How To

Set Up a Simple WiFi Network Using an AirPort Extreme Base Station

Share an internet connection and 1 Printer with several Macs & PCs

Things you will need:

A high-speed ethernet cable modem or router connected to your ISP; or a dial-up landline phone.

AirPort Extreme Base Station w/ modem
---See Airport Base Station Guide - 5 models
---See technical spec comparisons of Apple Base Stations, Wireless Cards and Ports

Ports on back of AEBS (A1034)

USB Printer

Macs or PCs with a WiFi card in each (802.11b or g)

Setup Steps For Airport Extreme Base Station

01. Reset AEBS to Factory Defaults.
(read Apple instructions for all soft, hard and factory default resets)
---With AEBS unplugged, use a ballpoint pen to press and hold the Reset button on back.
---Replug AEBS while still pressing the reset button.
---After about 5 seconds, the middle light on front of AEBS will begin to flash rapidly.
---Release Reset Button - AEBS has been reset to Factory Defaults.

02. Power up AEBS, Macs and PC.
03. On a Mac, open AirPort Setup Assistant.
---Go > Utilities > AirPort Setup Assistant
---The base station will be automatically detected.
---Follow the steps to give your new network and base station a name and password (or just leave it default for now).
---Close Airport Setup Assistant.
04. Next open AirPort Admin Utility.
---Go > Utilities > AirPort Admin Utility
---(NOTE: If you are using OSX 10.7 or 10.8 (Lion or Mt.Lion), download AP Utility 5.6 for Lion to configure AEBS since AP Utility 6.1 does not recognize older base stations. You might need to use free-trial app Pacifist to extract PKG in 10.8 - read how here).

05. Select your Base Station by name, then click Configure.

06. Enter your Password if asked. (the default password is 'public')

07. Under AirPort tab, type a new name for your base station. (or leave it generic - i.e. Base Station ed1d01)

08. Under AirPort tab, type a new name for your network. (or leave it generic - i.e. Apple Network ed1d01)
---Leave the box for Create a closed network unchecked

09. Under AirPort tab, select the Wireless Security preferred.
---WPA2 Personal is best, as long as all connected computers are WPA2-compatible.
---Macs must use OSX 10.3 or higher, Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or higher
---Channel : Automatic Mode: match types of WiFi cards to be used
---Wireless Options: Leave Multicast at 1 Transmitter Power: use only as much as necessary

10. Everything else under remaining tabs should be OK.
---Internet | Network | Port Mapping | Access Control | WDS

11. Open Network
---Apple > System Preferences > Network

12. In Location box, select Automatic.

13. In Show box, Network Status should show your network.

14. In Show box, select AirPort.

15. Check box to show AP status in desktop menu bar.
---Note: the number of bars fluctuate depending on several activities of Base Station in OS 10.4
---In pre-Tiger systems, the bars indicted only signal strength.
---If the modem does not readily connect but keeps going in an endless dial up, you must manually reset the modem by pulling out the Power Plug of the Base Station, then replug it. Takes about a minute.

16. In Show box, select Network Port Configurations.
---Check all Ports you might use to connect to the internet or other devices.
---Arrange them in the order of preference by dragging.

17. For high speed internet access, connect to your ISP.
---Plug the Cat5 ethernet cable from your ISP cable modem into the AEBS WAN port.
---Unplug/replug both router and AEBS.
---Within a minute, this should automatically connect you to internet.
---Launch your internet browser to verify that you are connected.

18. For 56k dial-up internet access, connect to your ISP.
---Plug your telephone line into the AEBS modem port.
---Click on AirPort dialup icon in desktop Menu at top right.
---Find your Network Name and click 'Connect'.
---Base Station modem will dial your ISP number.
---After you connect, your time connected is displayed.
---Launch Browser or Mail applications.
---To end your call, click 'Disconnect'

19. Power up Printer from AC outlet. Plug it into USB port on Base Station.

20. Open Printer Setup Utility.
---Go > Utilities > Printer Setup Utilities
21. If the Printer List Box is empty, click Add.

22. Rendezvous (now called Bonjour) will automatically detect any printer connected via a wireless system.

23. Select your printer and close window.

24. Open an application such as TextEdit.
---Type a period and print it.
---First time might take 15-30 seconds for data to transfer through AirPort to printer.

Other Notes:
---Up to 50 computers can simultaneously be on-line via the Base Station.
---Range of Base Station is up to 150 feet, depending on walls, metal and other wireless devices.
---Directions for resetting all models of Apple Base Stations can be found here.
---Find I.D. number (Mac Address) on AirPort Extreme Base Station here.
---How to set up WDS (Wireless Distribution Network) to extend the range of two or more A1034 base stations.

More 'How to' Topics

Apple Routers - All Models to 2017 (Manuals, Resets)


Hammondsport Mac Users Group - Hammondsport, NY 14840 -