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ATPM 8.03
March 2002




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How to Become a Network Guru

by Matthew Glidden,

Setting Up AirPort

What is AirPort?

Apple makes a type of wireless network called AirPort. Apple’s AirPort significantly changes how you set up and use networks, making them more practical for the average user. AirPort removes the need for network wiring by using a network transmitter called a Base Station and treating the computers on the network like radio receivers. (Each client computer needs an AirPort card to receive these network signals.) The Base Station transmits network data through most solid obstacles, and works up to a few hundred feet away, although performance drops as distance increases.

Although AirPort is the Apple-branded method of wireless networking, it’s based on a common wireless network standard, so it is also compatible with most other wireless networks. This is especially useful at corporations or colleges that are installing wireless network transmitters. Macs with AirPort antennas can also communicate with each other without a “real” Base Station using the Base Station software. Connecting to other wireless networks won’t bypass platform differences, but you can surf the Web and do other platform-independent tasks.

The AirPort Base Station includes a built-in 10BaseT Ethernet port, enabling it to bridge the AirPort network to an Ethernet network or a high-speed Internet connection. It also has a 56K modem and can share the modem connection with other Macs on the network.

How Does It Work?

The AirPort Base Station (hardware or software) is a type of radio transmitter. It sends out network data at a specific frequency, which other Macs can connect to using their own AirPort card or antenna. When a Mac connects to the Base Station, the two establish a secure, encoded connection, to prevent unauthorized users from viewing the network data. Note that wireless security is not as robust as some other computer security measures, so you should be aware of its limitations.

AirPort transmits data at up to 1 MB per second, about the speed of 10BaseT Ethernet. Future versions of AirPort may increase this speed further.

Plugging in an AirPort

AirPort’s wireless nature leads to a very quick setup process. Once you plug the Base Station in, just connect it to the Ethernet hub (if you have an Ethernet network), plug it in to the nearest phone jack (if you’ll use the modem), and you’re done.


In the above diagram, the AirPort Base Station is connected to the Ethernet network and is transmitting wirelessly to the AirPort-ready Mac on the left. Any Mac on the network (wireless or Ethernet) can see the others because the AirPort Base Station bridges the two networks together.

Software Setup

If you have an AirPort-ready Mac (built-in or with an installed AirPort card), all you need to do is install the AirPort software and choose AirPort in the AppleTalk control panel to start using the network.

If you also use the AirPort for Internet access via the modem or Ethernet port, open the TCP/IP control panel. Set the “Connect via” to AirPort and “Configure” to DHCP Server. This tells the AirPort to automatically generate an IP address for your Mac when it connects to the Internet.

If you have problems getting the AirPort to communicate properly, you may need to reset or reconfigure the internal Base Station settings. See the AirPort manual for exact instructions.

Also in This Series

Reader Comments (121)

anonymous · March 2, 2002 - 22:15 EST #1
I just picked up 2 AirPort cards at Circuit City for $49 each!
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · March 2, 2002 - 22:27 EST #2
Yes, some (not all) Circuit City stores have them on clearance. It's a shame they're clearing out their Apple products, but for now, the price benefit is great. I just got one at this price, as well ... I just had to drive quite a ways to a store that actually had some. It should also be noted that some stores have the cards, but they're not on clearance and are still $99.
Kev · March 10, 2002 - 17:07 EST #3
I have a TiBook talking to an AirPort Base Station which is acting as a bridge to my ethernet network. My old PowerBook is wired to the ethernet. I just transferred a 3MB file from the wired PowerBook to my Linux server: time--about a second. I transfered the same file from my TiBook to the server: time--about 20 secs. Why is there such a huge discrepancy?
Harley · March 26, 2002 - 22:17 EST #4
I have an AirPort network set up at our office. The internet works perfectly, but file sharing is painfully slow. Why?
Evan Trent (ATPM Staff) · March 27, 2002 - 09:10 EST #5
Well folks - you've discovered that AirPort is drudgingly slow at upstream data transfers. It's only a little bit slower than wired 10Base-T for downstream transfers, but it's significantly slower for upstream. I am not really sure, from a technical point of view, why this is, but I have confirmed it many times in my own systems using my own servers and clients.

Virtually every internet connection method is slower than the AirPort's data rate, so even if you are plugged directly into a T1, you won't suffer slow downloads or uploads compared to a wired Mac. But once you start connecting clients to other clients on a LAN, you will notice that AirPort cannot keep up. Try comparing it to wired, full duplex 100Base-T or, worse yet, gigabit. It'll make you pull your hair out!

Nevertheless, it's nice to be able to walk around with no AC cord or ethernet cable hanging out the back of your laptop. Life is full of compromises I guess.


Dave · April 16, 2002 - 17:09 EST #6
I am just now leaving the world of PC for that of Mac. I am planning on setting up a network with 2 hard-wired iMacs and one iBook via an AirPort Base Station. I presently have a Linksys Cable/DSL Router with 10/100 4-port switch. I plan on using OS X.

  1. Will this router work as the "hub" in your diagram?

  2. There is a firewall on this router. Will that cause a problem with the firewall on the AirPort?

  3. Will the firewall on the AirPort inhibit file sharing and/or printer sharing with the other two computers?

  4. The router is already configured through my PC, and works fine when my iMac is plugged into a LAN port and the PC is disconnected. Is there a need to change any settings since I will no longer be using the PC?

Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · April 16, 2002 - 17:49 EST #7
Dave - I'm going to make sure other ATPM staffers see your question and provide better answers, but here are my two bits:

  1. Yes, a router is a hub (or, in this case, a switch, which is better).

  2. I will let someone who undoubtedly knows better than me answer you for certain, but my understanding is that as long as both are set for DHCP networking, it should be no problem. You have the added benefit of a double-firewall! If the thought of having both devices concerns you, you should consider selling your existing router and picking up Linksys' Router + Wireless Access Point. You can use that as a transmitter instead of the Base Station. I wrote an article about the encryption methods, but there is info there as well that should explain why using one might be a good idea in your case.

  3. To get file sharing going through the firewall, you'll need to forward port 548 to the local IP of the machine doing the hosting. I think printer sharing also uses this port, but I don't know that for a fact.

  4. The router couldn't care less what machines are attached to it nor which machine was used to configure it. It may, however, be a good idea to remove any port forwarding to a local IP address if that address was assigned to a machine you aren't using on your network any more.

Dave · April 30, 2002 - 22:50 EST #8
Lee, thank you very much for your quick response to my last series of questions. I am a newbie and your comments really helped.

After reading both this article and the one you referenced regarding encryption, I am left with this question: Is the slow data transfer rate when uploading files a characteristic of the AirPort, or is it simply a by product of encryption? In other words, is the AirPort noticibly different from another wireless transmitter (i.e. Linksys) when it comes to encryped upload data transfers?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · April 30, 2002 - 23:14 EST #9
A little more information might be needed to fine tune the answer, but if I quickly cover a gamut of possibilities, your answer might lie within:

First of all, I can only assume you're aware that broadband upload speeds are almost always significantly slower than download speeds. It is possible to get the same speeds up and down, but if you were, you'd probably know it--and be paying for it.

As I mentioned in my encryption article, enabling encryption will rougly cut your throughput (both up and down) in half. Internet speeds are far below this, so they wouldn't suffer, but networking between local computers would.

Finally, there may just be something inherant in upstream wireless transfers. Perhaps Evan can elaborate a little on his comment as to whether the slow uploads relate only to the AirPort, or if any wireless network card exhibits the same slowdown.
Dave · May 1, 2002 - 23:18 EST #10
Thanks Lee,

You touched on my question in your last paragraph. Does any wireless system exibit these slow upstream transfers?

Leigh Kiernan · June 3, 2002 - 22:47 EST #11
I have an Apple iBook running OS 9.2.2 with an AirPort card. I'm using the Linksys BEFW11S4 (with the latest firmware) and it works great, but I cannot see the network when I am connecting via AirPort. It sees it fine when I connect via the Ethernet ports. I have tried everything I know.

Any advice would be great!
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · June 4, 2002 - 13:51 EST #12
Leigh - can you provide more detail about your problem? Except for the fact that I'm running OS X, I'm doing the same thing you are. In fact, right this moment as I am typing this message, I am sitting in my living room lounge chair with my laptop, a fresh battery, and absolutely no cables draping across my legs.
Jonathan Z · June 16, 2002 - 13:15 EST #13
I am having a problem with my PowerBook AirPort connecting to a Linksys wireless router. In the AirPort status menu (where it shows signal strength), it says "Getting Status." However, it is never successful. Then it regrabs the base station and tries again. This seems to lead to a little performance problem.

I thought it might be interference, so I set the Linksys to difference channels. It didn't help.

Any ideas? I am using Mac OS 9.2, and AirPort 2.0.2.

PS - I've noticed this sometimes happens at a local coffee shop w/ a wireless network, but not usually.

