Wifi, firewire, firewire splitter help please

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by NJX, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. NJX macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2009
    Hey all,

    I guess I will start with the confession of being a 'dummy' when it comes to anything computer related. I have searched the forums but have not found exactly what I am looking for, so I am starting this thread. Feel free to roast my newbness if needed.

    here is my situation:
    I have recently started online gaming. I am currently on a macbook pro and using an apple airport as my router. I have been told that a wifi connection is not optimal for online gaming. To improve my gaming experience I would like to hardwire my laptop to play. The problem is my wife is on her laptop at the same time I am playing. My modem only has 1 ethernet port. Is it possible to connect my modem's ethernet port via firewire to a firewire hub, then run a firewire cable to both my airport router AND another to my macbook pro? Will this allow my wife to use the wifi connection and me to use my laptop at the same time? Is there a better solution?

    I really appreciate any advice you may have. Thanks in advance!
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Why bother with firewire? Get a cheap Ethernet hub and connect that way.
  3. NJX thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2009
    lol, because I am computer dumb....maybe just plain dumb. That will work then? It will allow both computers to access the web simultaneously?

  4. mooblie macrumors 6502


    Apr 23, 2009
    The Highlands, Scotland
  5. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I used to do this back in the day before I got a broadband router.
  6. Schroedinger macrumors regular


    Feb 12, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    I'm a little confused, so let me offer two options:

    If your set up is Cable modem connected by ethernet to airport base station, you should have extra ethernet ports available on the base station you can use and not bother the wifi at all.

    However, if you have an airport express base station, that only has the one ethernet input. Just getting a switch may not be enough and I'll try to explain why.

    Devices in a network serve the following roles: Router, bridge, switch, client. Obviously your computer, or xbox, or whatever at the end of the line is the client, whether it is wired or wireless. A router is the king of the hill, it's job is to give out ip addresses to the clients on your network. A bridge passes along a connection to the internet (so router <wire> bridge <wireless> client). For example, if your cable modem is the router, your airport express is simply a bridge passing along the internet connection to the wireless clients. Alternatively, your setup could be ISP <wire> modem <wire> router <wireless> client. In this case your modem is just a bridge and your airport express is giving out ip addresses.

    The reason this distinction is important is b/c a switch can only be put downstream of a router. A switch basically just acts like a splitter, one ethernet cable from the router turns into X ethernet cables to devices).

    So, if you're still with me, if your modem is the router, you can put a switch between the cable modem and the airport express. You can wire into the switch while you're wife uses wifi, the cable modem gives out addresses and all is fine. BUT, if your airport is the router, you are stuck. A switch between the cable modem and the airport express won't be assigned an IP address. It essentially won't be on the network.

    So, if you have that last case, you'll need to set your cable modem up as the router instead of the airport. How to figure out your situation?

    Go to airport utility and see what the ip address of your airport is. If the ip address is of the form 192.168.x.x, then your MODEM is the router (an ip address that looks like this is an internal ip address). Put in the switch and off you go. If the ip address is something completely random looking, then your airport is the router (what you're seeing is an external ip address).

    If that's the case (external ip address), send me a personal message and I'll walk you through switching the set up.
  7. NJX thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2009
    Wow, thanks for the indepth explanation Schroedinger!

    I do have a cable modem with an airport express, so it looks like this should be an easy fix.

    Again thank you very much for taking the time to help me with this....it's hard being computer/network ignorant today.

    You are awesome!


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