Hiding an Airport Base station

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by Macpoops, Jun 24, 2002.

  1. Macpoops macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Location:
    PA
    #1
    This is a bit of an off the wall question but here goes.... Is there any possible way to hide or disguis a base station so that a network admin does not know it is there. The reason i ask this is because last year i had a problem with my college network admin trying to get me thrown out of the dorms because i was violating the network policy. After discussing the reasoning behind this with him, he expressed to me that The station itself grabs an Ip address and then the computers attacted to it grab an ip address. He proceeded to say that if 10 percent of the campus did this it would create a massive slow down. I don't know the tech behind the base station that well so i don't know if he is just trying to snow me or what.
    The thing i think is funny is the fact that I can set up my powerbook to do that same thing but i am allowed to connect that to the network.

    If you ask me one of us doesn't know what we are talking about. Either way i want to able to use it without going through all the extra crap i dealt with last year.
     
  2. big macrumors 65816

    big

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2002
    #2
    the base station acts as it's own router...so you could have 10 or 20 machines on it and it would look like 1 machine.

    my question is, why can't I see my iBook (on an airport base station) from the other computers on the LAN?
     
  3. macstudent macrumors 6502

    macstudent

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #3
    Help hiding a base station

    why not put a blanket on top of it:D
     
  4. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #4
    hiding it

    You can hide it on the network by setting it up as a closed network. Essentially, if the person trying to connect to the base station doesn't know the exact name you gave it, as well as the password, they will not be able to find it (and connect to it).

    To physically hide it, if your desk has shelves in the leg well, place it there, if not, use a drill to put a few holes on one of the drawers and stash it there.

    As for that guys claim that it will slow down the network, he is full of it. You connect it to the 10/100Mb/sec network and it allows you to connect wirelessly (at a max of 11Mbps). You can adjust the speed that you connect in the admin utility. If you are the only one using it, the slowdown will be between your computer and the base, not the rest of the network. Even if you allowed nine friends to connect to the base station, at full bandwidth, you would be using the same bandwidth as a single computer. That is if you set it for maximum speed. You can make it even less, if you decide to.

    The higher speed settings, and robustness setting will also limit the number of third party wireless cards that can connect to the base station. Set it all to the max, and chances are, only Mac's with Airport cards will be able to use your base station to connect.

    BTW, DON'T put a blanket over it... You need to have airflow around it to prevent it from overheating. Even though there are no venting holes, the unit will get warm (from normal use) and hot if you cover it. Putting it inside a drawer should be ok, as long as you don't cram things around it. That is another reason to make a few holes, to allow air into the area the base is. If you really wanted to get creative, you could even place a small computer fan in the draw to pull air into it.
     
  5. evildead macrumors 65816

    evildead

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Location:
    WestCost, USA
    #5
    they can cause problems

    Routers and switches can cause problems for networks if the networks are not built right. Diffrent switces, hubs, and routers can do bad things like slow it down or create spooled error messages for the network admins. Some switches and even brong down a network. What they guy told you was a buch of crap. The airport is a router so it only grabs one IP. However, if he had an issue with the security problems with Wireless stuff or with you grabbing up extra bandwith do to extra users all tapping into the same IP, then he has a valid argument (or that is causes problems with the network) My university had a security breach from a wireless router. Some one left the defualt password on it and someone got in. They used the accesspont to get into a linux box that was using the router, and then lanuched attacks on other computers in the university from there. Then they canged the admin password on the router so no one else could get in. The Admins came in and told the department admin that his box had been launching attacks. When we went to reset the router, we couldnt and we couldnt find the "restore to defualt settings button" on the router. So... now the IT guy has a dead router... and the university network admin is mad at him.

    as far as hiding your router. You problably wont get cault using it unless it is causing error messages to be spooled. Your router should look just like a computer that is on all the tim. They can use network sniffers that can look at all the packets that are going to your IP and they could tell that way that you have a router. There are devices that they could use and walk around your dorms and pick up wirless signals and kick down your door too. But, it depends on your universiy and how good the network admin is. Did he come to you or did you ask him if you can use the airport?

    -evildead
     
  6. coolocity macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Location:
    Central New York
    #6
    airports

    Yeah, you'll get a lot of flak like that. Mainly for being a mac user and not conforming to be like the rest of the network. Change is such a bad thing to ignorant people. I'm sure that the only reason you want to be able to go wireless is for educational purposes, right? :p Talk to the guy, explain the truth, and if he can't handle it, do find a stealthy way to disguise it.