Brian J. Tomassetti · June 29, 2002 - 01:44 EST #14
I have a Apple Pismo G3 500MHz PowerBook running OS X and a PowerMac G4 466MHz running OS X. They both have AirPort cards installed and are properly communicating with the Base Station. I have no issues with internet, e-mail, etc., but I cannot print to my laser printer anymore. Why?

I have the AirPort Base Station (older model with one ethernet port) plugged into a NetGear Gateway Router and the Laser Printer plugged in as well. But because the printer is not directly wired to the G4 or the PowerBook, I cannot set it up in the Chooser (under OS 9). I prefer both computers to be able to print to the printer so having the printer hooked up permanently to one of the systems will not do.

Under OS X, I have added the printer in the Print Utility using its IP address, but it will not print PostScript this way.

Any ideas?
Glen Mansell · August 28, 2002 - 09:24 EST #15
Help! I've just started using an AirPort - the old graphite version. I've gone through the setup about five times and all looks well but when my AirPort modem dials my ISP (which it does successfully), I get no data through to IE or Mail. I'm using OS X 10.2. Any ideas?

Ken Gruberman (ATPM Staff) · August 29, 2002 - 11:22 EST #16
Hey Glen, you never stated whether or not you have updated the AirpPort Base Station's firmware. Although it is primarily designed to aid in compatibility with certain ISPs, there are other benefits to the upgrade as well. You can find it on this page of Apple's support site.
Glen Mansell · August 29, 2002 - 12:03 EST #17
Hi Ken

Thanks for your prompt reply. As I had initially run the AirPort station with OS X 10.2, I thought there had been an initial firmware upgrade. Is there an easy way to check the firmware version?

With very best wishes,

Scott Hanson · September 3, 2002 - 00:02 EST #18
Here's my network setup: PowerBook (OSX 10.2) with an Airport Card, wireless Linksys router, and an HP6MP Printer with a MicroPrint Ethernet Adapter.

Here's the problem:

I can access the printer from my laptop when connected via ethernet to the router, but it does not show up when I switch to wireless.

My wireless connection does work; I can access the internet and my desktop PC (and, thanks to 10.2, File Sharing is a breeze) but not the printer.

BTW, I had this same problem with the original OS X software. It's not a new problem with 10.2.

Any ideas you might have would be greatly appreciated.

Alan Hartlein · September 14, 2002 - 16:44 EST #19
I have a PowerBook Pismo 400 MHz with an AirPort card. The office that I now work in has a Linksys Wireless Router. My laptop sees the wireless signal, but when I try to join, it asks me for a password. Where do I go to get the password? Please e-mail if you have a procedure to set up AirPort with a wireless router using OS 9.2. Thanks.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · September 14, 2002 - 17:04 EST #20
Alan - the password you're being asked for is showing up because your office has encrypted the wireless connection. So, your IT staff need to provide the decryption key for you.

This wireless encryption article I wrote some time ago should explain a lot of things you'll need to know and I encourage you to read it. But here, I'll point your attention to one very important part—if your IT staff only give you a password, you won't be able to get online. Apple's AirPort functions encrypt and decrypt passphrases into hexadecimal keys differently than PCs and most wireless routers. You must ask for the actual hexadecimal key and enter that in as your password. To tell the software on your PowerBook that you are entering the key and not a passphrase, be sure to preceed the key with a dollar sign ($) character.

Read my article for more information and, if you still have questions, feel free to post on either this page, or the one I'm suggesting that you read.
Darrin Blankenship · September 14, 2002 - 21:24 EST #21
Hi. I've got a two-Mac network, mainly to share my cable modem. What I have now is a cable modem with the AirPort Base Station connected to via the WAN port, an iMac connected via the LAN port on the Base Station, and an iBook via wireless. I'm looking to add another wired client to my network soon and I'm trying to figure out the easiest way to do it. Apple's AirPort page suggests that I can plug a hub into the LAN port and then attach my wired clients to that with the AirPort distributing IP addresses (it doesn't say the AirPort works as a router in so many words, but it sure sounds like it). Apple's TIL, however, says that I need to attach a hub directly to the cable modem and then attach my wired clients and the AirPort to the hub with the AirPort set up for NAT services, or some such nonsense. Needless to say, I'm pretty confused about this. Anyone care to shed any light on this for me?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · September 14, 2002 - 21:50 EST #22
Darrin - I'd welcome someone else's input, but I can't believe you should go from the modem, to a hub, and then have all wired devices including the Base Station connected to the hub. I say this because more and more, I'm finding that cable modem service will not provide more than one IP address. I once tried this on my parents' Roadrunner line, and I could only get an IP (and internet connectivity) on the machine I turned on first that was connected to the hub.

I feel quite sure in saying you should go with your first configuration: attach a hub to the Base Station's LAN port and connect all your nonwireless machines to it. If you plan to do a bit of file sharing between machines on your LAN, many would advise you to get a switched hub (or, more simply known as a switch). But that's a whole different issue. All I understand of it is that switches distribute connectivity among the LAN more effectively than a plain hub. If I remember right, one machine on a hub can monopolize the available bandwidth.
Sam · September 17, 2002 - 20:21 EST #23
I'm trying to connect my daughter's Mac to the home network. I already have a cable modem and a router between two PCs and I have a wireless access point from Cisco. Do I still need an AirPort or just the AirPort card to connect the Mac wireless upstairs?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · September 17, 2002 - 21:17 EST #24
Sam - you're asking if you need the AirPort Base Station. The answer is no, so long as the Cicso access point provides an 802.11b signal. If so, you'll only need the AirPort card to install in your daughter's Mac.

You'd be well-advised to do a little homework on another issue, too. You said the computer you want to connect wirelessly is upstairs. Building walls and floors can have a seriously adverse effect on signal strength.
Nu Butthajit · October 1, 2002 - 14:16 EST #25
I have a Linksys BEFW11S4 v.2 wireless router with the latest "Firmware Version : 1.43." It's connected to a cable modem. On one of the available ports, I hardwire it directly to my PC. This grabs an IP address from the Linksys Router and I'm off to the internet. I also have a Sony Vaio that's connecting through a Linksys wireless card. Again, it pulls the IP and zips off into the internet. Then there's the Mac G4 with OS 9 that refuses to cooperate. If I plug an ethernet card directly to its internal NIC, it pulls an IP and connects to the internet. But when I install the AirPort card and try for that IP, it gives me the bogus 168... or 169... IP address along with the subnet. If I try to hardcode the IP, there's still no connection. In the AirPort Utility it appears to continuously scan for the Base Station MAC address. Is my AirPort card broken? Can anyone give me any advice. Anything else I should upgrade. Please help!
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · October 1, 2002 - 20:33 EST #26
Nu - first of all, you'll only need the AirPort application. Not the Base Station utility, since you don't have an Apple Base Station.

Now that we've got that taken care of, here's what you need to do next. Based on your description, it sounds like you're just letting your computers acquire an IP address automatically, via DHCP. So, go into TCP/IP and set Connect Via to "AirPort" and change the Configure line to "Using DHCP Server." In the Search domains box, you can generally leave this blank, but if your ISP provided you with search domain information, you'd put it here. It should be okay to leave DHCP Client ID blank.

Now go to the AppleTalk control panel, make a new Configuration from the File menu if you wish (might be helpful if you use AppleTalk for other things sometimes), then set the Connect Via line to "AirPort."

Finally, open the AirPort application and open up the Settings triangle tab. Make sure AirPort is turned on, then click the pull down box next to Choose Network and select the ID name of your Linksys wireless router. That should take care of it.
Sam · October 4, 2002 - 10:36 EST #27
Lee - thanks for the info. on the AirPort. I even lost the instructions to install the AirPort card and adapter but all is well. I just plugged the antenna into card then plugged the card into the iMac which found the network on its own. Simple. Thanks. I'm thinking about getting a second Mac--an iBook. Thanks again. I'll be back with other questions.
Nu Butthajit · October 4, 2002 - 13:32 EST #28
Dufus me, I didn't plug the antenna into the AirPort Card. Nowhere in the manual did it say to plug the antenna in.
Jeff O'Shea · October 7, 2002 - 04:15 EST #29
I have a Linksys BEFW11S4 wireless access point connected to a cable modem and two PowerBook G4 computers. Both the AirPort-equipped PowerBooks can see each other but neither can see the other Macs on the wired ethernet network. All the Macs on the wired ethernet network can see each other, but not the AirPort Macs.

How can I share files/printers between AirPort Macs and Macs on my wired ethernet network?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · October 7, 2002 - 10:06 EST #30
Jeff - your file sharing is getting blocked by the firewall in both directions.

First of all, it's been stated in the past and needs to be stated here, AppleTalk won't forward through a third-party router or WAP. I'm vaguely recalling someone saying how to get printer sharing working through a firewall using devices other than Apple's AirPort Base Station, but someone else is going to have to comment on it.

