Airport Extreme and Broadband modem setup?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ducatiti, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. ducatiti macrumors 6502a

    ducatiti

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    May 18, 2011
    #1
    So I got the AE to work as my access point, access to my external drive, and a guest network with a different password.

    My question is it is necessary to configure my modem to "bridge" or "modem only" mode? Will there be any performance gain?

    Please advise.
     
  2. gr8whtd0pe macrumors 6502a

    gr8whtd0pe

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    #2
    As far as performance, no. But if they are both doing dhcp it can get confusing. Sounds like they are not though.
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #3
    You would only want to use bridge mode if your cable modem was also a router. If it just a plain modem with no built in router you don't want to run bridge mode.
     
  4. ducatiti thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ducatiti

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    #4
    It's a router as well but I am not seeing any conflicts.

    ----------

    Actually, when the AE hangs or stops working, I just switch the AT&T router/modem as I restart the AE.

    Would it be adviseable to leave my setup as is?
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #5
    If the modem is also a router and you do not use bridge mode on the AE or the cable modem router, you will get "double NAT" errors. You may not see them, but they are there and will slow down the responsiveness of your Internet connection. If you were to install the old (more full featured) Airport Utility 5.6 and look in the AE's logs you would see the errors.

    I would either set the AE to bridge mode, or figure out how to set the cable modem's router to bridge mode. Usually is you Google the modem model number and "bridge mode" you can find instructions to do this. Or you can just put the AE in bridge mode.
     
  6. davidg4781 macrumors 68010

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    #6
    Just curious, what's the benefit of having a "guest" network?

    When I had my iPhone set to let me know about wifi networks, I noticed a few places had their normal network and a guest one.
     
  7. aristobrat macrumors G5

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    #7
    It's an isolated network. It will allow "guests" access to the Internet with no ability to snoop around on the separate wireless network that has all of your wireless devices on it.

    Assuming your WiFi network is password protected, you won't have to give a guest your password, either.
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #8
    If you have a friend over and you want to let them use your wifi you can give them the password to the guest network, then change it after they leave. This way you do not have to reconfigure all your wifi client devices (which would not be on the guest network) each time this happens.
     
  9. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

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    #9
    I see this over and over again about double NAT.... I've been using my time capsule connected to my fios router, supplying DHCP & NAT for a different subnet than the fios router. Airport utility complained when first setup as expected. I see absolutely NO degradation of wifi or ethernet performance. I've measured it many different times and its always the same as when I was in bridge mode.

    I use the guest network for visiting friends/family without any issues. Don't be afraid of all the double NAT warnings people mention.
     
  10. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    #10
    Just because your messed up network doesn't seem to be slowing you down doesn't mean the errors are irrelevant to others. It is inefficient. For just lightweight work you may never see anything wrong. But when, and if, you got around to serving information out to the internet, or using home theater type applications, Xboxes or PS3s, etc etc then you'll eventually have things that will not work as expected.

    If it's worth setting up it's worth doing it right. Some cable modems and gateways have what they call a "modem only" setting instead of "bridge mode." With 2Wires I have had to set them in DMZ mode, and use a different range of IP addresses for the AEBS or Express (10.x.x.x instead of 192.x.x.x for example).
     
  11. ducatiti thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ducatiti

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    May 18, 2011
    #11
    So I figured out how to configure my modem/router to bridge mode, is this called the "modem only" mode?

    Once activating this function, do I have to assign a static address to my AE connected since the DHCP is disabled in bridge mode.
     
  12. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

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    #12
    Thanks for your opinion but each setup is different. I have 2 xbox's, 3 iPads, 2 iPhones, and iMac and MBP, a Ruku and Apple TV on my network. I also use a NAS for additional backup and DLNA for movies. My boys are constantly using the xbox gaming online and my daughter loves watching movies from the NAS. I can tell you there are no problems with my setup. The Ruku and AppleTV are running wirelessly and there is no stuttering. Using a DMZ mode will open all ports from the outside world which could be an issue.
     
  13. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #13
    That is correct... what you want is modem only mode. You will not need to assign a static address to the AE, it will grab the assigned IP address from the modem when you restart both devices.
     
  14. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #14
    Do a search on double NAT and path MTU discovery (which double NAT breaks).

    It may be that yours does not appear to cause problems due to your configuration having different subnets.
     
  15. ducatiti thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ducatiti

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    May 18, 2011
    #15
    Thank you sir. To avoid further confusion, when I set it the modem/router to bridge mode, that is the same as modem mode? I'm just afraid if I set it up to bridge mode, I may not be able to go back to the modem's config page. I would then have to plug a system via ethernet right?

    Also, can please name a specific situation that really slows down the network when if I don't set one to bridge mode. I have all my devices to include Mac's, ps3's, Xbox, wii, iPad, iphone connected to Airport but I have one ps3 and wireless printer to the AT&T modem. Just to lazy to configure those two devices lol. So far I don't see any difference.
     
  16. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

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    #16
    Yes that is correct. Being a senior engineer in the networking technology I am very aware of how NAT works. Hence the subnet routing/translation which in my situation works perfectly. Thanks.
     
  17. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #17
    Yes... bridge mode is the same as modem mode. If you get it all jacked up you would still be able to connect a computer by wired ethernet to the modem to get in and fix it.

    Here is a pretty good explanation of double NAT and the potential problems.

    If you look at user whsbuss's post above, it appears the reason he has not had problems is he has setup his two routers on separate subnets and this works around the problem.

    If you want to just leave yours as is and see how things work, it is certainly not going to permanently damage anything.
     
  18. Happy84 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 17, 2012
    #18
    My sister is using an AE (Bridged Mode) connected to her Belkin F5D7633-4 (http://en-us-support.belkin.com/app/product/detail/p/417) and I cannot for the life of get it to work when I switch it 'Modem Only'. Everything stops working and I have to revert back to 'PPPoA'.

    Any suggestions? I was told that I needed to actually connect to the belkin via LAN to make the change rather than using WiFi but would this really make a difference?

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #19
    Can you put the Belkin in bridge mode then setup the AE in PPPOE mode?
     
  20. Happy84 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 17, 2012
    #20
    Hmmm, I can't remember whether I tried that or not (I tried lots of things and neither of them worked) but I don't recall seeing a PPPoE (or PPPoA for that matter) in the AE settings... :eek:

    If you could perhaps give me some detailed instructions on what I need to do then it would be greatly appreciated. :)
     
  21. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #21

    You can see it here in Airport Utility.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Happy84 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 17, 2012
    #22
    Thanks. I take it at the top where it says account name and password those would be the same as those the belkin uses to connect with my internet provider?
     
  23. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #23
    Exactly.
     
  24. Happy84 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 17, 2012
    #24
    What about the other details, subnet mask and the others? I'm not very good at this stuff. :(
     
  25. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #25
    You might check with the ISP but often you can leave those blank and they will fill themselves in once you get hooked up.
     

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