Here I go again: Airport Express & AOL

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by mojo2go, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. mojo2go macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    #1
    Background History: I have a desktop HP PC running XP. Our internet connection is AOL Broadband - supplied via Time-Warner cable in our area (the very same people who provide the Road-Runner high speed service...using the exact same hardware.) AOL is our ISP. The internet connection is only open when we open and sign onto AOL.

    The PC allegedly came with a network card installed (not sure of the ID) -- but we could never get a wireless router to successfully connect to my daughter's Dell PC in the room next to our office. >>We finally resorted to a wired D-Link DI-604 4-Port Cable/DSL Router, which seems to work just fine.

    I just received my Airport Express today ....& it SEEMS to be hooked up ok...(I just plugged it into the router via ethernet cable & using Airport Set Up Assistant, I got my G4 Powerbook to recognize it as a new wireless network.) But.....

    Here is the problem: I have to use AOL in order to connect to the internet. (That's basically all I want to do with the AEX) -- & I can't seem to configure AOL to find the Airport Express. AOL "Tech Support" can't seem to locate their Mac help this evening (what is up with that?) -- so here I am.

    I am pretty green at networking. I mean -- I'm not sure where to even go to enter various settings/IP addresses/etc. Do I need to enter any settings on my PC -- or do I do all the configuring on my PB? The manual isn't specific enough to help me (it got me this far & then it seemed to assume I knew more than I did!)

    Networking issues on this forum are helpful, but none are specific enough to my problem to really solve my issue with the AOL access. Can ANYone help?

    Thanks....
     
  2. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey USA
    #2
    OK, let me briefly rephrase my understanding of your problem:

    You have a cable connection, however its NOT always on.
    You have a wired router/Modem
    You have an APEx.

    You need AOL to connect through APEx to the router/modem and connect to AOL.

    First off, the APEx should plug into the router.
    Next, we need to initiate the the connection. Normally AOL uses TCP/IP when connecting via broadband. I am not sure with your set up if it uses PPPoE or TCP/IP.

    Does any of this sound familiar?

    The airport is probably assigning an IP address and so is the router. OR the AOL on the Mac is not 'dialing' the connection.

    Can you elaborate more on how it connects in your particular case?
     
  3. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #3
    well i know how to get your powerbook up and running through AOL

    you obviously need to have the Mac version installed on your powerbook
    start up AOL and open up the connection prefs (i cant tell you what exactly because i no longer have AOL) but instead of setting it for dial up, or ethernet, there should be an option for airport select this and it should work through the power book if your broadband is connected to the APX...

    i really hoped this helped somewhat at least...
     
  4. MikeLaRiviere macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    #4
    I'm confused as to why you need AOL to connect... doesn't AOL for broadband cost another $20 per month? You should be able to connect without using AOL, as your ISP is TimeWarner, not AOL. Whoever supplies your cable connection supplies your internet. Therefore I believe you may be grossly overpaying. Call your cable company. Or, someone please explain exactly what the problem it is very possible that I have completely misunderstood the problem.

    Mike LaRiviere
     
  5. mojo2go thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    #5
    "Does any of this sound familiar?" -- Yes...;-)

    This is all true:
    I have a cable connection, however its NOT always on.
    Ihave a wired router/Modem
    Ihave an APEx.

    I need AOL to connect through APEx to the router/modem and connect to AOL.


    This is also true:
    The APEx is plugged into the router. (& my PB seems to be happy with AEX.)

    I opened AOL -- I went to expert set up & chose "Add TCP" -- then, my connection script options are: Airport, Cable Modem, Corp LAN, Dial-Up ISP, DSL, or TCP; and I chose "Airport". This did not seem to work, as the error across the top of my screen simply says "verifying TCP/IP connectivity" - but nothing happens and eventually it timed out.

    What next?
     