File Sharing is a bit easier, though. First keep in mind that only one of the computers on your wireless network will be accessible to the wired network, and vice-versa. What you have to do is go into your router on both networks, and forward port 548 to the IP of the Mac that you want to be able to share to the other network. Then, from the other network, you connect to that shared Mac via its public IP address (the one that either the wired router or the wireless access point is using).
Gavin White · October 7, 2002 - 10:29 EST #31
I have an iBook running Jaguar (10.2.1) and a Linksys BEFW11S4 (v1) with firmware version 1.37.2b (May 30 2001). [I know there is more recent firmware - I have been unable to install it from my Mac. That is not my question yet, as I will probably do it via a PC.]

I have been able to connect to the Router, and thus the 'net, just fine using Ethernet. That is how I'm connected right now. The trouble comes when I try connecting wirelessly.

Right now, I'm using the "Automatic" Location, and the AirPort Status indicator shows full signal strength on my local wireless network. Unfortunately, when I unplug from the Ethernet (or when I switch from my DHCP Ethernet Location to my Wireless Network Location) I lose connectivity - and don't get it back. If I go into Network Preferences, and watch the TCP/IP panel of Network:Automatic:AirPort when I unplug, I see that my iBook assigns itself an IP outside the range used by my router/DHCP server. Why is this? Why can I not connect to the 'net (or even to the router) despite having maximum signal strength? This problem persists despite having temporarily disabled WEP.
Gavin White · October 7, 2002 - 14:03 EST #32
Ahem, yes, apologies for taking your time. Indeed, it was a firmware issue. Silly me. If any of you have problems like this, do what I did: upgrade the firmware. It even looks like I could have done it from my iBook by downloading MacTFTP.
Jimmy Jones · October 10, 2002 - 20:18 EST #33
** HELP ** I've got an AirPort Base Station (graphite), an iBook with no AirPort card installed (it's coming soon) and a PC with a Linksys wireless card. Can I administer this base station with either a hard line from the iBook or my PC wireless card? The Apple AirPort utility for PC doesn't support the graphite base station. Thanks in advance.
Orso · October 16, 2002 - 05:02 EST #34
Please someone help me. I'm desperately trying to get a wired G3 to get internet services per DSL through an AirPort net. Apple's infos are kind of confusing since they suggest both to connect the DSL modem to the WAN port and (in a minor article) to the uplink port. The fact is that, although the intranet works, there's no connection to the internet for Macs through ethernet.

For some help I would be most thankful.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · October 17, 2002 - 22:02 EST #35
Jimmy - I'm no Base Station expert (I use a Linksys wireless router) but I'm pretty sure you're stuck until the iBook's AirPort card arrives. If memory serves, you have to have the Mac software to configure the Base Station, and only the newer white Base Stations have the LAN port that would have allowed you to connect you iBook directly so you could configure it.

Orso - uplink port? There is only the LAN, WAN, modem, and power ports on the newer Base Stations (older ones lack the LAN port). The DSL modem plugs into the WAN port. Your non-wireless G3 connects to the LAN port...or you connect a hub to the LAN port so you can connect multipled wired machines. Lastly, make sure PPPoE settings in the Base Station are correct since that is generally what DSL uses, unlike cable modem access which usually provides instant connection without PPPoE management.
Orso · October 18, 2002 - 00:48 EST #36
Thank you for the answer. Yesterday, I found the solution by accident, with almost childish satisfaction. I'll describe now for anyone else who might be having the same problem.

Moreover, I've been all too short in describing the configuration under which this occurred: a Snow Base 4.0.7, already successfully configured under Jaguar with one AirPort-equipped Mac on the Net. Nat and DHCP Server, IP sharing, etc., a DSL Modem Teledat 300 and WAN port.

The whole lot of networked G3 PowerMacs, all not AirPort-equipped, are otherwise connected to the ABS through a hub plugged in the LAN port, quietly waiting for a good chance to get their second-hand, third-party 802.11b card. I have internet access that is not flat-rate, which was one of the reasons I didn't wish for an automatic internet connection.

As I said before, the net works, printers are shared, and the server is found, but wired Macs didn't find a connection to Internet.

The mistake was not checking the button "Automatic Internet Connection" in the AirPort Admin Utility.

Older Macs do not allow the AirPort software to be installed, Remote Access doesn't connect, and the Login Software of my Internet Provider (a lousy thing which nobody uses) failed altogether to connect even if set for LAN/Router with the correct values, like any other software capable of connecting. So the Macs didn't find the way in, even if everything was correctly set.

There are two possibilities:

  1. Check "Automatic Internet Connection" in the AirPort Admin Utility and set a very short idle time like 30 seconds.

  2. Use the ABS Modem Utility 1.4b2 (Beta) for DSL Modems from Larry Rosenstein

Please note that this Utility is a beta. It works fine enough, but there are still a couple of bugs. Anyone beeing interested might mail me.

To my knowledge, his software is the ONLY way for a wired Mac to get connection time and to disconnect and connect (here we have the bugs, although it does successfully connect) with a DSL Modem if the "Automatic Internet Connection" is off.

I take again the chance to thank Larry Rosenstein for his amazing utility!! And he's a wonderful photographer too!
anonymous · October 23, 2002 - 19:28 EST #37
Does anyone know the answer to this? I just bought a new 17" iMac. I would like to set up a wireless connection in my home from my cable modem to a Linksys BEFW11S4 Wireless 4-port Router to a Linksys WUSB11 Wireless USB Network Adapter to the USB port on my iMac. From all of the information that I can gather, it appears that it is POSSIBLE to connect the iMac to the Linksys BEFW11S4 using an AirPort card. My question is: can you connect the iMac to the Linksys BEFW11S4 if you use the Linksys WUSB11? I also understand that neither Apple nor Linksys provides a driver for the WUSB11. However, will OS X 10.2 recognize the WUSB11? Also, is the MacTFTP firmware update on related? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · October 23, 2002 - 22:18 EST #38
Your suspicion is undoubtedly correct about needing a driver. Did you just happen to acquire the USB/wireless adapter, or did you specifically purchase it without doing any research before you bought it? If the latter is true, is there some reason you wanted to saturate your USB bandwith with internet traffic?

Perhaps you can return the USB device. Your best bet is to pick up a standard AirPort card. If you look hard enough, you can sometimes find them for a good bit less than Apple's standard $99 price.
anonymous · October 28, 2002 - 14:26 EST #39
The guy at Fry's told me that the Linksys router and adapter would work with the iMac. I no longer believe this to be the case. I have since bought Apple's AirPort Base Station and AirPort card for the iMac. Two new questions:

  1. What did you mean by "saturate your USB bandwidth with internet traffic"?

  2. I now want to buy an adapter for my Wintel PC to tap into the AirPort network. Does anyone have a recommendation on the easiest adapter to use with the AirPort Base Station? I believe that I could still use the Linksys WUSB11, correct?

Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · October 28, 2002 - 15:07 EST #40
Actually, you could've kept the Linksys router and not purchased the Base Station. Apple's AirPort card works with the Linksys wireless router just fine. I know this because I personally own a Linksys wireless router and gain internet access with my PowerBook via an AirPort card I installed. But no matter, the Base Station will work fine, too.

For question 1, I meant that while it is possible to do TCP (internet) networking through the USB port, I'm not so sure about its feasibility. I don't have data to tell you whether ethernet or USB is able to handle more traffic, but my thinking was that running ethernet over a USB port would bottleneck the throughput. I could be wrong. Someone else may have to speak on this topic who is more knowledgeable, though I have colleagues who've told me you're better off using standard ethernet than going through a USB port.

For question 2, no, you still do not necessarily need the WUSB11. I didn't see anything indicating whether your PC had a wireless card or not, but since you refer to perhaps still using the WUSB11, I'm going to guess it is not wireless-equipped. If that's true, you can connect a standard ethernet cable from the PC to the Base Station, assuming you got one of the newer ones that has a LAN port. If you haven't opened the Base Station yet, you could considering taking it back once more and getting the Linksys again. The Linksys wireless router has 4 LAN ports you can connected nonwireless machines to.

On the other hand, if you didn't want to run a cable between your wireless router (either the Base Station or a Linksys), you certainly could use the WUSB11 and you can, of course, get PC drivers for it. But if you have an ethernet port on your PC, the safer thing would be to buy an wireless ethernet bridge such as the Linksys WET11. This doesn't clog up your USB chain, and requires no drivers whatsoever. Other companies such as SMC and D-Link also make wireless-ethernet bridge devices that may cost less than Linksys' bridge.
anonymous · October 29, 2002 - 04:27 EST #41
Thank you very much for your assistance thus far. As you might expect, I am working on my problem in parallel with waiting for your response. Here is where I am today:

I have a cable modem hooked up to a new version 2 Apple AirPort Base Station. I have an iMac with an AirPort card tapping into the network created by the Base Station. In order for the iMac to access the network, I need to enter a password. Here is my problem. I now want to connect my Wintel PC to the AirPort Base Station network so that I can access the internet through the cable modem, and so that I can use the printer that is attached to the PC from the iMac.

