mac mini, airport express, extreme or something else?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dsy, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. dsy macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2010
    I'm trying to set-up a access point for internet sharing and maybe, as a storage. Please suggest a solution or product. thanks.

    I am using a macbook. I access the internet wirelessly because there is no ethernet point in my room (neither at home nor in at college)

    I have been unable to use Internet Sharing. Also, I have to log-in to my user account so although the iphone can access the wireless network, I am unable to log in and surf the internet.

    Will getting either the airport express or a router help?

    In addition, I've read that I could connect an external hard drive to the airport express which would allow me to stream movies/music from the hdd to my iphone.

    something like:
    (Wireless Internet)
    (Router - hdd)
    / \
    (Macbook) (iphone)

    or if i get a mac mini, will i be able to do the same without the router?
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Our son has this problem in his dorm room. No routers allowed. Only it's even worse. Everything is wired and there's no campus wide wifi. Wifi works on central campus but he lives on north campus.

    I have never had a problem using wifi from my iPhone. I don't know what you mean by "log in wiith my account". When I'm on campus, if I want to use wifi, I have to ask my son for his password and it works fine. I don't know why you would even bother thinking about a router when you have wifi. Is the school counting how many times you are logged on? In that case you'll need to let your Macbook go to sleep before you can log on with your iPhone. I wouldn't bother with an AE (extreme or express). In our house I have an AE set up in "extend a wireless network" mode. That mode only works with other Apple gear. The chance that your dorm is using an AE for your access point is minimal. The chance that the school will give you the admin password so you can log in to their AE from your Macbook and tell it to let your AE become an extension for the campus network is absolutely zero.

    I suggest it is more profitable to spend your time figuring out how to get every device to log in to the campus wifi of its own accord rather than trying to create your own extension to their wireless which already reaches your dorm room.

    BTW, logging in to one wifi network and bridging it to make another network does seem like the sort of thing a Mac mini or even a Linux box can handle again I think it's spinning your wheels. The iPhone and Macbook should both be able to directly log in to the campus wifi, even if they can't log in simultaneously.
  3. dsy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2010
    I have to login to my user account as I have a quota. The system is very strict. If I am logged in in my dorm, I will not be allowed to login using another device e.g. at the the library with the same username and password. Each student is given only one username and password.

    Even if my laptop is asleep, as long as I have not logged out, i will not be able to login again. I've often forgotten to logout when I leave my room and so was not able to access the internet using any other device (iphone or uni computers).

    Another example of why I'm trying to have my own 'network' is to transfer files wirelessly between my iphone and macbook. If I am not logged in to my useraccount, I hooked onto the wireless network but get thrown out every few seconds.

    The lucky ones who have ethernet port in their rooms can use a wireless router no problem so it's not a router issue.

    Under internet sharing, "Share your connection from "airport" to", the options are bluetooth, ethernet, firewire. So, if I use a ethernet cable to connect my macbook to the airport express (or another router), and enable internet sharing, will that work?
  4. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I think so, if you set the router to bridge mode. I think you can have a campus connection and ad hoc at the same time. You would set up an adhoc nw from your macbook and join from your iphone just to transfer files, use vnc, etc but you wouldnt get internet on your iphone that way. Another site to check is They arent big on apple gear but they do know networking.

    Hope this helps.

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