what the walls are made from. You might want to consider getting the base station (hardware) and setting it up in a central location. That way, you have the full range to roam with your systems.

    Also, remember that the Airport signal uses the 2.4GHz frequency, so if you have any portable phones that are on the same freq. you will have issues.

    One of the great features about the base station is the firewall. Another is the fact that it can go online for you 24/7 even if you have a power failure. Once power is restored, you are back online (in very little time). Put the base, and your high speed modem onto a UPS (of a decent size) and you can be online when there are power failures. I have done this with my TiBook and setup.
     
  11. kaltsasa macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Kellogg IA
    #11
    The Base station is a dream. I currently use one to dole out dsl to the rest of my apt(the wonderful 4 person apt) and its great because it gives out ip's and protects us from evil attacks from the dark side. I feel it was well worth the 300 bucks. Even my technology hating GF loves having her ibook wireless, just lounging around on the couch on the net.
     
  12. buffsldr macrumors 6502a

    buffsldr

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    #12
    what about the software basestation's encryption? I cant believe it will be able to do everything as well as the base station. sounds a little to good to be true. though i would love to be wrong, it would save me $200
     
  13. ArtMan617 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Location:
    Princeton, NJ
    #13
    Does anyone know of somewhere I could trade in my old graphite base station towards a nice new one? I've had some minor problems with this one and I'd really like the faster connection.

    -ArtMan617
     
  14. dantec macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2001
    Location:
    California
    #14
    Just remember, to go onto the internet, and using your Powermac, sharing files will mean that your Powrmac will have to be on ALL THE TIME! Also, if your Powermac freezes, the whole network is frozen. Base stations are less likely to freeze (mine has never frozen).

    The only reason we went wireless is the 2 cable plugs in our house are in the living room, and in the top loft, which gets sooo hot in summer (I remember almost fainting once).

    Anyway, if you do get a base station, remember to set the 'density' this can DRAMATICALLY increase your speed from 2 Mbps (default) up to 11 Mbps.

    The basestation is a beautifle work of art, and as someone mentioned before can be put in a central point of the house, and it also works through 3 flights of stairs too.

    If there is a powercut, as soon as the power is put back on, the base station is up and ready to go (after waiting about 20-25 seconds). unless you leave it for a couple months unplugged, then you might have to reset the settings.

    Setting it up is a sinch, took me less than 5 mins (3 plugging it in, 1 waiting for my PM to start up, and 1 to set it up).
     
  15. ShaolinMiddleFinger macrumors 6502a

    ShaolinMiddleFinger

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    Oct 12, 2001
    #15
    Trade in...hmmm...no idea....you could always sell it on eBay....
     
  16. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #16
    Contact the Computer Loft and see what they would give you for the base... Expect abotu 1/2 what it sold for originally (best case).
     
  17. AstroMan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2002
    #17
    Setting up a software base station under 10.1 is possible (I ran one for almost a year), but it's harder than configuring a hardware access point. To get the instructions, do a Google search on "wireless masquerading firewall" and open Google's cache of the page (the original mac.com site was just taken down). If you want a GUI setup utility and the extra firewall features you'd get with a router, get BrickHouse ($25 shareware; search on versiontracker).

    Another program that may do this is at
    http://airportswbsx.sourceforge.net/ (I don't know whether it works). Any of these options will use encryption if you set up your computer-to-computer network with a password.

    You could also get a third-party access point ($100-150). I have an SMC Barricade, which is functionally equivalent to the Airport Base Station except that it doesn't include a modem or support for AOL via dialup. Also, the setup is through a web browser so it's platform-independent.
     
  18. Beej thread starter macrumors 68020

    Beej

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Buffy's bedroom
    #18
    Thanks AstroMan! Very helpful. I'll look into that.



    dantec- I've already said this powermac is a server, so it's already on all the time, and everyone loses their internet when it crashes. Good thing it's running X - it never crashes :)
     
  19. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #19
    So you plan to never update or upgrade it??? With the [hardware] base station, you could do that AND everyone else will stay online. Also, if the airport card inside the server developes issues, your connection will go down. With the hardware base station, the server's airport card could go down, and it won't matter. You can also connect your server directly to the base and get a internet connection that way. If you want to have more then one system online in that room, you could just get a small network/ethernet switch and transfer files a hell of a lot faster.

    You can also set up a printer on the network and print faster (and easier) with the hardware base station.

    You might save a few dollars by getting the airport card and setting up a software base station, but the hardware base station is money well spent.
     
  20. buffsldr macrumors 6502a

    buffsldr

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    #20
    Arrrrrrrgh!!! THat is all I can say right now, given that I have just spent the last hour banging my head against the wall in an attempt to get my Powermac, running os 10.1 Server, to function as a software base station. I followed the instructions on that cached google site listed a few posts prior, but no dice.

    When I read that post today, I ran out an bought a second airport card (to go with my first that I just bought last week, to go with my ibook that i just bought 2 weeks ago....which i bought to replace the powerbook i bought last month, and did not really need so i returned the powerbook and go this ibook.... good move for me....anyway.......) I ran out and bought the airport card, saw Scooby Doo, then returned to my house and have tried to get this to work. No dice, as i said. So i put my powermac into os 9 and turned on the base station software feature. And now here i sit on my couch posting to macrumors. This airport thing is pretty dang cool. I thnk I need to go continue to surf the net on my porch now.....

    In summary, I will wait for jaguar. My powermac is always on anyway and it will save me about 200 bucks (i was going to buy jaguar anyway).

    This is a great thread, i have really appreciated the thoughts. thanks

    P.s. I am sure that cached .mac site was right on in its technique, i am thinking the fact I have os x server means the method may not apply to me
     
  21. Beej thread starter macrumors 68020

    Beej

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Buffy's bedroom
    #21
    Alpha, it's just a home server, so there's no problems with restating it now and then. It's been serving the Internet in my house for a couple of years... the only difference with AirPort is that it will be wireless.

    If the AirPort card in the server develops trauma, I'll replace it, no hass.
     
  22. buffsldr macrumors 6502a

    buffsldr

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    #22

    Forget what I said before, this stuff works. I got it to work under OS X. At some point I likely upgrade to the base station, but for now, this gives me a chance to evaluate wireless networking in my house. Thanks for the tip, AstroMan.
     
  23. LimeiBook86 macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

    Joined:
    May 4, 2002
    Location:
    Go Vegan
    #23
    WHOA!

    WHOA WHOA WHOA...
    Are you dudes saying that I can pop an AirPort card in my PowerMac G4 (running OS 10.1.5 and has a cable modem internet connection) and then pop in an AirPort Card into my iBook, and use my PowerMac's Internet Service without a Base Station!? That would be SsSsSwWwWwEeEeEeEeEeTtTtTt!
    Is it true!!!?:eek:
     
  24. colocolo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Location:
    Santiago, Chile
    #24
    so.....

    What would be the actual benefit of a home user who has a main computer always turned on of buying a base station instead of just going with the software solution? I feel like I'm missing the 'catch' of this...
     
  25. backspinner macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Location:
    Eindhoven
    #25
    Re: so.....

    apparently none

    but you can place the base station in you home at a location that is more in the middle or such that it will give reach for your laptop in the whole area. often servers are locked away in the study in a corner of the house. the working distance of Airport through walls is not THAT big.

    you could maybe switch off the server and use the basestation for connecting to the internet and saving power and server life and noise in your study room

    and the hardware basestation has built in firewall

    with os9 it is true, with os10.2 it will be true
     

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