My PC does not have ethernet. I installed the software for the Linksys WUSB11 on the PC, and hooked up the WUSB11 network adapter. It is my understanding that I can use the WUSB11 to access the wireless network in my house that is being created by the AirPort basestation.

When I check my "connections" on the Linksys icon, it appears to recognize the existence of the network that I've created on the Apple AirPort Base Station. Thus, I tried opening a web browser to see if I could get cable modem access to the internet. No go. Here's my question: it appears that the WUSB11 recognizes the existence of the AirPort network. How do I get the AirPort network and the PC to talk to each other so that the AirPort network will request a password from the PC, and so that the PC can provide the password and be granted access to the network? What am I missing here? Is there third party software that I can load onto my PC so that, in conjunction with the WUSB11, my PC can talk to my AirPort? Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · October 29, 2002 - 09:31 EST #42
It seems as though you've enabled encryption on your Base Station to protect from other people gaining access to your wireless network. That's fine, but there's an issue with how the encryption keys are generated between Macs and PCs. What happens is, when you enter a password into a router (be it the Base Station, the Linksys, or whatever), that password is used to generate a hexadecimal key which is either 10 or 26 digits long depending on whether you're using 64-bit or 128-bit encryption. The algorithm for generating this key is not the same in the Base Station as most other wireless routers. The solution is to not use a passphrase and just enter a key yourself, taking care to use a $ in front of the key on the Mac side so the Mac knows you're not using a passphrase that needs conversion.

I wrote an article on this topic not long ago, so you might read it and see if it helps.
Cheryl Lenser · November 3, 2002 - 21:25 EST #43
I'm trying to set up a home network with my new iBook and my husband's PC (Windows 95) using AirPort. I got the iBook connected wirelessly to the AirPort just fine--no problems at all. I have the PC connected via Ethernet cable to the AirPort. When I dial-up an Internet connection from the iBook, the PC is able to use the same connection. However, if I do NOT connect via the iBook first, then the PC has no clue how to dial-up the Internet through the AirPort. How do I get the PC to recognize the AirPort and use it to dial my ISP?

And, on a slightly different note, how do I set up file sharing between the PC and the iBook? I figured out how to set up the iBook's files for sharing, but how do I get the PC to find them? And how do I get the iBook to find the files on the PC?

Thanks for all your help.

David McConville · November 10, 2002 - 17:30 EST #44
I'm very frustrated! Any help would be much appreciated.

I'm using Sprint's Broadband Direct, fixed wireless with a static IP address. I'm running an Apple AirPort 2.0 Base Station with an iMac 333 connected directly to the LAN port, two wireless iMac 500s upstairs, and a hybrid cable modem connected to the WAN port. The system works very well with my iMacs! I have a Dell laptop running Windows NT (company computer) with Nortel's Contivity VPN client installed. I have been trying to get the Dell laptop to communicate with our company server with little success. Here's what I have tried. Using my connected iMac 333, I mapped several ports on that are used by the Nortel client. I manually assigned IP address and subnet to the laptop. I unplug the LAN ethernet cable from my iMac 333 and plug it into the laptop. I restart the laptop and when I start up the VPN client, the laptop is able to communicate with the Base Station and the modem, however, I get a VPN switch failure at the company server.

Am I on the right track? Any ideas?
Mac vs PC · November 10, 2002 - 19:47 EST #45
I need help to win a Mac versus PC wireless printing debate.
Configuation: My husband and I have a PowerBook G4 with an AirPort card, a PC laptop with a Linksys wireless card, and a Linksys wireless router access point with a cable modem and an HP printer connected. We both can successfully connect wirelessly to a Linksys BEFW11S4 wireless router to surf the internet. Tie for Mac vs PC.

However, when I try to get the HP printer to appear in the Chooser menu, nothing appears. My husband with his PC has no problems. When the printer is connected through the ethernet port on the back of the laptop, I can print fine. Minus one for Mac :-(

My question is this: can the Mac communicate wirelessly through the Linksys to the HP printer? HP, Linksys, and Apple support all claim that this should work but cannot get me printing. HELP!!!

I need to win this bet :-)
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · November 10, 2002 - 23:39 EST #46
David - the ATPM staff are kicking around your problem, but it sounds like this is a PC issue and has no support available for PC-related topics. If any ideas come up, though, someone will post here.

Mac vs PC - ATPM staffer Chris Lawson had this to say: "Gimp-Print plus the HP Postscript drivers mentioned on ResExcellence a week or two ago ought to take care of it if you're running OS X 10.2. If not, and it's an HP without Postscript support, you're out of luck." The thing to keep in mind is that third-party wireless routers generally don't pass AppleTalk through to other devices.
J.W. Georgen · December 1, 2002 - 12:21 EST #47
I recently purchased a Linksys WET11 ethernet bridge to connect my desktop (upgraded G3 tower to a G4) running OS X 10.2.2. Although I was able to access the web-based setup utility, I cannot get the WET11 to communicate with my AirPort Base Station. I contacted Linksys and the helper bee suggested changing the name of my network to "linksys." Bad mistake. I had to reinstall my PowerBook system to get my wireless card communicating with the Base Station. Now I am finally back to where I was before: not being able to successfully configure the WET11. Does anyone know what numbers go where?
Mac vs PC · December 1, 2002 - 15:51 EST #48
I have learned the following from Apple and Linksys: Apple does not support "bridging" via the AirPort. If you are trying to get a wireless Linksys to talk to the AirPort, it will need to be connected via a physical ethernet cable--not wirelessly.

If you call Linksys tech support, keep calling back until you get someone who really understands bridging and how to set up the various components to talk to each other. We now have a Linksys wireless ethernet bridge talking to other WAPs to enable printing and access to the Internet.
Andycub · January 7, 2003 - 16:17 EST #49
I just installed a Netgear Gateway DSL modem. I am using it with AirPort. We followed the instructions by conecting the Gateway to my PowerBook first, setting it up and then connecting the Gateway to the AirPort. In the TCP/IP settings, I can see the Gateway's IP address and not the AirPort, is that right?

Also, when I now try and configure the AirPort thourgh the AirPort Utility, I get an error message and can't get access to the AirPort. Have you heard of this at all?

We also seem to have some "Specified server cannot be found" messages appearing when we browse the Internent on web sites which we know are up and running. If we keep trying, eventually we can connect to them.

Is this all connected? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Ted · January 28, 2003 - 15:57 EST #50
I have OS X 10.2.3 on an iBook and iMac. Both have AirPort cards running updated software. File sharing works fine and signal strength is solid. The iMac is connected via an ethernet cable to Earthlink ADSL via a PPPoE connection. The problem: the iBook cannot share the internet connection even when all the settings are correct (I went over this with Apple tech support). The Apple tech said it was due to the PPPoE connection and that it could potentially be ameliorated with a hardware Base Station or a static IP address. Earthlink said essentially the same things. Those options are too expensive for me. Any known workarounds or updates? Thanks.

Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · January 30, 2003 - 00:24 EST #51
Ted - I'm not really suspect of the PPPoE connection nor whether you have a static or dynamic IP. The fact is, most broadband services these days only permit one IP address to be served from each broadband modem. Chances are if yours will do more, you'd know it because you'd have paid for it. A device which handles the real IP address handed to you and then provides local IPs to any number of machines (a router) is really the only solution. However, you don't have to spend money on Apple's expensive AirPort Base Station. Several wireless routers are available for $100 or less—especially with rebates. I heard a commercial that mentioned Linksys wireless routers for $100. This is the type I use at home. I also carry a small-size Netgear MR-814 wireless router for use on the road when I'm on other networks and need wireless capability. After rebates, that router only cost me $70.
bigEz · January 31, 2003 - 17:34 EST #52
I have the following setup:
  Motorola              Linksys
Cable Modem          4-port Router
    [0]------------[0] [0][0][0][0]
     |                  |  |  |  |
AT&T-'       Desktop PC-'  |  |  '-XBOX
ISP                        |  |
             Laptop PC-----'  '----Graphite ABS
  • 2 PCs networked via WinXPpro
  • 1 XBOX networked via Live!
  • 1 Graphite ABS v3.6
  • 1 iBook 533 with AirPort card (which was linked to the router before ABS)
I have enabled DHCP on the router, disabled DHCP on the ABS, disabled NAT on the ABS, disabled distributed addresses on the ABS, and manually configured the AirPort Card on the iBook to an available IP from the router (as well as tried DHCP on the iBook). The ABS is accepting its DHCP-assigned IP after being configured via FreeBASE10 (java client). The iBook's AirPort card sees the network and has 95% signal strength, however the status of the network connection always returns UNAVAILABLE. What else could be hindering this? I am having trouble determining the firmware status on the ABS.
Taterhead · February 18, 2003 - 14:40 EST #53
Well, my son got me to switch, so I bought a new 12" PowerBook yesterday. My problem is that it does not recognize wireless systems. My son has a Linksys which his iBook links to perfectly. I have a Netgear that his iBook and my Toshiba link to fine wirelessly. The PowerBook, on the other hand, never sees any other network. It connects fine with cat5 but not wireless. I have tried everything and one of the reasons I bought this was that the salesman said how easy it was to connect with the wireless systems at, say, Starbucks and elsewhere--as if now that I bought this, I can afford a $5 coffee! Please help!
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · February 18, 2003 - 23:57 EST #54
Taterhead - are you positive your PowerBook has an AirPort card? The 12" PowerBooks do not come with one standard. Even the 15" PowerBook only comes with one standard if you get the 1GHz version.

