AirPort Extreme in PowerBooks - question about setup

thomasp

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 18, 2004
654
1
UK
Hi,

Will the Airport Extreme antennae in the current 15" PowerBooks connect to any make of wireless base station/router, or will they only connect to an AirPort Base station?
 

grapes911

Moderator emeritus
Jul 28, 2003
6,994
3
Citizens Bank Park
It will connect to any 802.11g or 802.11b wireless router/access point as long as the manufacture followed the standards correctly. Meaning, it will work with all brand-name routers even most no-name ones.
 
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mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Yeah, Airport is pretty good about compatibility -- it also supports more wireless security modes than most third-party products do (such as WPA2), adding to its compatibility.

The only limitations of which I know:

- 802.11a networks are out, obviously. I have never personally heard of anyone using one in years, but you never know

- Sometimes, there is inconsistency in the way manufacturers use passwords for WEP, in particular. Of course, they shouldn't use WEP at all, but there's still a lot of hardware floating around without WPA or WPA2 support. But WEP can treat a password as an alphanumeric string (which gets converted to a Hex key) or as the hex key directly. Sometimes, the alphanumeric strings don't work right across brands, and you have to copy in the hex string. I have never seen a network *fail* to work because of this. Just a hassle.

- Any proprietary super-high-speed standard will back down to 802.11g (these are the "108 MBPS" routers that some companies sell) -- they should always work at 802.11g (54 MBPS), but the Airport Extreme cards don't support their high-bandwidth mode. Of course, they are also not inter-company compatible, AFAIK. (That is, the ones from D-Link and Linksys don't play super-high-speed with each other either.)
 
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thomasp

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 18, 2004
654
1
UK
Thanks for the replies.

I'm having some problems setting up my PB to recognise my wireless router, but I had identical problems when I set up other wireless kit in the same room - the router has a very weak signal, and I am quite a way away from it.
 
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aussie_geek

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,092
0
Sydney Australia
thomasp said:
Thanks for the replies.

I'm having some problems setting up my PB to recognise my wireless router, but I had identical problems when I set up other wireless kit in the same room - the router has a very weak signal, and I am quite a way away from it.
If you go closer to the router can you connect to it?

If you can I would suggest getting a utility from VersionTracker called
AP Grapher. It measures the strength of Airport signals.

As long as you are logged into your network - stay close to basestation to connect and then go for a walk to see where the signal drops.

802.11 is a funny thing - if I move my Airport Extreme 20 cm or rotate my PowerBook, I lose some signal :confused:


aussie_geek
 
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thomasp

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 18, 2004
654
1
UK
aussie_geek said:
If you go closer to the router can you connect to it?

If you can I would suggest getting a utility from VersionTracker called
AP Grapher. It measures the strength of Airport signals.

As long as you are logged into your network - stay close to basestation to connect and then go for a walk to see where the signal drops.

802.11 is a funny thing - if I move my Airport Extreme 20 cm or rotate my PowerBook, I lose some signal :confused:


aussie_geek
Thanks for the link - I'm trying it out now :)

I currently have a wireless bridge connected into a 5-port switch to get the G3, G3 iMac and now PowerBook to communicate to the wireless router, about 35m away. Where the PowerBook is currently sitting, I couldn't get the bridge to pick up any signal, so I'm really on the edge of the signal here.


Hmmm, the APGrapher is showing 0% signal strength....
 
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