Can I use AirPort Base Station with XRouter?

Our Routers, MIH-120/MIH-130/MIH-130A/PR-100, can all be used in conjunction with Apple's Airport in order to allow a mixture of hardwired and wireless clients to access both each other and the Internet. The configuration is quite easy, but this article does assume that you've read the instruction manual for both the Router and the Airport, and that you've already properly configured your Router to connect to your Internet Service Provider.

Step 1: Connecting the hardware

Use a standard "straight-through" CAT-5 Ethernet cable to run a connection from the Airport's Ethernet port to any LAN port on the router. If you choose port #4 on the router, please make sure the sliding switch is set to "][" and not "X". Once this connection has been made, verify that there is an amber link light on the display of the Router corresponding to the port in which the cable is connected.

Step 2: Configuring your Router to work with the Airport

The Router requires no special configuration to work with the Airport; simply verify that you can connect to the Internet when directly connected to the router with the computer. If you are unclear on how to do this, please refer to your Router Users Manual for details.

Step 3: Configuring your Airport base station to work with the Router

With every release of the Airport Admin Utility, Apple has improved both functionality and the user interface, so we recommend downloading the latest version from their website and installing it.

When you use the Airport Admin Utility to log into your Airport base station, you will see the "Configure Base Station" menu, which will have several tabs: Airport, Internet, Network and Access Control. To Configure the Airport to work with the Router, we will only be interested in the Internet tab, which determines how the Airport will get its IP address from the Router, and the Network tab, which determines how wireless computers will get their IP addresses.

Step 4: Configuring the Airport's Internet connection

You'll notice that the information presented under the Internet tab looks very similar to your Mac's TCP/IP control panel. Like the TCP/IP control panel, you have the ability to choose how you want your Airport to connect to the Internet. To connect the Airport to the Router, you should select "Connect using: Ethernet" from the pull-down menu.

The other pull-down menu asks you how you want TCP/IP for the Airport configured. The best way to correctly set this up is to select the option for "Configure TCP/IP: Manually". Then input a unique Static IP such as 192.168.1.x where x is any value between 2 and 253. Enter the Subnet Mask (255.255.255.0), Router Address (192.168.1.1) and Domain Name Server addresses, which must be obtained from your ISP. The Domain Name should be left blank unless specified by your ISP. Click “Update” to load these new settings into your Apple Base Station.

Step 5: Configuring the Airport's Network connection

The various options listed on the Airport's Admin Utility's Network tab can be confusing enough to someone who is not familiar with TCP/IP and networking in general that they probably provide Apple's Technical
Support department the bulk of their workload.

The easiest way to configure this to work with your Router is to leave the box marked "Distribute IP addresses" unchecked. This will have the effect of having the Router's DHCP server supply your wireless computers with their IP addresses and automate the entire process for you.

When you leave this button unchecked, Apple has a message, which says, "Client computers on the network must configure TCP/IP manually" at the bottom of the Network screen. Apple places this message there because it is assuming a direct connection to an ISP, and is not assuming that there is a DHCP server (your Router) connected to it.

Note: While there are other ways to configure the Airport's Network section and still get an internet connection, we have presented here what we feel is the simplest and best method.

Conclusion

At this point all that needs to be completed is to configure the wireless clients'
TCP/IP control panel. For the field "Connect via: ", you’ll need to choose your wireless LAN card and then choose "Configure: using DHCP". Wireless clients will now be able to browse the web as well as use AppleTalk to transfer files to Macs or print to printers connected directly to the router. It is suggested to input the proper Domain Name Server addresses into the TCP/IP control panel.


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