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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

Airport Express, Netgear Routers and WPA

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Hi everybody

I'm new to this forum, but I've been a happy Mac user for a year now, with a 17" PB and (recently) Tiger. I have tried searching this forum for some clues to my question, but no luck, so hopefully someone out there will be able to offer some advice!

I am using a Netgear 834G 802.11G wireless router with WPA personal encryption, and it works beautifully. I have also set the router to issue only 3 IP addresses (enough for my equipment and no-one elses's!) and to issue them to specific devices. I have also set it to only allow trusted devices to connect wirelessly.

A few months ago I bought a "refreshed" Airport Express from the Apple Store in London. I want to use it to extend the range of my existing wireless connection and to stream iTunes music. However, when I tried the setup I ended up in a horrendous mess, and never got it working properly.

I put it down to the fact that there was something wrong with the Airport Express (it still had someone else's configuration loaded and I had to reset it!). I ended up disabling all the protection I had set up on the router, leaving it wide open to anyone else to abuse, but even then I couldn't get the AE to talk to my router.

I managed to get Airtunes working, but in order to use it I had to change my wireless connection to the AE, and because I couldn't get AE to talk to my Netgear router, I lost my connection to the Internet. During the configuration I was getting messages saying that my computer did not support WPA encryption (which was some news to me, considering I've been using it for months!)

I took the unit back to the store and got a refund, but I'm kind of itching to get another one and try again. Before I do though, and waste a whole load of time (and hair) trying to get it to hook up to the router, I thought I'd ask if anyone else has been in this situation and how to deal with it. Basically, what I need to know is:

1. Does Airport Express support WPA personal encryption or not? If so, how do I set it up to communicate with my router? I presume I have to add it as a trusted device in the router's config, but what else would I need to do?

2. If the answer to 1. is no, is there a way to leave the Mac connected directly to the Netgear router for Internet use (via the secured route) and still use the Airport Express to stream iTunes?

I'd appreciate any advice you can give. My credit card is twitching (more Apple equipment!), but as I said, I don't want to waste any more time if AE isn't going to do what I need.


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Member Since: Dec 08, 2009
Location: Bournemouth, UK
Posts: 59
Big_Mac is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Mac 27" 2.66 GHz Intel Core 4Gb Ram|SL|Dual Band 1TB TC|AEX(n)|iPhone 4|iTouch 2G|160GB ATV|MBA

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This is a ye olde' post but, if i'd seen this when i was first starting out - it would've helped mods...

I am a recent Apple convert (personal use) but have dealt with enterprise issues for years....

Firstly, Netgear is not the the best option for integrating with an apple network (of any flavour), only a couple of Modem/Router vendors have seen the light, which is Apple of course - the best option with any Netgear modem/router (i'm guessing probably a ADSL modem/wireless router sort bought at PCWorld or 'free' from ISPs) is to (a) turn off the wireless AP (Access Point) option and use solely as a modem (i.e. from your A/DSL filter/phoneline to the box you are staring at, (aka 'the router') and plug an ethernet cable into an airport extreme Base Station or TC (dual band preferably) and follow the user guide, or straight into an AEX(n) (Airport Express (n)) via ethernet and use in 'bridge mode' to create a wireless network from your A/DSL router...,

Or, create two networks: one on the 'n' range for Macs (and capable hardware) using the TC (option available in the preferences menu), and then create a separate a/g/b network using the original router (switching the modem/wireless AP (Access Point) back on - with separate name to your 'N' class network)

Regardless of all of the above, and apart from Death & taxes, there are a two things that are certain:

1) You can join an AEx (n), or TC (dual band) to an apple network successfully for:
- streaming Airtunes (without snags) to your bedroom speakers etc.,, or 'extending'/'creating' an existing apple network as setup via a TC or AAEX, or providing maximum performance for 'n' ready hardware
2) Mixing networks and configurations is problematic - i love the innovation of Apple but am left aghast at their delaying/ arrogance in fixing common/repeatedly reported issues with Airport (etc) related bugs...
3) Mods - is there a 'Beta' suggestions box?!

if you live in middle earth, and the only local Apple store is London - don't fret, PM me and i will talk you through how i setup my network/system...
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