Airport Extreme Mode of Operation

mac_in_tosh

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Original poster
Nov 6, 2016
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Is there a simple way to tell if my Airport Extreme Base Station (most recent model) is acting as a WiFi gateway or creating its own network?
 

Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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It seems that -you- determine this, by setting it up with Airport Utility.
Right...?
 

mac_in_tosh

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 6, 2016
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It seems that -you- determine this, by setting it up with Airport Utility.
Right...?
I guess I determined that when I set it up years ago, but I don't know enough about these things to have intentionally chosen one or the other mode of operation. And rather than digging into the utility's options without really knowing what to look for, I am asking if there's a simple way to determine how it was set up.
 

wardie

macrumors 6502
Aug 18, 2008
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I guess I determined that when I set it up years ago, but I don't know enough about these things to have intentionally chosen one or the other mode of operation. And rather than digging into the utility's options without really knowing what to look for, I am asking if there's a simple way to determine how it was set up.
You’ll have to go into Airport Utility and check it out I think. There is a Internet part of the settings I think which has different modes including acting only as a WiFi gateway pass-through or as a full router.
Sorry can’t remember details - mine blew up a year or two ago and as it’s s defunct product anyway I bought a couple of ASUS routers (run in a mesh) to replace an Extreme and couple of Expresses, much better tech with lots more options to configure - if you’re into that sort of thing though!
 

EricaV

macrumors regular
Sep 20, 2008
110
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This is a different question and I did post it on another thread. I want to use my old airport extreme (which used to be used as it's own network) as a storage device on a new network and just disable the router. Sorry for such a dumb question, but I'm trying to figure out if I need to plug it into the new router (Netgear Nighthawk aC1750) via ethernet or USB. Probably if I can get a wired connection I can reconfigure it and figure out how to disable the router. I also don't want to lose the data i have on it right now.

Any help appreciated.
 

satcomer

macrumors 604
Feb 19, 2008
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The Finger Lakes Region
This is a different question and I did post it on another thread. I want to use my old airport extreme (which used to be used as it's own network) as a storage device on a new network and just disable the router. Sorry for such a dumb question, but I'm trying to figure out if I need to plug it into the new router (Netgear Nighthawk aC1750) via ethernet or USB. Probably if I can get a wired connection I can reconfigure it and figure out how to disable the router. I also don't want to lose the data i have on it right now.

Any help appreciated.
Put the AirPort Extreme into Bridge Mode and that will disable NAT!
 
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dlangpapt

macrumors newbie
Aug 27, 2019
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Hi, I think this question may qualify for this thread:

I recently switched ISPs and my new ISP provided a modem-router (basic one). I want to have the best and fastest connection possible, so I'm trying to determine how to best use my Airport Extreme in this case.

When they set up the new modem-router, the Airport automatically configured in bridge mode and I'm not sure whether there is a speed difference between bridge mode and the other options (DHCP And NAT and DHCP only)? If yes, how do I go about configuring the Airport for the other options?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated

Thanks!
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,871
710
Hawaii, USA
Hi, I think this question may qualify for this thread:

I recently switched ISPs and my new ISP provided a modem-router (basic one). I want to have the best and fastest connection possible, so I'm trying to determine how to best use my Airport Extreme in this case.

When they set up the new modem-router, the Airport automatically configured in bridge mode and I'm not sure whether there is a speed difference between bridge mode and the other options (DHCP And NAT and DHCP only)? If yes, how do I go about configuring the Airport for the other options?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated

Thanks!
The absolute best thing that you can do is to check the settings on your modem-router and see if there's a way to configure it to be a modem only. Check the internet for instructions on your particular model; sometimes it's a matter of putting it into bridge mode, but may be other terms used depending on the vendor. The reason I say that is because while modem-routers have gotten a lot better over the years, I've yet to hear of one that can work as well as a high-end router like the AirPort Extreme. Network performance might be similar (I haven't seen any tests), but stability - not needing to reboot the setup to keep things running smoothly, if at all, particularly when using applications that create a lot of connections - tends to be a more common issue.

Bridge mode basically means that the device is passing along signals and not much else. If your AirPort Extreme is in bridge mode it's essentially serving as a wireless extender for your modem-router, and that's it. All of the routing functionality, the stuff that takes more processing power, is being handled by the modem-router. Ideally you'd have the modem-router serving purely as a modem, and the AirPort Extreme serving as the router.

The trouble is that if you can't get your modem-router to just act as a pure modem, you're stuck. There's no point (and in fact a performance hit) if you have your AirPort Extreme work as a router behind a router. If you can get the modem-router to function purely as a modem, the AirPort Extreme should be DHCP and NAT (basically, gets the information from your ISP to be on the internet (DHCP), and then provides routing to any devices that connect so that they can communicate over the internet (NAT)).

If you can't switch the routing function off on your modem-router, one possible thing to look into would be to get your own dedicated modem. Many cable ISPs charge a "rental" fee for the modem-router, and buying your own modem can easily pay for itself in 2-3 years by avoiding that charge while also offering superior performance. Cable modems are also readily available, it's just a matter of ensuring that the one you choose is compatible with your ISP. Most ISPs have a list indicating compatibility. I haven't personally come across a DSL provider that charges the "rental" fee, and finding pure DSL modems might be slightly trickier than the cable modems. FiOS and other fiber connections don't use modems, but optical network terminals; I'm not sure that you can buy your own, and even if you can, I'm not sure that Verizon would allow it to work.

Hope it helps!
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
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dlang wrote:
"I recently switched ISPs and my new ISP provided a modem-router (basic one). I want to have the best and fastest connection possible, so I'm trying to determine how to best use my Airport Extreme in this case."

Hold on a minute. Stop right there.

Before you go using the AE, you'd better run some speed tests on the "basic" gateway (modem/router) that your ISP gave you.

I'm thinking that it might give you FASTER throughput than using the old AE will.

The Airport Extreme was a good piece of equipment in its time.
But "its time" has passed by.
Newer may be faster. Perhaps even the "basic" units.

SpeedTest by Ookla (I think this is free at the App Store) is a good tool for doing the testing.

Run your first test using the residential gateway alone.
Then connect the AE and run it again.
I'd be interested in seeing the results you get.
 

dlangpapt

macrumors newbie
Aug 27, 2019
4
0
dlang wrote:
"I recently switched ISPs and my new ISP provided a modem-router (basic one). I want to have the best and fastest connection possible, so I'm trying to determine how to best use my Airport Extreme in this case."

Hold on a minute. Stop right there.

Before you go using the AE, you'd better run some speed tests on the "basic" gateway (modem/router) that your ISP gave you.

I'm thinking that it might give you FASTER throughput than using the old AE will.

The Airport Extreme was a good piece of equipment in its time.
But "its time" has passed by.
Newer may be faster. Perhaps even the "basic" units.

SpeedTest by Ookla (I think this is free at the App Store) is a good tool for doing the testing.

Run your first test using the residential gateway alone.
Then connect the AE and run it again.
I'd be interested in seeing the results you get.
There you go...
 

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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,661
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The test on the left (above) is slightly better. ONLY "slightly", I doubt it makes any difference at all.

Which is which?
 

dlangpapt

macrumors newbie
Aug 27, 2019
4
0
The test on the left (above) is slightly better. ONLY "slightly", I doubt it makes any difference at all.

Which is which?
Left is Airport Extreme, right is Huawaeii. Why do you say left is better (same download, less upload speed)?
 
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