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It's easy to jump online and be productive with Mac OS X, but it's also easy to stop there. Many users haven't explored the depth and richness of this powerful operating system and the applications that come with it. In Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Beyond the Basics, Chris Breen helps those who are already comfortable with Mac OS X discover new features in everyday applications like Mail, iCal, and Safari. He also explores the often overlooked "power user" tools, including Terminal, Disk Utility, and Automator, and provides troubleshooting and maintenance tips.
AirPort Utility is use to manage your AirPort Wireless Base Station, because it's called AirPort Utility it's likely found in the Utilities folder and sure enough, here it is, open it up here. In the past, Apple, who did couple of different AirPort Utilities including AirPort Admin Utility and AirPort Disk Utility. It's all gathered together in this one application now. I am not going to go into every nook and cranny of AirPort Networking but I can offer the basics of what this does. In this lesson, we are going to look at configuring an AirPort Express and here you see our AirPort Base Stations along left side, little express and these are both AirPort Extremes, we are going to configure the little guide, to do that we simply click Continue and walk through the setup.
This will ask us a series of questions. First we are going to name our AirPort. I will call this For Leopard Beyond the Basics. I need an AirPort Express password. This is the password that you will use in order to configure the AirPort at another time if you need to and we click Continue. Now, you have another question to answer. The first one is you currently already have a wireless network and you would simple like to add an AirPort Express to it or replace an existing device on my network.
We don't want to do that instead what we want to do is I don't have a wireless network and I want to create one and this is how we will go. Select that option and click Continue, here we name the network and this is what people will see when they are accessing the wireless network. Here also are your encryptions settings. Now, if you choose No Security, this means that your wireless network is open to anybody, who happens by within range with a wireless device. So for example, somebody comes by with a laptop, if your network is open, they can access it and they can share your bandwidth.
This may not be such a good idea. First of all some people pay extra for more bandwidth and you may incur greater cost so that also it's not terribly secure. If people are really smart, they might find a way to get into your computer and do stuff with it that you prefer that they not do, so it's a good idea to have some kind of encryption on. Next level up is 128 bit WAP. This is more compatible with older wireless computers and devices, but it's not the strongest encryption in the world WPA/WPA2Personal and that's the strongest security that AirPort currently offers.
One thing you have to know about this is when entering a password, your password must be between 8 and 63 characters. I can't believe you are going to enter 63 characters, but if you want to knock yourself out, I am not going to, I will enter something shorter and we click Continue. Now, at this point you have to tell the AirPort, how you use an IP address and you have two options, one is you connect to the Internet with a DSL or Cable Modem and it's already assigning DHCP addresses.
What this means is that you have some kind of modem at your house, you have broadband coming in, that device then says okay, this is my IP address, but I am going to send out other IP addresses around two devices on my network and this is the way you would set up the AirPort Express if you wanted to do this or if you have a Static IP, I do not use DHCP instead I am going to use my AirPort as the router. It will then distribute addresses throughout my network. In our case, we are going to use DHCP, that's the option I choose and I click Continue.
At this point, you get a little summary of what AirPort Express is configured to do, looks good to me so I will click Update and after a few minutes it will be ready to go. This just tells you, it's going to be offline for a while, go have a cup of coffee or cup of tea and when you get back, it will be ready to go. And congratulations you are done, you return with your coffee and everything is set up and ready to go. So all you have to do is click Done, because you are, and that concludes setting up an AirPort Base Station.
In our next lesson, we are going to dig down into the guts of an AirPort Base Station, by clicking the Manual Setup button.
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