Cover image for Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Network, 3rd Edition

Book description

Make your network fast, reliable, and secure!

Updated August 29, 2013

Updated for Apple's latest 802.11ac AirPort base stations (and yes, the title of this book will have to change soon)!

Find real-world advice from Wi-Fi wizard Glenn Fleishman on setting up a wireless network using Apple's 802.11n- and 802.11ac-enabled AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and Time Capsule base stations. The ebook is packed with directions for enhancing an AirPort network, whether you're replacing an old base station, adding another base station to extend your range, improving your security, connecting a USB-attached printer or drive, or setting up a guest network.

You'll find the answers to questions that may otherwise frustrate you, such as how to choose the best band and channel, set up complex Internet addressing, solve a variety of connection problems, and much more.

Glenn explains how to configure an 802.11n and/or 802.11ac AirPort network using AirPort Utility 6 or AirPort Utility for iOS. (AirPort Utility 6 runs only in 10.7 Lion and later.) The ebook includes a free download of the previous edition (version 2.0), which describes using AirPort Utility 5. (AirPort Utility 5 runs on 10.5 Leopard - 10.7 Lion, as well as on Windows computers.)

"This Take Control book is a must-have for anyone who needs to quickly and easily set up an AirPort network." --Phil Kearney, "father" of Apple's AirPort product line

If you're trying to solve a particular problem, you can jump in and read the topics in this ebook in any order, but if you start at the beginning, you'll learn how Apple's 802.11n and 802.11ac gear fits into the world of Wi-Fi networking.

With that background, you'll learn where to position and how to set up base stations, with diagrams showing common network scenarios--see two examples above--and with step-by-step instructions for configuring key Internet sharing and security options and connecting client computers. For those who have funky Internet connections or tricky IP addressing needs, Glenn provides extended advice for creating a working Wi-Fi network.

Glenn provides real-world directions for important scenarios, including how to:

Create a basic (or not so basic) Wi-Fi network, using Apple's base stations:

  • Set up a wireless network with a single base station, or with multiple base stations - whether you want to extend a network with Ethernet or a wireless connection (or a mix of the two), Glenn examines your options and provides configuration steps. He also touches briefly on powerline connections.

  • Keep your existing network, but replace an older or broken base station with a new one.

  • Export your base station's configuration, either to make a backup or to create a model configuration to use on other base stations.

  • Connect Macs (10.5 Leopard and later), iOS devices, and Windows 7 and 8 computers to your network.

  • Set up reliable and relevant security for your network. Also, add a guest network that gives your guests Internet access while restricting their access to local resources.

Attach peripherals to your network:

  • Add a Wi-Fi or USB-connected printer, and connect to the printer from Mac and Windows computers.

  • Add a USB-attached drive to a Time Capsule or AirPort Extreme, and configure client access.

  • Connect a 2nd- or 3rd-generation Apple TV to your network

Do more networking:

  • Set up a Time Machine backup to a Time Capsule base station.

  • Expand the capabilities of an AirPort Express by setting up audio streaming, trying Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil media streaming utility, or extending your network with ProxySTA.

  • Share files conveniently and wirelessly between Macs with the AirDrop file-transfer feature, plus understand the type of networking that AirDrop uses.

  • Put computers more directly on the Internet with port mapping or a default host.

  • Set up Back to My Mac with iCloud in order to access an AirPort or Time Capsule drive remotely, or to configure your base station remotely.

  • Set up a Software Base Station or do ad-hoc networking.

Understand what's going on and solve problems:

  • Find out what the icon on your Wi-Fi menu means, and discover what the colored light on your base station is trying to tell you.

  • Learn what a MAC address is, plus how to find it. (Hint, 1 Infinite Loop is not the MAC address that you seek.)

  • Read background information about the bands and channels used with Wi-Fi networking, understand how Apple's Wi-Fi gear fits into the picture, and get ideas for how to create an optimal network that avoids interference problems.

  • Understand the differences among AirPort Utility 6 (for Mac), AirPort Utility for iOS, and AirPort Utility 5 (for Mac and Windows). Find a free download link for the previous edition of this ebook, which covers AirPort Utility 5.

  • Learn how to update the firmware in your base station, and how to revert to an older version of your firmware, if necessary.

