• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint

AirPort

AirPort is Apple’s wireless local area network technology. It enables your computer to connect to a network or the Internet via radio waves instead of wires.

Most AirPort configurations consist of two components:

  • AirPort Base Station is an external device that can connect to a network via Ethernet cable or can act as a modem for connecting to the Internet via phone lines.

  • AirPort card is a networking card inside your computer that enables your computer to communicate with a base station or another AirPort-equipped computer.

There are two ways to use AirPort for wireless networking:

  • Use an AirPort-equipped computer to connect to other AirPort-equipped computers.

  • Use a base station to link an AirPort-equipped computer to the Internet or to other computers on a network. This makes it possible for a computer with an AirPort card to communicate with computers without AirPort cards.

Mac OS X includes two programs for setting up an AirPort network (Figure 36):

Figure 36. The Utilities folder includes a number of utility applications for working with networks.


  • AirPort Setup Assistant offers an easy, step-by-step approach for configuring a base station. In most cases, this is the only tool you’ll need to set up a base station.

  • AirPort Admin Utility enables you to set advanced options that cannot be set with the AirPort Setup Assistant.

This part of the chapter explains how to configure an AirPort base station and connect to an AirPort network with an AirPort-equipped computer.

Tips

  • AirPort is especially useful for PowerBook and iBook users who may work at various locations within range of a base station.

  • An AirPort network can include multiple base stations and AirPort-equipped computers.

  • You can learn more about AirPort networking at Apple’s AirPort home page, www.apple.com/airport/.


To set up an AirPort base station

1.
Open the AirPort Setup Assistant icon in the Utilities folder (Figure 36) inside the Applications folder.

2.
The AirPort Setup Assistant uses the computer’s AirPort card to scan for base stations. It then displays the Introduction window (Figure 37). Select the Set up an AirPort Base Station radio button and click Continue.

Figure 37. In the Introduction window, tell the Assistant what you want to do.


3.
The America Online Access window appears next (Figure 38).

Figure 38. The Assistant asks whether AOL is your ISP.


  • If America Online is not your Internet service provider, select the first radio button and continue following instructions with step 4.

  • If America Online is your Internet service provider, select the second radio button and skip ahead to step 7.

4.
The Internet Access window appears next (Figure 39). Select the radio button for the type of Internet access you have and click Continue.

Figure 39. Indicate how you connect to the Internet.


5.
The window that appears next depends on what you selected in Step 4:

  • If you selected Telephone Modem, the Modem Access window appears (Figure 40). Enter information needed to access the Internet via modem.

    Figure 40. If the AirPort base station’s modem will provide Internet access, enter the information it will need to dial in and connect to the Internet.

  • If you selected Local Area Network (LAN) or Cable Modem or DSL using static IP or DHCP, the Ethernet Access window appears (Figure 41). Enter information needed to access the Internet via LAN or cable modem.

    Figure 41. If you’ll be connecting to the Internet via LAN and Ethernet, enter network information.

  • If you selected Cable Modem or DSL using PPP over Ethernet (PPPoE), the PPPoE Access window appears (Figure 42). Enter the information needed to access the Internet via PPPoE.

    Figure 42. If you’ll be connecting to the Internet via PPPoE, enter login information.

6.
Click Continue and skip ahead to step 8.

7.
The America Online Access window changes to display options for setting up an AOL account (Figure 43). Enter dialup information and click Continue.

Figure 43. If you’ll be connecting to the Internet via AOL, enter dialup information.


8.
The Network Name and Password window appears next (Figure 44). Enter a name for the network in the Network Name box and then enter the same password in each of the Password boxes.

Figure 44. Enter a name and password for the AirPort network.


9.
The Base Station Password window appears next (Figure 45). Select one of the options and click Continue:

Figure 45. Indicate whether the base station should have a different password than the AirPort network.


  • Use the same password uses the same password for the base station as you entered for the AirPort network.

  • Assign a separate password enables you to enter a different password for the Base Station than the AirPort network. When you click Continue, a different Base Station Password window appears (Figure 46). Enter the same password in each box and click Continue.

    Figure 46. If you want the base station to have a different password, enter it twice here.

10.
The Conclusion window appears next (Figure 47). Click Continue.

Figure 47. The first Conclusion window tells you the assistant is ready to configure the base station.


Wait while the settings are copied to the base station and the station is reset.

11.
The second Conclusion window summarizes what was done (Figure 48). Click Done.

Figure 48. The second Conclusion window tells you what has been done.


Tips

  • You can only use the AirPort Setup Assistant on a computer with an AirPort card installed. If a card is not installed, the Assistant will tell you (Figure 49).

    Figure 49. You must use the AirPort Setup Assistant on a computer that has an AirPort card installed.