You may have seen something that said the 12" PowerBook was "AirPort Extreme Ready." This means that you can install an AirPort Extreme card--sold separately in the case of the 12" models.
Frustrated · February 19, 2003 - 21:11 EST #55
I am having trouble connecting an XP system to an already configured AirPort Extreme Base Station. I am using the Linksys WUSB11 2.6. It will detect the network, but will not communicate with it (when I pinged the Base Station, all I came up with was "Destination host unreachable"). Is the problem with the Base Station, the software configuration, or the WUSB11?
Tre · February 20, 2003 - 00:47 EST #56
I want to be able to connect file sharing to my girlfriend's machine through TCP/IP. Ever since she got the AirPort card and Base Station, it gives her a strange IP address,

What does she do in order to get back the IP she had before?
Matt · March 8, 2003 - 01:49 EST #57
I am interested in getting an Apple iBook or PowerBook. I currently have three computers connected to a cable modem via a Netgear router. My question is, can I make the Mac work with the others to surf the Internet and all that good stuff. If so, what do I need? Do I need an AirPort card? Will that work, or do I need something else? If the AirPort card will work, will it have trouble working with the Netgear router?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · March 8, 2003 - 11:03 EST #58
Matt - the function routers provide is 100% indifferent to the type of computer attached to it. Macs, PCs, ad infinitum. Any computer that uses TCP-based Internet connections can attach to a router. Indeed, I use a Linksys router at home and carry a small Netgear (MR814) in my computer bag.

You don't automatically need an AirPort card. First of all, you didn't say whether your router even broadcasts wireless signals. If it doesn't, then having an AirPort card is useless for you at home. But even if the router does have wireless capability, you can still just run a standard ethernet cable between the router and the Mac. There's nothing wrong with going wireless if that's what you want to do, though. Just make sure the router is, in fact, wireless too. And if you're using encryption on the wireless signal, there's a small little item that could trip you up, but that can be discussed later if you run into the problem.

Something else to consider is that if you plan to do a lot of file transfers between the Mac and other computers, connecting it with an ethernet cable instead of wireless will make those transfers go a lot faster…even faster than the new AirPort Extreme.

BTW, even if you aren't using wireless at home, having an AirPort card is a good investment for any laptop computer. The very nature of a laptop means that you're likely to take it with you to all sorts of places. Having the AirPort card means that even though you may not be using wireless connections at home, you'll still be able to take advantage of any other of the growing number of locations you may travel to that offer you wireless internet.
Warbuck · March 22, 2003 - 14:33 EST #59
I'm using a G4 Dual 1GHz with an AirPort card to share a cable modem connection wirelessly with a PowerBook G3 400 MHz with an AirPort card using WEP 128-bit encryption. This system has worked flawlessly for more than a year and, since updating to OS X 10.2.4, file sharing works fine via AirPort, but I can't connect to web sites unless they are secure sites with the little lock in the left bottom corner of Internet Explorer. I've checked all my settings and tried AppleCare to no avail. But, after booting from a backup hard drive with OS X 10.2.3 on the G4, it works like it used to. What could cause 10.2.4 to only allow AirPort to access secure sites while sharing the internet connection? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
anonymous · April 1, 2003 - 02:19 EST #60
I have a SMC2404WBR that we're trying to connect. The wired side is fine. With wireless, though, I can connect using a Pismo with AirPort and no WEP, but when I enter a key in the router and then "$xxxx" (same key) via AirPort, it won't connect. I get an error dialog. I read your article on setting up encryption and used WEP Key Maker to generate keys to use.

We then tried disabling WEP and using MAC filtering, and the AirPort wouldn't connect then, either. I'm stumped. It's late, too, and my brain is fried. I'd like to 'secure' the wireless network from the neighbors.

I'd also ask if you could expound on how to set up File Sharing between Macs over wireless.
Mark · April 2, 2003 - 13:58 EST #61
I'm hosting to the internet from a computer on an AirPort network. I'm running Mac OS X 10.2.4 with cable internet access. When I plug the cable directly into the computer, I can host via my cable IP address and life is good.

Enter the problem, an AirPort Base Station. Now I can no longer host to the outside world. The network works fine, and I can see other computers, and access the internet from all computers. From what little I've read on the subject, it looks like I have to do some port mapping. I've followed the vague instructions and still can't get it to work. Does anyone have specific instructions on how to do this?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · April 2, 2003 - 21:41 EST #62
Mark - you are correct that you need to map the appropriate port(s) to your host computer. I found a page that should explain how to set up port mapping using the AirPort Admin Utility.

You have to know which ports are needed. Some examples are 21 for FTP, 80 for web, and 548 for Apple's personal file sharing. Enter the appropriate port number in both the private and public port fields, and fill in the the remainder of the private IP address of the machine you want that port forwarded to.
anonymous · June 1, 2003 - 22:59 EST #63
I have a new PowerBook G4 with an AirPort Extreme card. It was working great with my housemate's SMC wireless router, but he is moving out and has taken his router. So, I bought a wireless router myself, a Netgear MR814v2. For some reason, although my laptop sort of sees the router by wireless, it cannot connect to it. Is there a known firmware problem or some other incompatibility with Netgear? I went to Netgear's site and found info on the MR814, but the firmware upgrade pages said not to upgrade if one has v2!!
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · June 5, 2003 - 12:57 EST #64
Franklin - I'm not sure whether it's a v2 or not, but I also use a Netgear MR814 on the road and it works perfectly fine. Can you be more specific when you say "it cannot connect?" I'm guessing you're seeing the router's name in your list of available connections in the AirPort menu. What happens when you select it. Does it work if you attach your PowerBook directly to the router with an ethernet cable? Are your network settings configured for automatic via DHCP? Does the router have wireless encryption enabled?
Mike · June 12, 2003 - 18:06 EST #65
The same problem happens here as described by Franklin, and this problem has been reported by a lot of other people.

We are talking about the new AirPort Extreme card and Netgear MR814v2.

If we attach the PowerBook directly to the router, it works fine. The problem is to connect them wirelessly.

Of course, the network setting is configured as DHCP. With the encryption disabled, the PowerBook can see the router name. When we try to open a connection, the following message shows up, "There was an error joining the selected AirPort network." At the same time, a Netgear MA401 can join the access point freely.
Jon · June 25, 2003 - 03:15 EST #66
I tried connecting to a Netgear MR814 wireless router with an AirPort Extreme card and have been unable to get a connection. I can connect using other wireless cards from PCs but can't get the Mac to connect. Is there any advice or is it just not possible to have encryption and a connection using AirPort Extreme and a Netgear MR814? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Keisa · June 26, 2003 - 01:13 EST #67
I have a G4 PowerBook and a PC. I am able to connect to the internet wirelessly with the PowerBook, but I am having problems setting up my PC to share the connection. The PC is currently connected to the AirPort Base Station through the LAN port with a crossover cable. I don't know where to enter the name and password on my PC for the AirPort settings to allow both computers to share internet access.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · June 26, 2003 - 01:38 EST #68
Jon - make sure you know whether you're using 64- or 128-bit encryption (it's probably 128) in the Netgear router, and be certain that you use the corresponding bit amount in the pulldown box where you enter the encryption code on your Mac. Also use hex and not binary or ASCII. Then, make sure you enter that long hexadecimal string in exactly correct.

Keisa - assuming you're using typical DHCP (automatic) settings, you don't need to enter a name/password on the PC. I think your problem is the crossover cable. Crossovers are only needed to connect two computers directly together...and newest Macs don't even have to have those because the ethernet jack auto-switches. Regardless, you should use a standard ethernet cable to connect the PC to the Base Station's LAN port.
Jon · June 26, 2003 - 14:42 EST #69
Thanks for the tips. I am using 128 and I've read a few places that I may or may not need a $ sign in front of my 16-digit hex code. I tried it both ways many times with no success. I have the router set to not broadcast its SSID, but I did input that name in the AirPort Extreme card settings, so it should be able to find it. What else can I try?
Keisa · June 26, 2003 - 15:50 EST #70
I replaced the crossover cable with a CAT 6 ethernet cable. I still have the same result. The PC gives me an error saying it cant find the server. That is interesting that you say I don't have to give a name and password with a LAN connection. I always thought that was why this whole thing wasn't working. I dont know where I would put that info on the PC, anyway. Please help. I was up about 4 hours last night looking for tech pages and trying to figure this out.

Do you think my PC requires a special driver to be able to recognize the connection to the LAN port of the AirPort Base Station?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · June 27, 2003 - 00:58 EST #71
Jon - it's usually best to start basic and work your way up. Try temporarily disabling encryption and turn on SSID broadcasting. Be sure the router is set to provide TCP information to attached computers automatically (via DHCP) and set your computer's TCP settings to automatic as well. If you get a connection at this stage, then start adding back some of the security you wish to use, one at a time so that if it stops working, you know what steps caused the problem.

Keisa - before I draw the attention of some of the more tech types on the ATPM staff, let me first make sure we understand your setup. I may have misunderstood you the first time. And bear in mind that what I just told Jon may apply to you, as well. Is this correct? You either have a broadband line plugged into the WAN port of the Base Station (always use the ethernet cable that came with the broadband modem to attach the modem to whatever the first device is) or you using dialup via the Base Station's built-in modem. Then you now have a standard ethernet cable running from the Base Station's LAN port to the PC and your Mac is using the connection wirelessly. You should probably say whether you're using broadband or dialup. Assuming it's broadband, does your PC have internet access if you attach it directly to the broadband modem (with the cable that came with the modem)?
Keisa · June 27, 2003 - 23:34 EST #72
I have DSL. Here is the set up. The DSL modem is connected to the WAN port of the Base Station with the ethernet cable that came with the DSL modem. Then, the PC is connected to the Base Station LAN port with an ethernet cable that I bought from the store. I have no problem connecting wirelessly to the internet with my PowerBook with this connection. When I try to connect with the PC though, it says that it cannot find the server.

When I unplug the Base Station and go directly from the DSL modem to the PC, it works fine, of course, but I can't get them both online at the same time.

The PC's TCP setting is set at automatic. I don't know how to disable encryption or how to turn on SSID broadcasting. Does this apply to me?
anonymous · July 1, 2003 - 22:49 EST #73
The AirPort Extreme card works with a Netgear MR814v2.
First, update Mac AirPort software to 3.1, then update Netgear MR814v2 firmware to 5.01 from Use MR814v2 default settings and add a WEP. Macs use the generated key as password. (It also needs the "$" in front.) It simply works. Enjoy.
Marc Haug · July 22, 2003 - 15:18 EST #74
I have two Snow AirPort Base Stations and can't find a way to bridge them. Someone told me you can't do it. Any thoughts?
Eric Blair (ATPM Staff) · August 10, 2003 - 22:09 EST #75
Marc - No can do, at least using the built-in capabilities of the AirPort Base Station. Bridging is a feature of the AirPort Extreme Base Stations.
John Clark · August 11, 2003 - 08:01 EST #76
A 12-inch PowerBook G4 with an AirPort Extreme card is v-e-r-y slow moving data wirelessly.

An identically configured dual-USB iBook with AirPort card (non-Extreme) moves data wirelessly 10-20 times faster on the same network. Other wireless clients on the net, all Apple non-Extreme-equipped, similarly move data at full speed.

This discrepancy is consistent and repeatable, even with PowerBook sitting right next to base, with good signal. The Base Station is an Apple original graphite model. (Though seriously throttled on wireless, the PowerBook moves data at maximum speed in wired Ethernet mode.)

It would seem that the Extreme card in the PowerBook is the culprit. Any ideas on how to un-throttle that thing?

(David Nagel, among others, apparently, has also suffered this problem.)
Jorge · August 14, 2003 - 11:54 EST #77
I have what I hope is a simple problem. I'm new to DSL and wireless routing, so I hope someone can help. I'm running OS X 10.2.6. I have a Zyxel DSL modem and just bought a Linksys BEFW11S4 wireless router with 4 ethernet ports. Nothing yet has been straightforward and Linksys offers not only no Mac phone support, but no literature at all in the box that I can re-interpret for Mac settings. It's just an install disk with EXE files.

I've read that it is very simple to get the router set up on various postings, but I've had no luck. I plug everything in, set my Mac for DHCP, restart, then try to browse to Nothing. I tried pinging it to make sure it isn't an IE problem, to no success.

I tried setting a static address, ...1.10 ...1.5, anything.

I want to get the Linksys done first so that I can then add the DSL modem to the mix. I don't have a crossover cable so, I cant try the modem to Mac directly.
Evan Trent (ATPM Staff) · August 19, 2003 - 01:11 EST #78
Okay, there are several possibilities here.

If you are trying to set the Linksys up on a wireless basis over AirPort, the most likely culprit is that you have not "joined" the proper wireless network. If you have the AirPort menu visible on the menu bar, you can select "Linksys" (the default name for the network) from there or you can go to the Network control panel, click on the "AirPort" tab, and select the network there. If you do not select the wireless network you wish to join, your AirPort is not handshaking with the Linksys and that is why you are not having any success with the configuration.

Once you have joined, simply set your network settings to connect via AirPort, using DHCP, and then go to in your web browser and configure away.

If you are trying to configure over Ethernet, you need to connect your Mac using a standard patch cable (not a crossover cable) to one of the numbered LAN ports on the Linksys. Then, set your Network settings to connect via Ethernet, configure via DHCP, and go to in your web browser. That ought to work fine.

You can do all of this with your DSL modem connected to the WAN jack of the Linksys. That will not complicate the setup procedure, but it will make it much easier to verify that your setup parameters are correct.

If the above suggestions do not rectify the situation, let me know and we'll try some more options.
Dan Birchall · October 30, 2003 - 22:36 EST #79
The MR814v2 can be firmware-upgraded to work with AirPort Extreme cards, but I have (as does Jon, apparently) an MR814 - not v2. It works like a champ with our two snow iBooks and their original AirPort cards, but when I try to hook up with AirPort Extreme from my new Power Mac, no go. In "Internet Connect," it shows "No Network Selected," and when I try to select my network, it just dies silently and goes back to "No Network Selected."

I've seen various firmware updates on Netgear's site for the original MR814, but none of them mention AirPort Extreme. It looks like I may be stuck getting a new access point. Fortunately, I've got the Power Mac connected via Ethernet in the mean time.

Robert Erdei · December 9, 2003 - 20:26 EST #80
I've been trying for about two months. To connect my 500Mhz iBook through Airport to the net. I have a DSL modem my ISP is Earthlink. I also have a 1Ghz eMac which has an Airport Extreme card. I'm trying to use the Airport Extreme card as a base station. The iBook Airport card is 802.11b not 802.11g I'm using a PPPoE set up on the eMac. The eMac settings are Ethernet selected and Airport selected. The iBook is set to automatic DHCP. The eMac does show an up arrow. It says it is internet sharing. While the iBook says

1. Airport is turned on but is not connected to a network.

2. Not associated with any network.

3. There was an error joining the Airport network "robert...

I also have the latest Airport software and firmware installed. Lastly both computers are running Mac OS X 10.3.1
Ken · December 31, 2003 - 03:41 EST #81
I am trying to get an Imac and a G3 powerbook to connect to an Airport Extreme base station for a friend of mine. He installed all the hardware and software and nothing seems to be working right. The powerbook is running OS 10.2 and the imac 10.3

Neather the imac or the powerbook detect the base station with a normal scan from the admin utility, but the powerbook will connect to it with admin utility if I use the 'other' button and enter the defualt password. I can only axcess the base station with admin utility after reseting it to factory defaults, after which it will not complete configuration uploads. I cant configure the base station to connect via the modem with this configuration upload problem.

When I connect to the base station with the admin utility I get a message about new software for the base station, but if I let it try to install this software admin utitlty crashes and I cant axcess the base station at all till I reset it to factory defaults again.

The powerbook is using a d-link usb wireless device and the imac has an airport card installed.

The Imac cant see the base station with a scan from airport setup assistant or admin utility. The card installed has a wireless card for a laptop connected to a pcb card that went into the Imac. Its a standered apple airport card as far as i know. There seems to be no antena attached, but I see a little hole where one might attach. Should it have one?

Any help would be much apriciated, I'm pretty darn frustrated with the whole thing :oP
Jo · January 11, 2004 - 21:39 EST #82
I am having trouble setting up an Airport Extreme Base Station to a working PC Tower (non wireles with Windows XP Professional) to a new wireless Powerbook G4 with a cable modem via COmcast High speed Internet:

The Comcast Surfboard SB3100 modem works fine.
The Airport Setup Assistant worked fine and I can successfully connect to the Internet wirelessly on the Powerbook.