"If anyone knows about real-world Wi-Fi, it's Glenn Fleishman." --Mark Frauenfelder, co-founder of bOING bOING

Table of Contents

  1. Read Me First
    1. Updates and More
    2. Basics
    3. What’s New in Version 3.2
    4. What Was New in Version 3.1
    5. What Was New in Version 3.0
  2. Introduction
  3. Quick Start to AirPort Networking
  4. Quick Troubleshooting Guide
    1. Reset a Locked-up Base Station
    2. Wi-Fi Network Won’t Assign an IP Address
    3. Other Troubleshooting
  5. Mac Wi-Fi Iconography
  6. Light Reading
  7. Learn Wireless Basics
    1. Adapters and Access Points
    2. The Spectrum Part of Wi-Fi
    3. Wi-Fi and AirPort Flavors
    4. 802.11n Technology (2007)
    5. 802.11ac Networking (2013)
    6. Compatibility among 802.11 Flavors
  8. Wi-Fi Gear from Apple
    1. 802.11n, 802.11ac, and Apple’s Choices
    2. AirPort Base Station Models
    3. AirPort Extreme
    4. Time Capsule
    5. AirPort Express
    6. Adapters in Macs and iOS Devices
  9. Plug In Your Base Station and Get Started
    1. Unpack and Power Up
    2. Use AirPort Utility
    3. View a Network Graphically
    4. Keep Up to Date
    5. Connect to a New Base Station
  10. Set Up a Network
    1. Picture Your Scenario
    2. New Network, Single Base Station
    3. Extend a Network via Ethernet or Wi-Fi
    4. Replace an Existing Base Station
    5. Create Separately Named 2.4 and 5 GHz Networks
    6. Configure IPv6 Networking
  11. Pick the Right Place and the Right Channel
    1. Spectrum Trade-offs
    2. Throughput
    3. Compatibility
    4. Channels
    5. Pick Compatibility and Set a Channel
    6. Set the Radio Mode (802.11n Only)
    7. Set the Channel
    8. Pick the Right Place
    9. General Testing Advice
    10. Testing from Client to Base Station
    11. Testing from Base Station to Client
  12. Advanced Networking
    1. Get a WAN Address
    2. Dynamic Addressing
    3. Static Addressing
    4. Hand Out LAN Addresses
    5. Dynamic Private Addresses
    6. Dynamic Public Addresses
    7. Reserved Addresses
    8. Passthrough and Bridging
  13. Connect Your Devices
    1. Connect in Mac OS X
    2. Find a Network and Connect
    3. Manage Network Profiles
    4. Refine Your Connection Options
    5. Learn from the Wi-Fi Menu
    6. Disconnect
    7. Connect in iOS
    8. Connect in Windows 7
    9. Connect in Windows 8
  14. AirPort Express Extras
    1. Stream Audio with AirPlay
    2. Set Up AirPlay
    3. Play Any Audio from Mountain Lion or Later
    4. Play Music with iTunes Using AirPlay
    5. Play Music in iOS
    6. Share with Airfoil
    7. Connect to Any Base Station
  15. Connect Multiple Base Stations
    1. Know the Basics
    2. Add Access Points via Ethernet
    3. Set Up a Main Wired Base Station
    4. Set Up Additional Wired Base Stations
    5. Bridge Wirelessly
    6. How It Works
    7. Distribute Wirelessly
  16. Reach Your Network Remotely
    1. Know Your Options
    2. Map Ports for Remote Access
    3. NAT Maps Private to Public Connections
    4. Port Mapping Maps Public to Private Connections
    5. Punch Through with NAT-PMP
    6. Set a Default Host for Full Access
    7. Access a Base Station via iCloud
  17. Set Up a Shared Printer
    1. Add a Printer
    2. Add a Wi-Fi Printer Using WPS
    3. Add a Shared Printer in Mac OS X
    4. Add a Shared Printer in Windows
    5. Add a Shared Printer Using Bonjour
    6. Add a Shared Printer in Windows 7
    7. Add a Shared Printer in Windows 8
    8. Troubleshoot an Unavailable Shared USB Printer
  18. Set Up a Shared USB Disk
    1. Prepare Your Drive
    2. View and Manage Connected Volumes
    3. Work with Time Capsule
    4. Time Machine Backups
    5. Disk Integrity
    6. Erase
    7. Grant Access
    8. Gain Access
    9. Mount in Mac OS X
    10. Mount in Windows
  19. Share Files with AirDrop
    1. What Makes AirDrop Tick
    2. Transfer Files with AirDrop
  20. Secure Your Network
    1. Simple Tricks That Don’t Work
    2. Use Built-in Encryption
    3. WPA & WPA2 Background
    4. Turn On WPA/WPA2 or WPA2 Personal
    5. Turn On WPA/WPA2 or WPA2 Enterprise
    6. Set Up Guest Networking
  21. Overcome Interference
    1. Do Some Basic Testing
    2. Try a Solution
  22. Appendix A: Apple TV and Wi-Fi
  23. Appendix B: Configuration Files
  24. Appendix C: Setting Up a Software Base Station
    1. Software Base Station
    2. Frequency
    3. Security
    4. Starting Up Software Base Station
    5. Ad Hoc Networking
  25. Appendix D: Channels Explained
    1. 2.4 GHz Channels
    2. 5 GHz Channels
  26. Appendix E: What and Where Is a MAC Address?
  27. About This Book
    1. Ebook Extras
    2. About the Author
    3. Acknowledgments
    4. About the Publisher
    5. Credits
  28. Copyright and Fine Print
  29. Featured Titles