New Airport Extreme Home Network set-up. Any tips??

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bigpoppamac31, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. bigpoppamac31 macrumors 68000

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    #1
    So I just set up my new (used) Airport Extreme (model # A1354). Everything went well. I was just wondering if any of you have some tips to make it more secure or so that I'm getting good speeds and such. It's on DHCP with WPA2 Personal. I will usually have around four users on the network at any given time. A mix of Mac and Windows. Any suggestions or is the defaults good enough? Thanks.
     
  2. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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  3. opinio macrumors 65816

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    #3
    You might want to get the guest network running if you have many users and are likely to have 'drop-ins'.

    Use CAT6 or 5e with full gigabit gear for wired devices and connecting airport expresses.

    Preferably have the AirPort Extreme run your DHCP server and NAT. This means run the modem as a bridge only and not as the DHCP server. You can set the modem to bridge and/or disable the server in the modem admin web page login usually. It's not an absolute necessity to run the modem as a bridge but it does work well if the Extreme is responsible for everything.
     
  4. ABC5S macrumors 68040

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    #4
  5. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #5
    I don't really know what any of that stuff means. I just have the ISP's modem connected to my Airport Extreme. That's it. I just want to make sure it's secure.

    Also I notice that whenever I wake up my Mac and log in it doesn't recognize my AE right away. I have to select it from the drop down list in the menu bar. Why would that be? I'm the one who set it up from my Mac.
     
  6. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #6
    If you want it to be secure then you should change/create some better Passwords for your WPA2 security. Use a phrase at least 10 characters long with a mixture of odd characters and upper/lower case and numbers. e.g. !h6^V>;P0. Also think about hiding your SSID (still easy to crack, but at least hidden)

    What networks do you have listed in System Preferences>Network>WiFi>Advanced>Preferred Networks ? Do you have a 2.4Ghz and a 5Ghz network listed ?
     
  7. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #7
    So when I go in to my network settings all I have is mine and my dad's network listed. He does not live in the house or nearby but when I go over I can connect automatically cause it will remember his network. How do I check which network bands are listed and which one I'm using? Also my settings show my network as WPA personal not WPA2 Personal. The latter would be better right?
     
  8. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #8
    Yes, WPA2 personal is much better.
    System Preferences will list only the SSID names, in order of preference, so make sure your own network is first in the list. You should give a different SSID to the 2.4Ghz and to the 5Ghz band and list both. This might explain why your iMac can't auto find your network.
     
  9. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Do I change these in the Airport Utility App? How do I change it in there?
     
  10. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #10
    Yes, look in Airport Utility. In Wireless there are options for the name of the SSID (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz - look in Options) and for hiding the SSID name (look in Options - Create Hidden Network). Also for Security Settings.

    For preferred networks and the order of preference, look in System Preferences>Network etc under wireless
     
  11. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #11
    Okay so I've managed to get both bands going. But what would be the point of hiding the router name? Also my 2.4Ghz band is WPA and the 5Ghz band is WPA2 Personal. I can't seem to get both to be WPA2 Personal. WPA2 is chosen as my wireless security option in AirPort Utility but it doesn't seem to stick. There's an option for WPA/WPA2 Personal. Would that make a difference? I'm using Airport Utility 6 which is a different layout then previous versions.
     
  12. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #12
    You're not hiding the router name - you're hiding the SSID name. It just makes it a bit more difficult for hackers to get into your WiFi if they also don't know what your WiFi's name is.

    On my AUtility 6 there's WPA2 Personal and WPA/WPA2 Personal as settings. Chose the first one.
     
  13. bigpoppamac31, Sep 29, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013

    bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #13
    Well I'm still trying to get WPA2 on my 2.4Ghz band but it still won't stay. I also clicked the "create hidden network" box but once I did that the router disappeared from my AP Utility window and I could not select it from the drop down in the menu bar. I had to select my 5Ghz band to access the router again and be able to uncheck the box.

    Side note: Something I just thought of. My password is all numbers (10 digits). Would that make a difference in my being able to use WPA vs WPA2?? My 5ghz band is on WPA2 no problem.
     
  14. drsox macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Shouldn't matter if your passphrase is all numbers (but not as safe as mixed characters). Maybe you should do a reset and set it up again using a LAN connection.
     
  15. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #15
    You're suggesting I set it up wired from my Mac to the AE? What would that difference make?
     
  16. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #16
    That way any issues that you might have about the WiFi connection would be side stepped. You can set it up easier this way and then test the WiFi connection afterwards. Just a thought for set up.
     
  17. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Hmm interesting. So I'd just connect an ethernet cable to my Mac and one of the LAN ports and follow the set up as I did before?
     
  18. drsox macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Yes, just make sure it isn't the WAN port.
     
  19. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #19
    Well the ISP modem would be connected to the WAN port so I'd only have the other three to use.
     
  20. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #20
    OK then.
     

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