How to hook up a desktop, cable modem, and airport express

cack1229

Registered
Please accept my apologies if this question is already answered in the forums....I have searched until it feels like my eyes are bleeding without luck.
I am trying to connect an Airport Express to my desktop so that my mom can share my internet connection on her laptop. I have cable internet with the ethernet going from my computer to the cable modem. The problem I am facing is that my cable modem only has one ethernet port and the AE needs it, too. How can I make this work?? Do I need additional cables, equipment, etc.??

If it helps, I have an iMac desktop and my mom has a MacBook Pro; both are not the latest version but the one before that.
Please help.
 

DeltaMac

Tech
No need to "share" the connection from your iMac. The Airport Express will take care of that for you.
Just connect ethernet from your cable modem to the Airport Express, then use wireless on both your iMac, and your mom's laptop.

I assume you don't have the current Airport Express, which has both a WAN and LAN ethernet port (basically ethernet-IN from the cable modem, then ethernet-OUT to your iMac), so you can continue to use your iMac with ethernet, if you prefer - and also connect your mom's MBPro wirelessly from the Airport Express.

Either way - connect the Airport Express to your cable modem, then run the Airport Utility (in your Applications/Utilities folder), and use the automatic setup (or read the help files from that airport utility) to setup the Express to do what you need.

Lots of info here: http://www.apple.com/support/airport/basestations/
 

cack1229

Registered
The sales person at the Mac store (not an Apple store) told me that I have the newest version of AE; it has a WAN ethernet port and another ethernet port to use. If I am reading your post correctly, it seems as if I should be able to access the internet without the ethernet wire plugged into my desktop (?). When I do that, I can't get on the internet with either the desktop or the laptop. It also sounds like I should buy another ethernet wire and just connect from the desktop to the AE (?) I did attempt to do the automatic setup through Airport Utility and it wouldn't finish without an internet connection. :confused:
 

DeltaMac

Tech
Sure, you have a built-in Wi-Fi card in your iMac. Go to your System Preferences/Network pane, and click on Wi-Fi (or Airport on older Mac systems), and make sure the box "Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar" is checked. You should have the Wi-Fi icon in your menu bar, and you can click on that menu to make sure that your Wi-Fi is turned on. You'll also see a list of your available networks.
You won't connect to your Express, until you create a wireless network, by following the setup steps in the Airport Utility.
Connect your Airport Express WAN port to your cable modem (with ethernet). You SHOULD be able to setup the Express now, wirelessly. That will create a network on the Express, which you will be able to see from your mom's MBPro, under the Wi-Fi menu. Choose the new network that you just created, and your mom will be on wireless, too.

There's a lot of good info that can help you on that link that I provided.

If you struggle with getting the Express set up, then run a second ethernet cable from your iMac to the Express, and try again.
If nothing else works, you could ALSO call 1-800-MY-APPLE for support in setting up your new Express.
 

cack1229

Registered
Thanks so much for your help. I am able to set up the network but still can't get internet access so I will go tomorrow and purchase an ethernet cable. Fingers crossed. :)
 

TuckerdogAVL

Registered
Just doing some research and maybe you can help with my 2002 computer....

I have a macbookpro that is online through a netgear router. I had to go the "route" (sorry, pun not intended) as I needed to get a netgear extender for the modem signal to get to the back of the house.

I have a 2002 quicksilver in the basement.
I have an old 2009 Airport Express (the little box thing).
The netgear router has two open ethernet ports.
So does the extender.
These are not old, they are 2012.*

Is there a way....

To connect online using the airport express or just going through the netgear from the basement computer? It's 2002. 10.4.8. I want to use it to take some photos of stuff in the basement, then upload to ebay that sort of thing, so it doesn't matter how long it takes, etc. I just would like to get some more use out of the computer before I either take the harddrives out and use them for storage or donate.

(I do have the speakers and I don't know what to do with them...they're probably worth more than the computer and the cinema display).