All cables and ethernet sockets work fine on PC and modem.

However, the PC does not connect properly when the ethernet is connected to the Airport LAN and PC (The Modem is connected to the Airport WAN correctly). I have called Apple + Comcast and noone can figure it out.

My PC Ethernet card (Non-wireless) is 'Netgear FA310TX Fast Ethernet Adaptor (NGRPCI)' and works well with the cable modem and PC only.

Please help! I spent the entire weekend trying to fix this.

Do I have to set up a network?

Apple walked me through all the tests to see if the DHCP settings were OK and they were.

The Apple guy thinks it's a software problem from PC to Airport Extreme base station.

I have been reading help sites about sharing internet and Xp and am very confuced.

Appreciate any ideas.

Thank you,
Catherine · February 4, 2004 - 13:27 EST #83
Help !!
Have ibook G4 with airport Extreme card. Try to connect wirelessly to router Zyxel Prestige 650HW(-I) without success.
Need advice. Thx
Raoul · March 3, 2004 - 14:29 EST #84
I have an MR814 (not v2) and it has worked fine with the PCs in the house. I bought a Dual 2ghz G5 with an airport extreme card and I can't get it to talk to the MR814. Is there some sort of driver or firmware update that needs to be done ??
David Stoker · June 21, 2004 - 22:29 EST #85
When I tried to update the firmwear for Netgear MR814 I downloaded 'mr814v2_v5_3_05.img'

My iBook G4 will not open up an '.img' and expand it so I can then upgrade my router. How do I open up an '.img'?

Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · June 22, 2004 - 00:58 EST #86
David - first of all, be absolutely certain whether you have the original MR814 or the v2 model. The Netgear page has graphics to help differentiate between the two. The link for the MR814 original version downloads is below the box for the v2 downloads. I missed it at first.

Once you know which version you have, then download the proper file.

As for the .img files, OS X (or, specifically, Disk Utility (or Disk Copy on earlier versions of OS X) is supposed to automatically mount them. If, after double clicking an .img file, you don't see anything happening, first check your desktop (or wherever the .img file was located) to see if it saved the .bin file in the same place. Otherwise, open up a Finder window and see if a disk image was mounted. If so, look for the .bin file in there and copy it to your hard drive before updating your router. If you're sure double clicking the .img file is doing nothing, launch Disk Utility/Disk Copy and try opening the .img file directly from there. If still nothing happens, I'd guess your downloaded file is corrupted.
Alan · June 24, 2004 - 16:54 EST #87
The .img file you get from Netgear is not an Apple mountable disk image. It is the actual firmware file you upload to the router. Don't try to mount it as a disk.

Anyway, I already upgraded my MR814v2 to 5.3_05. I don't have the Airport Extreme on my iBook, just the regular Airport (802.11b) and I have a really slow connection to the Netgear router. Downstream (from the router to my Airport) I'm getting on average less than 50kB/s. Upstream (Airport to router) I get an acceptable 500+ kB/s. Has anyone else expereience this? I have 64bit WEP turned on by the way.
Evan Trent (ATPM Staff) · August 14, 2004 - 15:44 EST #88
The WET11 is an Ethernet->Wireless bridge. What you need is a router. The WET11 is designed to bridge an Ethernet device or network to a Wireless network. The wireless network must already exist in the form of a base station, access point, or router.

For example if you have an Ethernet enabled laser printer that you wish to print to wirelessly from your Airport enabled laptop, you can connect the WET11 to the printer, and then the base station or access point or router will magically "see" the printer as a wireless device and your laptop can thus print to it.

Alternatively if you have a wireless router or base station set up in one part of the house, and then in another part of your house you have a wired Ethernet network (say an office) and you want to allow the wireless and wired networks to talk to eachother, you could use a WET11 to bridge that wired office network to the wireless network.

But in any of these scenarios, the wireless network must already exist in the form of an access point, router, or base station.

Hopefully this answers your question... if not, feel free to post a follow up.
Dustin · December 15, 2004 - 13:31 EST #89
I've got an older iBook, 95?maybe, the older ones with the bright colors. I've recently installed OS 9.2. my question is if I can get a wireless card installed. Does it only take AirPort cards, and if so, is it worth it?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · December 15, 2004 - 17:46 EST #90
Dustin - the first iBook came out in 1999, so it certainly would not be as old as '95. I was going to ask if you're sure it's not an older PowerBook, but since you mentioned it's one with bright colors, it's surely an iBook. In any case, all iBooks had an AirPort expansion slot. Be advised that your iBook will only accept the original style AirPort cards and not the faster AirPort Extreme cards.

I believe AirPort is, indeed, the only type of wireless card you can use. Other wi-fi cards are designed to fit into a laptop's PCMCIA (a.k.a. PC card) slot, and iBooks do not have PC card slots.

Another option is to use a wireless bridge that attaches to the iBook's ethernet jack. It may work, but you may run into a snag that the bridge would require a software driver, and many of the companies that make wireless bridges only write Windows drivers.

Thus, the easiest solution is to simply acquire an original style AirPort card.
James Dean · April 24, 2005 - 00:42 EST #91

My wife and I have two Apple Powerbooks, an older 500 MHz PowerPC G3 and a much newer 1.33 GHz PowerPC G4 which at home are connected to an old Airport Base Station, purchased in 2000. The base station is connected to the internet via Comcast cable (Modem RCA Model DCM315).

In the past we've been able to connect without difficulties, but now, we can barely get either computer to connect, and when they do, sometimes it works fine and other times the connection gets dropped at random times, even if the powerbook is on the same desk right next to the base station. When the connection gets dropped, the left light on the base station is not flashing, but we haven't gotten any red lights yet. Is our airport base station dying?

Also, if it is dying and we upgrade to a new Airport Extreme Base station, will we need to upgrade the original Airport card that came with the G3 powerbook? Thanks.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · April 24, 2005 - 17:06 EST #92
James - I once had problems similar to what you described with my Linksys wireless router and it seemed someone nearby had set up another router using the same channel. I think Linksys defaulted to channel 1, and I tried going up to channel 6 and all was well. Apple's AirPort defaults to channel 6, I believe. Try going down to 1 or up to 11 and see if that solves your problem. There may be settings on the Mac's wireless network setup to match.

If that's not the solution, the next thing to do is to make sure your modem or internet connection isn't having trouble. Temporarily take the AirPort Base Station out of the picture and connect a computer directly to the modem via ethernet. I think you can follow the logic there.

If you decided you do need to upgrade the Base Station, no, you will not have to upgrade the AirPort card in the G3. Wi-Fi is downwardly compatible. The G3 will not be able to take advantage of the faster AirPort Extreme speeds, but it will be able to use the slower speed exactly the same as it did before.

Besides, the AirPort Extreme card is a completely different shape than the original AirPort card. A machine that accepts original cards will not take Extreme cards, and vice versa.
Mike Nobel · June 17, 2005 - 01:47 EST #93
I am trying to connect to my linksys wireless router (befw11s4) via my AirPort card to no avail. I can see the network in question but when I enter the router passwords I get the "error joining Airport network "nobel."

I tried changing the router password but that doesn't seem to work. Any additional suggestions?
ATPM Staff · June 17, 2005 - 23:00 EST #94
Mike - If you're using Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther), is the selection box when you are asked for the password set for WEP Password? If you're using 10.2 or older, the Mac's algorithm for generating a WEP password was different than third-party algorithms. So, instead, you need to get the hexadecimal version of the encryption key being used by the Linksys and enter that as the password instead. In newer versions of OS X, you can select 64- or 128-bit hex in the same pulldown where the WEP Password setting is located. In older versions of OS X, if memory serves, you type a $ character first, and then the code to let your Mac know that you're typing a hex key instead of a password.
trish · June 21, 2005 - 00:50 EST #95
Has there ever been a solid fix for the "Error joining the Airport network x" problem? It seems mine will do this, especially after being on a different network and it will take an HOUR to get the thing to link back up to mine. I am using a Linksys router, orig. basestation and Airport Extreme in my Powerbook 15. It got to the point where I completely reconfigured the airport and it did work, but I still get the error too often. Ready to just go to PC at this point. Don't have the problem with my husbands computer.
ATPM Staff · June 21, 2005 - 10:50 EST #96
Trish - take a look at

This document contains information about the Graphite Base Station and the necessary firmware upgrade to bring it up to the latest POSSIBLE spec.

A traceroute to the IP address you posted from shows that it is part of the COX Cable block of addresses. You might very well be having an issue when switching networks, as one of the Apple knowledgebase documents suggests with other cable internet service providers ie Rogers in Canada.

