Airport express and iPad for deployment?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by vastoholic, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. vastoholic, Nov 10, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010

    vastoholic macrumors 68000

    vastoholic

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    #1
    ***edit*** I haven't looked at the airport units in a while, but think an airport extreme is probably more along the lines of what I want to use. How do I edit my title? /edit

    **edit 2** wow, I'm dumb. I just looked at the airport extreme page. Should be perfect. I'll leave this up if anyone foresees any problems with this. But feel free to delete this thread.

    Some of you might remember that I'm heading to Afghanistan early next year. Well I sold my laptop after getting the iPad and was curious if this set up is possible.

    Here is the scenario we had in Iraq. Our unit purchased a satellite to share an Internet connection with about 130 people. CAT 5 cable was routed to our living area and wired into a router in our room that 4 of us connected our laptops to directly with Ethernet cables.

    Assuming we have a similar set up in Afghanistan (word has it we might be on a FOB like we were in Iraq), would I be able to hook up an airport extreme to the router to give my iPad wifi connectivity? The other benefit would be that I could have my iP4 to do video chat with my girlfriend and parents.

    Secondly, if this is even possible, is there a way to password protect the wifi signal? Say, access the settings using a friends laptop and put a password on it so it's only accessible to me?

    I really don't want to purchase another laptop just for this, especially if we end up not having Internet in our rooms.
     
  2. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #2
    The only issue I forsee is that I don't believe the Airport devices can be configured from an iPad because they don't use a webpage for setup. You must install the airport utility, which you can't do on the iPad.
     
  3. vastoholic thread starter macrumors 68000

    vastoholic

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    #3
    Yeah, that's why I would have to rely on my roommates laptop to do the initial set up from. I figured we could even share the connection between the all the roommates so no one has to be plugged in directly with ethernet.
     
  4. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #4
    Every AE I have purchased works right out of the box with a default network name (something like "AppleNetworkA34D9XC") and no passwords. You don't need to set it up to use it.
     
  5. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #5
    I don't think the Airport will be used in the "standard" way here, so some setup will probably be required.

    It sounds like the OP will be connecting to an established network, rather than directly to a modem. He probably needs to go into Airport Utility/Manual Setup/Internet/Internet Connection and set Connection Sharing to "Off (Bridge Mode)". This will prevent his box from trying to do Network Address Translation, which is probably being done upstream.

    Also, to create a password protected network, go to Airport Utility/Manual Setup/Airport/Wireless and set the Wireless Network Name and the Wireless Password.

    By the way - I don't see why the cheaper Airport Express wouldn't work just fine. It sounds like the router in the room provides enough wired ports. The only other thing the Extreme adds is disk and printer sharing.
     
  6. vastoholic thread starter macrumors 68000

    vastoholic

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    #6

    Ah, see I thought the Express just extended the wireless signal that was already present. I thought I would need the Extreme to actually create the wifi signal. I've already created wifi networks with my Time Capsule so I don't see it being any different if I just go with the Extreme.
     
  7. BrunoMac macrumors regular

    BrunoMac

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #7
    First thanks for your service to our country, secondly I have been thrilled with my airport extreme. It allows you to have a primary log in and a log in for guests. The primary is both N and G, the guest is G. That can come in real handy when you have someone who wants to use your wifi for a short period.
    I think you have a solid plan and yes you will need the lap top to set up the extreme.
    Good luck.
     
  8. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Western US
    #8
    Yeah, the Airport Express can extend existing networks, or be its own network. BUT, it can only extend networks originating from another Apple base station, it will not work with third party routers such as Linksys, Netgear, etc. There are hacks where some people claim to have success with these, but it seems very sketchy. I personally was unable to get my AE to successfully extend a Linksys network.

    Another thing to consider is that the Airport Express range is VERY limited, basically you need to be in the same room (and not a large room at that) for it to be useful.

    Finally, I would not take the chance that you won't need to run the (desktop-only) app to change settings. You never know, I wouldn't take the chance. Hopefully Apple will make an iOS app for this, but I wouldn't hold my breath on that.

    Having said that, I think the AE is a great little base station if you can live with its restrictions. But current-model Airport Extreme base is not that much bigger, and is much more powerful and flexible.
     
  9. Amazing Iceman, Nov 10, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010

    Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.A.
    #9
    A few day ago I bought an Airport Express to bring with me overseas. I configured in Bridge-Mode, so it would not require any further configuration.
    I connected to a LAN here and it instantly provided me with wireless access for my iPad and WiFi phone. I believe you can connect up to 10 wireless devices to it.

    It would be great to have amway to configure it using an iPad.

    In the meantime, it has served it's purpose: instant WiFi access to any network without requiring reconfiguration.

    The Airport Express should work well for what you need. An Airport Extreme would be overkill, as all you need is bridge-mode. The Extreme would create a double-NAT network which is not a desirable configuration.

    And yes, the Airport Express can create a secure connection, just like the Airport Extreme.
     
  10. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #10
    That *might* be the case if you are talking about extending an existing wireless network. However, in this case, we are talking about a wired to wireless extension. I just tried it with my Airport Express connected to a wired port on a LinkSys router and it worked perfectly. Of course, first, I had to set up the Express in "Bridge mode" as described above.

    That hasn't been my experience with Airport Expresses. I haven't gone huge distances with them, but I have gone between floors and across a couple of rooms on the same floor.

    It definitely *won't* work well without configuration changes. If the Ethernet port on the Express is connected to a router, you need to put the Airport in bridge mode. The Extreme will have exactly the same issue.

    The Extreme is definitely not very large, but it is several times the size of the Express and it needs an external power brick[ette]. It also costs close to twice as much. The Extreme will definitely do the job, but it sounds like the Express will do precisely what the OP needs done.
     
  11. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #11
    I think if you also configure the Extreme in Bridge mode, it won't replicate the Network Address Translation. Either one should work, but I agree that the Express seems like a better fit.
     

Share This Page