  • If your base station has already been configured, after step 2, you may be prompted to enter the Network and Base Station passwords. Enter the correct passwords as required in the windows that appear (Figure 50) and click Continue. Then continue with step 3.

    Figure 50. If the base station has already been set up, you’ll have to enter network and base station passwords to access it.

  • If your Airport Base Station was used with a previous version of Mac OS, a dialog sheet may appear after step 2, telling you that its software must be updated. Click Update to update the software.

  • In step 5, you can get the access information you need from your ISP or network administrator.

  • In step 7, you can get the access information you need from your AOL software’s dialup configuration settings.

  • If you are the only user of your AirPort network, it’s okay to have the same password for the network as the base station. But if multiple users will be using the network, you should assign a different password to the base station to prevent other users from changing base station settings.


To set up an AirPort-equipped computer to access an AirPort network

1.
Open the AirPort Setup Assistant icon in the Utilities folder (Figure 36) inside the Applications folder.

2.
The AirPort Setup Assistant uses the computer’s AirPort card to scan for base stations. It then displays the Introduction window (Figure 37). Select the Set up your computer to join an existing AirPort network radio button, and click Continue.

3.
The Enter Network Password window appears next (Figure 50). Enter the password for the AirPort network and click Continue.

4.
In the Conclusion window that appears, click Continue.

5.
The Assistant sets your computer to access the network and reports its results in the Conclusion window (Figure 51). Click Done.

Figure 51. At the end of the setup process, the Assistant tells you what it has done.


To set up an AirPort base station as a bridge between AirPort & Ethernet networks

1.
Open the AirPort Admin Utility icon in the Utilities folder (Figure 36) inside the Applications folder.

2.
The AirPort Admin Utility displays a list of base stations in the Select Base Station window (Figure 52).

Figure 52. This window lists all of the base stations connected to the Ethernet network.


3.
Select the name of the base station you want to configure as a bridge.

4.
Click Configure.

5.
In the dialog sheet that appears (Figure 53), enter the password for the base station and click OK.

Figure 53. Enter the base station password.


6.
A configuration window with the base station name appears. Click the Network tab to display its options (Figure 54).

Figure 54. The Network tab of the AirPort Admin Utility’s configuration window.


7.
Turn off the Distribute IP addresses check box. All options turn gray and the Enable AirPort to Ethernet bridging check box is turned on.

8.
Click Update.

9.
Wait while the base station restarts (Figure 55). When it is finished, click OK.

Figure 55. A status bar appears while the base station is restarting.


Tips

  • You can only use the AirPort Admin Utility on a computer that is connected to the AirPort base station via network. If the base station is not on the network, the Select Base Station window will be empty.

  • If a warning dialog sheet appears after step 8, click OK to dismiss it.

  • A base station used as a bridge does not provide Internet sharing services. However, Internet services available via the Ethernet network become available to AirPort network users.


To connect to an Ethernet network from an AirPort-equipped computer

1.
Choose Apple > System Preferences (Figure 2), or click the System Preferences icon in the Dock (Figure 3).

2.
In the System Preferences window that appears (Figure 1), click the Network icon in the toolbar or in the Internet & Network row.

3.
In the Network preferences pane that appears, choose AirPort from the Show pop-up menu (Figure 56).

Figure 56. Choose AirPort from the Show pop-up menu.


4.
If necessary, click the AppleTalk tab to display its options (Figure 5).

5.
Turn on the Make AppleTalk Active check box.

6.
Click the AirPort tab to display its options (Figure 57).

Figure 57. The AirPort tab of the Network preferences pane.


7.
Select one of the radio buttons to determine how the computer should connect to the AirPort network:

  • Join network with best signal tells the computer to find the AirPort network with the strongest signal and connect to that.

  • Join most recently used available network tells the computer to join the last network it was connected to, if it is available. If you turn on the Remember network password check box, the computer automatically logs in with its network password.

  • Join a specific network tells the computer to join the network you select from the Network pop-up menu. Be sure to enter the network password in the Password box.

8.
If necessary, click Apply Now.

9.
Choose System Preferences > Quit System Preferences, or press .

Tips

  • For this to work, your AirPort base station must be configured as a bridge as instructed in the previous section.

  • If you turn on the Allow this computer to create networks check box, the computer can create its own computer-to-computer network with other AirPort-enabled computers.

  • If you turn on the Show AirPort status in menu bar check box in the AirPort tab of the Network preferences pane (Figure 57), a menu that displays the AirPort signal strength and offers options appears in the menu bar (Figure 58).

    Figure 58. The AirPort menu in the menu bar shows signal strength (in the menu bar icon) and offers options for working with AirPort networks.

  • To access other computers on the network, follow the instructions in the section titled “To connect to another computer for file sharing” earlier in this chapter.


  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint