Using AE to connect a NAS to existing WLAN

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by switchone, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. switchone macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2006
    Hi everybody!

    I have following setup:
    - Powerbook G4
    - Airport Express to play music wirelessly (Currently in Client Mode to the main WLAN)
    - ZyXEL Prestige 660H-61 ADSL-gateway with firewall shared with WLAN for all the apartments in the house

    I bought a NAS (Western Digital Netcenter) that I want to share wirelessly. When I connect it to the AE with the RJ-45 cable, I cant find it on the network. Surely if the AE is in Client mode, the ADSL-gateway should assign the harddrive an IP and show it on the network?

    Another idea I had was to create my own network using the AE and connect it to the internet by WDS-link to the shared WLAN internet access. However, I ran to several problems: As I don't have the password for the shared WLAN access point, the AE couldn't read the configuration. iTunes didnt find the remote speakers and just to add to that, I couldnt find the NAS either! (I did have DHCP turned off)

    Of course the ideal would be for me to have my own network, but then I'd need an ADSL at home and thats much more expensive than the shared connection...

    So, does anyone have any ideas how to get the NAS shared to the local shared WLAN, use the shared WLAN internet access and use Airtunes? :)

    (sorry for the long post :eek: )
  2. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    I don't think the Ethernet port is enabled with the AE is in client mode. It just acts as a wireless client. You'll need to either physically wire the NAS to the Zyxel, or configure a wireless access point (I think the AE does this but not 100% sure) as a repeater (wireless bridging mode) for the Zyxel, then wire the NAS to the AP's ethernet port.

    e.g. Zyxel > wireless > Netgear WG602 AP configured as bridging mode > NAS
    The Zyxel is still the DHCP server in this mode, and in bridging mode the Access Point will simply passes through the DHCP requests.

    So the Powerbook will be able to connect to either the WG602 or the Zyxel via wireless, and the NAS will still be able to pick up an IP address from the Zyxel and therefore talk to all devices within the Zyxel's network range.

    One other thing to watch out for might be that the Zyxel has a set DHCP scope which is fairly narrow which might create problems.
  3. switchone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2006
    Yep, that sounds pretty viable and logical... I'm just disappointed as I was looking forward to building a nice and simple solution -- And getting the most out of the Airport Express :cool:

    Well, even though I get another AP, I can still use the Airtunes functionality on the AE. Just annoying when my apartment is getting filled up with various equipment :rolleyes:
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Your NAS is going to have to be on the same network as your Powerbook. I think you can do this is the airport express is setup to be an access point.

    Here in my house I'm using a Linux system as a file server. It does basically the same thing as your NAS. The Linus sytem connects via a switch to the Airport Express with is an access point. the entire switch goes through a router/firewall and then to a DSL modem. All tis stuff is screwed to the wall under a desk and does not take any room

    Looks like you will need a cheap home router/firewall and have your own "NAT'd" network.
  5. switchone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2006

    Hi Chris,

    Your setup sounds nice and tidy...

    The problem with your proposed solution is that I can't have a second AP. The WLAN base station (I believe its hooked up with the Zyxel ADSL-gateway) acting as the AP now is located outside of my apartment. It's used to share the ADSL-connection to the apartments around. In other words, I don't have and don't want to get an ADSL-connection at home, as the shared connectin is fast and cheap :eek:

    I did think about having the AE to create a network and try to connect it to the Zyxel WLAN base station via WDS, but I couldn't get it working.

    Sesshi's solution to get a WLAN base station to act as a bridge to the Zyxel WLAN seems like the most viable solution. I'm just gutted to have to buy another bloody gadget :mad:
  6. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    If you're going to do it that way, you'll need access to the Zyxel for two things:

    MAC address (will be printed on unit, or available from control panel)
    Security (the same security needs to be enabled on the repeater)

    Also make sure you buy an access point that supports bridging. Many dont.
  7. switchone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2006
    Right, isn't there a way to find out the MAC address remotely? I have no access to the configuration of the Zyxel....

    edit: when i run "arp -a" in terminal i get (LAN):

    ? ( at 0:f:66:31:35:78 on en1 [ethernet]
    ? ( at 0:11:24:5f:3:77 on en1 [ethernet]

    and the second one is my AE, so the first one must be the Zyxel.... right? :eek:)

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