Adding Mac Addresses To Airport Express

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by taffygirl, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. taffygirl macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2008
    Hi all,

    It seems that someone is logging on to our wireless network and we have tried changing passwords on wireless and modem with no success as they are still getting in and stealing our broadband.

    This wouldn't be the end of the world if we had unlimited broadband access but alas in Australia it's 'unlimited' but only until you use up your 10gb allowance at which point your access speed will revert to dialup - ridiculous I know, especially when I'm used to unlimited actually meaning unlimited in the UK, but we've got to live with it.

    So as we're now almost at our monthly limit I'm needing to stop this going on.
    I've spoken to our internet service provider and my local apple store and they have suggested that I need to add all the laptops allowed to access the network to the airport utility using their MAC addresses but I can't work out how to do this and the mac store can't tell me.

    My internet service provider believes it's someone on a playstation using it.

    I've spoken to our neighbours in the building but everyone has denied it so I'm just going to have to block everyone.

    Sorry if this is rambling and not very clear but I'm so frustrated with it all!


  2. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    You can get your computer's MAC address by going to Sys Prefs > Network > Configure > AirPort and it's the "AirPort ID" (I'm on a Tiger machine and they rearranged the panel a bit in Leopard so it might be a bit different).

    You can then add the MAC addresses to your AirPort base by using AirPort Utility. Unfortunately I can't give step-by-step instructions as the Utility is performing to its usual standard and claiming that I don't have an AirPort base :rolleyes:
  3. taffygirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2008
    Thanks Nermal,

    Unfortunately the last bit you're not able to give instructions on is the bit that I'm struggling with as I can't seem to find anywhere where I can manage which users can asses the network and block this broadband thief!
  4. VoR macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2008
    If someone is getting on your password protected wireless, they'll be getting your mac address too - I'd say that's pretty bad advice. I don't know anything about the airport express, but you should switch to wpa2+aes.
  5. bobdard macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2008
    I'll be able to help you out. First of all, can you please tell me which Airport Express you are using? the new with N or the older one without? And how about the devices you connect to your airport? Are they G or N devices? It would help if you could list them, their OS, and G or N.

    What you could, and I will be able to give you further details once I have that info:

    1 - Set a new SSID (network name) and turn off broadcasting, so no one can see your new network name unless they type it in manually.

    2 - Set your network security to WPA2 and give it an odd passkey. This is the highest level of consumer-level security, and much harder to hack into. If you happen to have an older Windows machine connecting to your Airport, you'll have to update software to get it to work with this security type.

    3 - If all your devices are "N," you can run your Airport in 5GHz N-only mode, so those without an N device will not be able to access it.

    4 - MAC addresses. Once you have the Mac addresses of all your devices, you can add them to the Airport, by going to Airport Utility, clicking on your wireless device, clicking on 'Manual setup', and then hitting the access tab on the top. Then you click the drop-down menu and change from not-enabled to timed access. You then click on the "+" sign on the bottom, type in the MAC Address, description if you'd like, and select "Everyday/all day" for all of the MAC addresses you enter. You'll notice there was a (default) in that menu as well before you added anything. Double-click that, and under the details change "everyday" to "no-access". That gives all your specific addresses full access everyday/all day, and blocks out every other connection completely.

    I think if you combine steps 1, 2, and 4, you should be pretty safe. They'd have to go through quite a bit to get into your network in that scenario, and would have to know some serious networking. I don't consider myself a pro, but I do know network quite well, though I wouldn't be able to crack into that kind of a system any day. Even if you had just done step 2.
  6. taffygirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2008
    Now I have managed to get myself locked out of the airport altogether and the utility is not registering the airport so I can't use it at all.

    I tried to set the RADIUS to only include authorised laptops which I think may have been a mistake.

    I've had to switch over to ethernet to be able to access internet and the guys in the MAC store can't offer me any advice except resetting the airport which doesn't work either.
  7. taffygirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2008
    Bobdard thanks for your reply it's really helpful and exactly what I needed if only I'd waited for that before trying the RADIUS thing.

    I'm using airport express but I'm not sure what you mean by N & G - please excuse my ignorance.

    The devices I'm trying to connect are;
    Macbook with Mac 10.5.5
    iBook with 10.4.11
    2 x Sony Vaio running Windows Vista
    The Macbook is the laptop I'm using to try to set this all up.
  8. VoR macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2008
    Reset your airport express to factory defaults and set the wireless security with a new passphrase to wpa2+aes - filtering mac addresses, turning off ssid broadcast and using wep/wpa/tkip is pretty much pointless.
  9. bobdard macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2008
    Alright Don't worry about it. Based on what you'ved mentioned, you don't want to do part 3 of what I said above (N only mode - just ignore that section 3 completely). As VOR said, you can reset the Airport completely to factory settings and redo the whole process. To do that, look for a little pin-sized hole on the bottom of the Express (should have a tiny grey icon beside it). While the Airport is plugged in, press that in for about 10 seconds. It will reset, and you should be able to connect to its test-network wirelessly with your MacBook, and then see it in your Airport Utilities. Hope that helps.
  10. taffygirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2008
    Thanks all for the help and advice. Based on the info provided I'm managed to reset the airport & set access for the users in my household so just hoping that who ever was accessing it won't be able to now.

    Thanks all.

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