If the firmware does not fix this problem, we suggest you go out and purchase a new wireless access point/router, and it does not have to be an Apple hardware product. Honestly, for what they are, they are overpriced. A Linksys/Netgear/Belkin/D-Link option should do rather nicely and the integrated router option should help to eliminate a piece of hardware, ie the Linksys router. You could get the Linksys Cable Modem, Wireless VPN/Router/Access Point solution and have just one box altogether. It is both DOCSIS 1.1 and 2.0 compliant.
Jordan MEdoff · September 25, 2005 - 12:12 EST #97
i am having trouble connecting to the internet. I just bought and ibook and i have a linksys wrt54g with the latest firmware. the ibook came with airport. i have 2 pc wired to the router and 1 laptop wireless. my ibook sees the router. and displays full signal strength. but it cannot connect to the internet. i have no security on the router. what should i do to connect to the internet. please help!
ATPM Staff · September 25, 2005 - 13:43 EST #98
Jordan - hmm, there is a question in there somewhere, but it's not very apparent where. :-)

Yes, you do have to install the AOL software on your Mac if you're using an AOL number to dial up. But if you have broadband coming in, you would only need AOL software to access AOL content. However, if you do dial up with AOL, once you're connected with the AOL software, you should still be able to fire up a nonAOL browser such as Safari.
Jordan MEdoff · September 26, 2005 - 19:21 EST #99
thank you i just figured it out. thanks for replying to my question so quickly. really appreciate it.

Tom Bridge (ATPM Staff) · October 23, 2005 - 14:12 EST #100
Hi Bert, this sounds like there are problems with the router giving out proper DNS information. You may wish to substitute your ISPs DNS server manually in the network configuration section of the System Preferences.

One way to test this would to be open a terminal window, and type the following:


and hitting return. If you get a proper answer, it'll look something sorta like this (and your mileage may well vary)

Non-authoritative answer: canonical name =

If your answer doesn't look like that, it's because there's no name service configured at your router level. Put your own in, and try it again.

If that's not it, let us know and we'll try some other goodies.
david farquhar · December 6, 2005 - 17:57 EST #101
i've just found u're web site and have a question.
i currently have an ibook and imac connected to the internet via a router which works great...however what do i need to do to set up a closed network so the two can communicate? thanx
ATPM Staff · December 6, 2005 - 19:06 EST #102
David - it depends on what you mean by "communicate." I'll take for granted you mean you wish to move files from one to another. To do this, simply enable File Sharing on the computer you want to be the host, and connect with the other machine to the host's local IP address (the IP assigned by your router). More information is here.
Tom Bridge (ATPM Staff) · December 16, 2005 - 10:09 EST #103
Hello, Peter. Sorry about the issues that you're experiencing. You may wish to attempt to update the firmware on your Base Station. That could help with the problems that you're experiencing. Beyond that, a reinstall of the Airport Software for OS 9, or an upgrade to OS X, might be the next steps.
john dubiel · December 27, 2005 - 20:29 EST #104
Bought an imac for my son for xmas. Cant seem to configure aol broadband on this machine. Ready to commit suicide....Please help. The imac recognizes the network and router (linksys)...
ATPM Staff · December 27, 2005 - 21:04 EST #105
John - we must defer you to contact AOL support. This comes mostly from the fact that nearly every ATPM staff member's advice would be to steer as far away from AOL for internet access as possible.
Tim Morgan · December 28, 2005 - 13:58 EST #106
I have a linksys wireless router WRT54GS. I have a PC and a mac notebook. I am trying to get my mac to connect to the router wireless it finds the linksys router but it keeps asking for a password and won't allow me to connect? Any solutions.
ATPM Staff · December 28, 2005 - 14:33 EST #107
Tim - the solution is to please read your user manual. The default password will be there.
Chet udell · January 4, 2006 - 14:20 EST #108
Help needed: I am using a powerBook G4 and am trying to use wireless with a netgear. I can select it and it reads full signal strenth and the status is "connected." but every time I try to use an internet application, the app says "cannot find server" like I was not connected. All of my airport prefs seem to be set fine.

ATPM Staff · January 4, 2006 - 15:28 EST #109
Chet - sounds like the domain name servers aren't getting through. Normally they get passed on to your computer from the router with your DHCP connection. Check your network settings. If numbers are already in the DNS Servers section, try removing them. If you still can't get connected or there are no IP numbers in there, try to determine what nameservers your internet provider wants you to use and plug those in. You may can find these addresses yourself by looking at the router's status page for the information of it's outside/WAN connection your your internet provider.
Zoe · March 15, 2006 - 21:52 EST #110
Im using a powermac g4 933, have just installed an airport card which is recognised by the powermac- just cant seem to establish connection to the netgear router. Error message appears "there was an error joining the airport network netgear" please help! im new to this
ATPM Staff · March 15, 2006 - 22:17 EST #111
Zoe - Is your G4 running OS 9 or OS X? Is the router using encryption? Is it filtering to only allow certain addresses of wireless cards? Is it providing network information automatically or do you have to manually enter it. Umm, maybe instead of all that, I should instead ask whether the router is yours or someone else's that you're trying to join.
Sage Kosa · March 20, 2006 - 13:36 EST #112
We have a small office with 2 new intel iMacs, one PowerMac G5 tower, one older G4 iMac (flower version), and one PowerBook G4 laptop. We have also purchased an AirPort Extreme Base Station. Into the 1 ethernet port on this base station, we have connected and SMC7004VBR router, because the old iMac and the G5 tower are not equipped with wireless. We need to network all these computers. The wireless ones are currently connecting via the network we've set up but the wired ones aren't recognizing it. When I called AppleCare, they thought the problem was with the router assigning its own IP addresses, so I called SMC and they assissted me in disabling the DHCP server in the router. I still can't figure out how to set up the network. Can you help? Thanks.
Tom Bridge (ATPM Staff) · March 20, 2006 - 17:55 EST #113
Hi Sage,

One of the two devices, the SMC or the Airport, must be providing DHCP.

Ideally, the network diagram looks like:

Internet Connection -> WAN port of the Airport (circle of dots)

SMC Router -> LAN port of the Airport ( looks like <..>)

DHCP should be ON on the Airport and OFF on the SMC.
Jason · June 16, 2006 - 00:19 EST #114
I have an intel iMac and loaded bootcamp. When I am running MacOS my windows laptop has no trouble connecting to the internet through the iMac. However when i am running windows on the iMac my laptop cannot see the iMac. When I check my network connections on the iMac through windows it says by boradcom wireless hardware (I assume this is the airport) is not connected. How do I fix this such that my laptopn can use the internet and also transfer/share files?
ATPM Staff · June 16, 2006 - 00:47 EST #115
Jason - it sounds as though you are using internet sharing to let your laptop get online via your iMac. As a Macintosh venue which does not support Windows issues, all we can say is, you must enable internet sharing in the Windows side to accomplish the same thing. You'll need to find a user forum that covers Windows networking for assistance with this.

Regarding "boradcom wireless" and AirPort, we're a little unclear. First of all, AirPort is simply Apple's name for its wireless hardware. It's still 802.11g the same most other devices from other companies. I've never heard of boradcom. Do you have your own wireless router or are you getting wireless from a public source? In either case, the better solution would be to have both machines connect directly to either your own, or a publicly available, router.
Ulysses Q. · July 16, 2006 - 02:16 EST #116
I have an iBook G3 and just purchased and have installed an airport card in, which did not come with any software. There's a wireless router here in my house and it works well with a PC and a Windows laptop. On my iBook the network name comes up and when I click I'm prompted for a password. I know the password and have entered it correctly, but it doesn't seem to work. Any idea what the problem is?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · July 16, 2006 - 16:00 EST #117
Ulysses - which version of Mac OS are you using? If you're on OS X 10.2 or earlier, you must use the hexadecimal key that was calculated by the wireless router, and not the password. This article provides a bit more information. If you are using OS X 10.3 or 10.4, the password algorithm is now compatible, so I'd recommend temporarily disabling password encryption and see if you can get connected. If you still cannot, then the password isn't your problem and you must troubleshoot other aspects of the wireless connection.
Jignesh Panchal · September 12, 2006 - 21:41 EST #118

I am having a Netgear Wireless router, can any one assist me with the firmware/ driver for the same.
At the earilest.
Thankig you
Jignesh Panchal
Katharine · September 22, 2006 - 17:15 EST #119
I have an imac, and use comcast, but it doesn't connect, even though both are close by, and I'm using a router. If it helps, the other computer is a dell.
ATPM Staff · September 22, 2006 - 17:39 EST #120
Katharine - does the Dell have an internet connection through the router? Have you requested help from Comcast?
Nick Gilson · March 18, 2010 - 08:55 EST #121
Hi there,

We have two mac's that work off the airport, but my wife's work pc can't connect. She has all kinds of log on stuff to get onto her work network. Is there something simple that I am not doing? Everyone else can log onto our wireless with their iphone etc. Can someone advise what settings she should use re all of this wpa-psk stuff? Much appreciated.


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