But...back to the question.

Any thoughts? I remember when I had the airport, I had to specify the actual computer ids for security. I don't recall doing that with the netgear. I will check after I make this post... maybe I just need to add the computer to a "white list."

But I thought that if I just started the wifi on the 2002 that when it asked for the router password it would work. It doesn't. And I have no idea about LEAP, etc. I do know that it is WEP security, but if I play back and forth between the two routers (the router and the extender), WPA2 personal comes up as a choice, but if I try to use that I instantly get the "try again" notice. (At least when I try with just WEP it spins before nothing happens).

And, is there a way to create a computer to computer network that would let me get on the web from the other computer downstairs if it could talk with the computer upstairs? I guess that's impossible unless the 2002 can get online somehow.
 
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DeltaMac

Tech
I see lots of old Macs with Airport cards that either refuse to connect to modern wireless routers, or are really flaky with that connection.
You COULD test by turning OFF security on your router (making an open connection), just to see if that will allow the old Airport card to connect.
The security protocol (WEP, WPA2, etc) is set in your router, and the wireless card has to support that protocol if it is going to connect.
That means if your router (your wireless network) is set for a WPA2 connection, then the wireless card (your Airport card in the old PowerMac) has to support connecting to that protocol. You can't just choose a random protocol - it has to match up with the security level on the wireless network.
So, see if you have any chance at all, by turning security OFF on the router, then try a wireless connection from your old Mac.
That will mean that your router's wireless is unprotected - if it will connect, and you want to use it that way. Keep in mind that wifi is very short range, and no one is likely to be able to connect to your wireless, even unprotected, if your house is more than 50 - 75 feet away from other dwellings. If you are in an apartment, or townhouse, and lots of other wireless networks are available, then that's probably not a good choice. and you'll need to connect some other way (and, of course, leave your router's wireless security turned on)
Best connection on the old Mac in the basement? If you can't really get the wireless to connect, and the "extender" is close to the old Mac, then run ethernet from the extender to old Mac. That will make a good connection, so you can share files, etc.
Or, if that's not quite practical because of location, you may be able to run ethernet from your main router to the old Mac.

Be sure to update your 10.4.8 system to the last version, which is 10.4.11
That will be a good test for your internet connection on the old Mac, and will end up updating a lot of the system - at least as far as the 10.4.11 system gets you...
And, you can always download the last combined updater, then copy that off to the old Mac through whatever disk you have, and update that way - it's still available: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL170
 

TuckerdogAVL

Registered
You'll love this. I took the Airport Express from 2009 and stuck in in the netgear router. Then plugged it in and waited to see if it would go from flashing amber to green. It did!

Went downstairs and, lo and behold, the network shows up. So, I choose it and of course I'm asked for the password. Sort of like remembering an old phone number, for some reason, after about ten attempts, I remembered the password. I'm getting 3/5 bars, and it isn't the quickest, but I got on with no problem.

So, I thought, well, let's see if it works for the extender (which is closer to the computer in the basement if you go through the floor :)

I haven't been down there yet to see if there's a difference, but the APE is showing up as a network choice on my Macbookpro.

I'm assuming it's still the same old security that was on there in the past....hopefully... is there anyway to check that? I guess I could try running the airport utility and see what shows up....

PS Oddly, I swear the "About this Mac" said 10.4.8, but it should be 10.4.11. I updated years ago, but I'll doublecheck. Thanks for the link.
 
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DeltaMac

Tech
You can see what security level is used by your wireless network:
Go to your System Preferences/Network pane.
Click on the Airport in the list of network connections, then click on the Advanced button.
You should see a window showing your "preferred networks"
The line showing your network should also show the security level.
If there is MORE than one network in that list, you can drag your own network to the top of the list. That will probably help give you a more reliable connection, and often will connect faster. If there's only the one, don't worry about that.
 
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