advice on Airport Express setup

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mopppish, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. mopppish macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    Hi, all.
    My roommates and I just added even more computers to the house, and it's getting crazy. I'd like to get the Airport Express for the wireless access, itunes streaming, printer sharing, and much lower price than the Extreme base station, but there are still some things in the house that MUST be wired. Currently I have a D-Link wired router that I bought last year that's connecting everything. What I would LIKE to do is this-
    connect the D-Link to the DSL modem
    connect the PS2, Xbox, and old B&W G3 in the living room to the D-Link
    connect the Airport Express to the 4th port on the D-Link and run the two ibooks and imac G5 off of it
    I'm hoping this will work so that everything in the house will be networked together, but it's just the part where the Airport gets plugged into the wired router that I'm worried about. I'm willing to bet there's SOME way to do this. Suggestions?
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    My main Express is plugged into the router with no problems. It's set to connect to the internet using Ethernet with DHCP and it works well for me. :)
  3. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    You will have to disable the NAT, and DHCP server on the express to make this work but it will work just fine.
  4. mopppish thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    Thanks a lot, guys. I take it that these things I'm supposed to disable are pretty easy to find in the Airport setup, correct? I'm starting to learn my way around computers (macs in particular) pretty well lately, but the details of networking are still pretty foreign to me.
  5. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Yes they are easy to find. If you have any probelms, we are here for ya!:D
  6. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    Just remember that the tiny antennas built in to the Express are pretty weak and you won't have nearly the range of a router with real antennas. Consider how far away you have each of the computers and their placement. :)
  7. mopppish thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    Really, the wireless computers will be a room away, 25-30 feet at the most. I've already used my imac's airport card to share it's ethernet connection with my ibook and went as far away as anyone will probably get in the house, and it worked fine. I'd assume that's a comparable signal strength.
  8. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Yes you should be just fine. The express has decent strength.
  9. TheMasin9 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 22, 2004
    Huber Heights, OH

    i live in dorms right now and even tho we shouldnt have private networks (mine is private password protected so i dont technically share with anyone) i live at one end of the hall and can go to the other end an still get a signal, it knida freaks people out when i sit at one end of the hall and have my door open and i change itunes songs!!
  10. mopppish thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    OK, I'm resurrecting this thread because the Airport Express arrived, is plugged into the wired router, and is working mostly fine so far. The only things I've changed from the default settings is to enable airtunes sharing over ethernet and brought the signal strength down to 50% as it's all I need. All computers seem to access the internet fine, however I had a little trouble file sharing between the wireless imac and the wired G3. I'm guessing that this has something to do with either the "disable NAT and DHCP" previoulsy mentioned which I don't see worded exactly that way in the airport config creens (I'm on Tiger). Or perhaps I need to change some other option. Any suggestions?
    Otherwise, it's working as well as I really need it to. All the computers see the airtunes just fine and I've got a 50 foot ethernet cable I can always break out if I need to do file sharing.
  11. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Make you windows look like this and it should work:

    Attached Files:

  12. mopppish thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    Cool, thanks. It looks like that did the trick. Could you provide an explanation for what that technically changes and why it works? Always looking to learn more.

    EDIT: I also noticed (maybe in my head) that computers accessing the internet wirelessly seem snappier now. Is this possible, or am I imagining it? I seemed to have similar results when I first initiated my internet service last year. At that time, my modem and wired router were clashing as I think they had the same IP address, but once that was cleared up it worked like a dream. Is this a similar principle?
  13. mopppish thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
  14. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Well to understand what that did you need to know what NAT is and DHCP, I will start with the easy one:

    DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) It is used the hand out information to the clients on a Network, in this case it hands out IP address.

    NAT (Network Address Translation.)is what does the most of the work of a router. Since the world does not have enough IPs to give every person on the internet there own external IP NAT helps out with this problem. What it does is takes one IP on your external side(internet) then assigns internal IP via DHCP(normally in the 10.0, 192.168 range) then when a request for something is made it goes through the NAT router to the internet, when the site comes back it "remembers" who asked for it and sends it to that computer. NAT routers also block all traffic that it does not remember it being requested from a internal computer. This acts as a kinda "firewall" it however is not a true firewall.

    You had two NAT systems one within the other. And yes you could see a speed increase when you disabled NAT on the airport as most NAT routers are not the fastest at figuring out where traffic goes. I noticed a speed difference when I upgraded our school to a m0n0wall vs a standard linksys

    Hope this helps,

    EDIT: more about NAT and how it works

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