  6. mojo2go thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    #6

    (AOL is my husband's preference...NOT mine! We get the service we need & pay for on the PC's -- it's the new Mac PB that I'm trying to hook up now. -- We do have AOL broadband via Time/Warner Cable...same equipment as Road Runner. It is highspeed cable access when we are logged on....However, the nature of AOL as an ISP provider is that you need to "sign-on" in order to connect to the internet. The internet connection is not always on. The price includes the online service...it is not an additional charge. But that isn't really the issue here.... :D )
     
  7. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #7
    I have DSL, not cable, so things might be a bit different, but as far as I know you should be able to do this:

    1. Set your cable modem to automatically connect when needed, and not to disconnect (unless you are charged per hour or something :eek: ). Your modem will probably have a Web-based interface where you can do this.

    2. Plug the cable modem into the WAN port on your AirPort Express.

    3. Run the AirPort Setup Assistant and follow the instructions.

    This should let your Mac (and hopefully your Windows computer) access the Internet.

    I'm assuming that your cable modem has an Ethernet connection, not USB. I was careful to buy an Ethernet modem when I got DSL after hearing horror stories about USB (plus I wanted to just be able to plug it into the hub and make it work).
     
  8. WCat macrumors member

    WCat

    #8
    Sorry if I sound clueless about how your AOL connection works :confused: , but it almost sounds to me like you have a hookup problem with your Airport Extreme trying to connect to AOL (using its AOL setting) while trying unsuccessfully to connect behind your router.

    I had AOL years ago, so I'm sure my knowledge of how it works is out of date, but as I recall you have to bring up a window and login to AOL that way. So...I haven't used the AOL setting on my APEx (caveat!), but I don't think you really want it to "make" the connection to AOL for you unless it's the only router in your system, AND the computers connected to it don't have AOL's dialer software on them. If I were you, I'd try the some of the following things to try and get more feedback on what's happening:

    1. Don't set APEx to do AOL-anything. Just set it as a plain ol' access point and leave it connected to a port on your router (yeah, you've probably tried this). In fact, you probably don't want the APEx to hand out its own IP addresses--it's just a transparent passthrough wireless connection to your Powerbook. Now try to log in to AOL. Anything happen?

    2. Remove your D-Link router (temporarily) and connect APEx in its place. Now set it to do AOL login wirelessly on your Powerbook via the APEx. Does that work? If it does, then it probably means your computer's IP address is being hidden from AOL behind two NAT translation layers--one from your wired router, and again from your APEx.

    I'm not saying any of the above will be a permanent fix, but if you tell me what happens when you do them, I can guess at what to do next. Meantime, I'll look through the AOL-specific info and see what I can come up with for you.

    Cheers,

    WCat
     
  9. mojo2go thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    #9
    Thanks for all the suggestions....

    But I just got off the phone with Apple Help (2 hour call!) -- and after trouble shooting from every angle, we determined that the Apple/Mac AEx & PB are fine and in working order (no surprise :) -- but the problem may lie with the Motorola SB4200 Surfboard Cable Modem and/or it's connecting ethernet cable (via the router.) He suggested I call the provider (AOL/Time/Warner) and switch them out. Hoping to do that on Monday.

    I also finally got through to AOL Mac support & they helped me chose the proper Mac settings on the Powerbook to access AOL --(but she was not helpful once I opened the actual AOL software...still confused about how that should exactly be set up...& that may also be part of the problem.)

    I think I just really need to find a Mac user who uses Airport Express & has AOL Broadband as their ISP...But I'm willing to entertain any ideas at this point.
     
  10. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #10
    To the best of my knowledge, AOL for Broadband doesn't work for Mac and AOL doesn't even make Mac software that will connnect to AOL Broadband.
     
  11. mojo2go thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    #11
    Sheesh. You'd think the lame people in Mac Support at AOL would *know* that....but, I wouldn't doubt it. Plus the guy at the Apple Store (when I told him my config. before purchasing the PB & Airport Express) assured me it would be simple. Hoping that the Time/Warner/AOL Broadband cable people I talk to on Monday will be able to give me a clue -- or a definite answer one way or another.