    - John
     
  7. Macpoops thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Location:
    PA
    #7
    First of all, Originally when i hooked it up I goofed. I hooked it up through the lan port and nearly brought down half the network for a few days. Yeah i screwed up but i fixed it but of course that wasn't good enough for this geek on a powertrip (no offense to the rest of you IT guys). This guy actually waited for me outside of my class to inform me of this. I tried talking to this guy and he keeps citing the policy of the college which basicly states no one can not connect more then 1 device to a single port owned by the college. He is trying to say that the airport and computer would be 2 seperate devices. Which makes sense in the fact that they physically are but in network terms they are just one. Correct me if i am wrong

    I am not really worried about physically hiding more of finding a space to put it where it covers my entire apartment.

    My favorite part of this problem is the fact that my school, Albright College received a 173,000 dollar grant from the state of PA to help develop and implement wireless technology and applications on the campus as research for the state.
     
  8. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #8
    That has to be one flakey network to have a base station bring half of it down (even nearly).
     
  9. Macpoops thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Location:
    PA
    #9
    Only network i know of that has an entire T1 devoted to administration and labs who obviously don't use all that bandwith considering. The labs might but they are empty for most of the time and the other half they are used for word processing
     
  10. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #10
    I'm fairly certain that a T1 line is just 1.5Mb (up and downstream), so if you get several people on it, it slows down fast. We have a few T1 lines here, with one being used for phones, and three being used for data (inter and intranet).

    Placing an airport base onto the LAN should just give you an access point to connect to the LAN from anywhere within ~150 feet of said base station. It shouldn't do squat to the network at college (unless the IT/LAN admin doesn't know what he/she is doing).
     
  11. Macpoops thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Location:
    PA
    #11
    For whatever reason the walls in my apartment don't allow the radio signals from the airport through. and it definately isn;t 150 feet. Thats why i have to find the best place for it I'll probably hang it. The college has 2.3 T1s 1.3 of which is shared among 1400 students. While the other 1 as i said before is dedicated to the administration side of campus. Dorms are paired and seperated into seperate areas of the network which do not communicate with each other. (EG. dorm A and B can share files but dorm C can only talk to dorm D and no one else. etc...) If you ask me it's a poorly managed poorly designed network. But in the eyes of the college we're students we don't know any better.

    They are worried about high security but why do you need security on a network that should only consist of student owned and operated computers. (this would be true if they were smart enough to seperate the college vital systems from the network with a VPN or something secure)

    I guess this is what happens when you hire former graduates to do a job they were not educated to do in the first place
     
  12. redAPPLE macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

    Joined:
    May 7, 2002
    Location:
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    #12

    Proof # 401,012 that apple is powerful :)

    ---

    bow earthlings. bow.
     
  13. peterjhill macrumors 65816

    peterjhill

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #13
    One thing that you will want to find out, does your University have a wireless network? Also, does your University have a policy that explicitly bans wireless access points connected to their network? If it does, than be respectful of that, and don't set up a rogue access point. As a Network Engineer of a University, it will be someone with my job that will have to figure out what is wrong with the network if you can't configure your Airport correctly. If someone leeches off of your access point and starts some mischief, they will be able to track the source to your network outlet, and you will be held responisible.

    I am not trying to say don't do it, I just want you to be aware of the things that could happen.

    So, if you are going to do this, the best way would be to turn on the share an ip address feature of the airport. Connect the WAN port (on the new airports, the original ones only had a single ethernet) to your wall outlet. Tell the airport to dhcp for an address on its wan interface.

    Does your University have a registration system for your network? If so, register the mac address of the wan port. you can determine that from the apple airport admin utility. By all means, set it up as a closed network. WEP would probably be a good idea also. Also turn off snmp on the wan port. If you are running a web server, you will probably want to set up port forwarding for http port 80 to the ip address of your web server.

    this is just the very basics. There are alot of considerations that should be made to set it up correctly. This is why your University probably bans the use of airports on their networks. Tell them to get with the program and deploy wireless across campus.

    I am proud to say that my univerisity has been voted the past two years as the most wired campus, and alot of that has to do with its wireless network. We have over 800 access points covering the entire campus inside and outside, including all the dorms. I personally set up the wired infrastructure for the access points.

    Once they do that, then you will definitely want to turn off that airport. There are only three channels in 802.11b that do not overlap. There may be 11 different settings, but only 1, 6, and 11 can really be used.
     

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