Airport Extreme Q's

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Oktober, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Oktober macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Location:
    Great Britain of United Kingdom
    #1
    I currently have a BT internet with a BT homehub (the white one) and it is a real PITA. The connection keeps dropping and its is slow.

    I have tried other routers and they don't seem to want to work with my mac or my dads PC. So I was thinking of going for the Airport Extreme, but I gather I can't connect it straight to the phone line or can I?


    Thanks

    Darren
     
  2. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #2
    You're right, you can't. None of the Airports have broadband modems built-in.
     
  3. Oktober thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Location:
    Great Britain of United Kingdom
    #3
    Thanks. So I would have to use the bt homehub to connect the AE to?
     
  4. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #4
    Right. You could then setup the AE in "bridged mode", which lets the BT homehub act as the main router.

    This gives you the possibility of giving the AE a new wireless name (different from your homehub wireless name) and setting up the AE so it only handles 802.11n-only wireless network traffic.

    Slower 802.11b/g traffic could use the homebub wireless network, and faster 802.11n traffic can use the AE (withoug having to worry about slower 802.11b/g devices slowing it down, since they're on their own separate wireless network).

    Even though you'd have two wireless networks in your house, if you set up the AE in "bridged" mode, devices on each network could talk to devices on the other network.

    Might be more overkill then you were looking to do, but for what it's worth. :)
     
  5. Oktober thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Location:
    Great Britain of United Kingdom
    #5
    aristobrat, many thanks for the idea. I was thinking 'can I fit the AE into the system and just use the homehub as a modem and let the AE dish out the internet. WHich I suppose what you are saying, but the AE would supply my iMac and the homehub would supply my dads PC (as that only has a G network card - I could get an N card suppose).

    Might I ask what is 'bridged' and if I was to go down the route you suggested what is involved to get it set up?

    Darren
     
  6. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #6
    Apple's networking equipment is horrifically overpriced and has compatibility issues with vast amounts of hardware. Avoid!
     
  7. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #7
    To counterbalance this opinion, my AirPort Extreme Base Station has been the best router I've ever owned. Really easy to set up and also works well with Windows XP & Vista. :)
     
  8. Oktober thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Location:
    Great Britain of United Kingdom
    #8
    Last night I read through the reviews on the UK Apple site and just under half, i think did not like the AE, but most did. I think it is like with most wireless routers, so work and some don't.
     
  9. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #9
    Yup, you could still do that. :)

    I've never used a homehub (in the US, the routers are almost always separate from the modems), so I'm not sure if you can turn off the router features of the homehub.

    If you can turn off the homehub's router feature (and just have it act as a modem), then you'd be fine just setting up the AE following normal instructions. Forget anyone every said bridged. ;)

    If you can't turn off the router feature of the homehub (so it's going to act as a router and a modem), plugging the AE into it and setting it up like normal means you'd have two routers in your house.... the homehub (which is plugged directly into the Internet) and the AE.

    The problem you can run into with two routers in your house is that computers connected to the 2nd router (the AE, in your case) can't open up ports needed for some programs to work properly (like BitTorrent, video chatting, some games, etc). The computers all assume that the router they're talking to (the AE) is directly connected to the Internet, so they'll open the ports on that router, but that's pointless, because traffic in your house ultimately comes in and goes out thru the homehub. The ports have to be opened there for everything to work, and computers connected to the AE won't be able to do that.

    So one solution to that is to setup the AE in bridged mode. That's a simple setting in the Airport Utility config program. This tells the AE to not act as a router. Instead, it simply lets wireless devices connect to it, and it bridges the traffic up to the router, which would be the homehub. So when your computers need to open ports on the router for programs to work, they'd be opening ports directly on the homehub, which is where the ports should be opened.

    This is probably way more info than you wanted, and if you're never going to bittorrent, etc, it's probably not worth the time to setup the AE in bridged mode regardless. But just a heads up in case you don't used bridged mode and run into some issues down the road, you can look up this thread and see if it makes any sense then. :)
     

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