    I'd love to get a DSL hook-up, but our phone exchange is not yet serviced. I have a feeling that would solve the problem.
     
  12. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #12
    ok i just installed AOL because i dont know i want to figure this out for you

    i have Cable internet via Comcast hooked up through the cable modem, and then going to my Airport Extreme basestation which is how i connect...

    I set it to connect to AOL automatically through airport, it verified and connected with not problems, i would think then, since you did this, but it failed to connect, that your router is indeed the problem, try connecting the cable modem to your Airport express and see if you can get AOL to work

    Good Luck and i hope you get it figured out
     
  13. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #13
    Why don't you just dump AOL for broadband and get regular Time Warner service? AOL really isn't that special...

    If that isn't an option, go sign up for the AOL MacBeta (Keyword: Beta). They just sent me a notification of a new app that will let you use the AOL for Broadband service without having AOL open. This may solve all of your problems.
     
  14. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #14
    all you need to do is turn on internet sharing on the computer, which is hard wired to your aol modem or whatever. then use a ethernet cable and router (or spare ethernet port/pci card) and connect that to the airport express. your powerbook should need zero configuration, unless you want to enable encryption, which i suggest.
     
  15. mojo2go thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    #15
    Hmmm...this sounds promising....wouldn't that be cool if it worked? I'll have to check it out. Thanks!
     
  16. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #16
    The only way that I know of to get AOL to work with Broadband is to use AOL as your secondary provider, In other words, you need Time-Warner in your case to be your primary Broadband provider, than run the normal AOL service on top of that and you will get normal AOL in a higher speed. What they call bring your own service.

    This is directly from AOL:
    What is happening with AOL Broadband for the Mac?

    At this time we do not have any tests or plans to test AOL Broadband for the Mac. If you are looking for broadband access to the Internet we would suggest that you talk to your local cable, phone or ISP company about their ability to provide broadband access to the Internet and be sure take a look at our BYOA plan (Bring Your Own Access) at Keyword: BYOA where we reduce the fee for the AOL Service to as low as $14.95/month.
     
  17. mojo2go thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    #17
    Yes, you are correct. Per the suggestion of "crazyeddie" above, I went to AOL Keyword: "Mac Beta" to find out about that & Yup - looks like I'm currently S.O.L. unless I do the BYOA. Will be talking to the cable co. tomorrow to find out all my options. If I ever get it running, I'll post a new thread.

    Thanks everyone for your time, suggestions, & support. You're the MacBest!
    ;)
     
  18. kloda macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    #18
    Last November, I bought a Netgear wireless router and all of a sudden my AOL connection would not work. It would attempt TCP connection and get nowehere.

    I found this issue also occurred on the PC side and was because of AOL's inability to work directly with a router, or particular ones. The cure was supposedly to do a direct connection to AOL through the cable modem and then save some settings, then try connecting via the router.

    I never tried the solution because my take was that this cure is inane. AOL is the only piece of software that has this sort of trouble so I've discontinued my AOL subscription (I was a beta tester for AOL when the service switched from AppleLink Personal Edition to Steve Case's hands).

    One possibility is to see what version of the AOL software is that you have installed and ensure it's the latest and...greatest.

    Hope this helps in pointing you in the right direction.
     
  19. mojo2go thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    #19
    Kloda: Thanks for the input. I do have the most recent version of AOL for the Mac OSX. And, yes - AOL seems to be the only ISP where the wireless/router issue is a stumbling block. It drives me nuts to see that my AirEx is working fine....my PB connection is open and strong, but I can't use the internet because of this whole AOL crap.

    Change is difficult for him, but if I can get my "other-half" to agree, (can't call him my "better half, since he's a PC user :cool: ) I'm hoping to convert to RoadRunner direct, or possibly checking into Earthlink High Speed Cable - which is new in our area. (Our area cannot yet get DSL.) Anyone out there have any experience with Earthlink's high-speed access? If so - would you recommend it?
     

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