Last updated by Andrew Baker
Apple’s AirPort Extreme is a fully featured Wi-Fi base station that provides the latest dual-band wireless networking using the 802.11ac specification. The 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) network will support older b,g, and n devices at up to 100 Mbps while the 5 GHz network will provide the best experience for newer AC and N devices at up to 300 Mbps. For the fastest speed, we recommend using Cat6 Ethernet to connect your devices to one of the three LAN ethernet ports whenever possible.
- Dual Band 2.4GHz b/g/n and 5GHz a/n/ac wireless capabilities
- Capable of up to 500 Mbps on 5GHz with supported devices in optimal conditions
- 3-port Ethernet gateway
- USB host for network-attached storage
Using the Airport Utility
- On a Mac, start the airport utility by searching for it in spotlight. You can also find it in Applications > utilities. If you're using a windows PC, download the airport utility installer from Apple, install it, and run it by searching for airport in the start menu.
- Select your AirPort Extreme from the drop-down menu in the top-left and click Continue. If you don’t see the AirPort Extreme you want to configure, choose it from the Wi-Fi status menu in the menu bar.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to create a new network.
- Ensure the ONT and the Airport both have power
- Attempt a direct wired connection to the Airport
- Ensure the client device is getting an IP address from the Airport
On a Mac:
- Open terminal (CMD + Space to open spotlight, then type terminal)
- Run ifconfig
- Ensure there is a value for inet and it is in the same subnet as the Airport
- Using Command Prompt:
- Win+R to open run prompt
- Type cmd and press enter
- Run ipconfig
- Find the appropriate interface’s heading. For a wired connection, it will look something like Ethernet Adapter Local Connection or for a Wi-Fi connection, Wireless LAN adapter. There will likely be a lot of text and you may have to scroll with your mouse wheel to find the right one.
- Ensure there is a value for IPV4 address and it is within the same subnet as the gateway. Hint: look at the first three octets; make sure those of the gateway match those of the client device
- Using Network Properties:
- Right click on the network icon in the system tray
- Select Open Network and Sharing Center
- Under View your active networks, click on the Local Area Connection link for the ZyXel connection
- Click Details
- Ensure IPv4 address has a value (not null) and that it is within the subnet of the gateway
If your computer is not getting an IP address from the Airport, there is likely something wrong with the DHCP settings on the Airport or the client machine. Ensure that both the Airport and the client machine are set to use DHCP addressing. In the event that the client device needs a static LAN IP, ensure it is still set to request via DHCP and that the reservation is made correctly in the Airport DHCP settings.
If your machine is getting a local IP address but has no internet connection, check the connection at the Airport by checking the status in Airport Utility.
Slow connection / Packet loss
- If you are using a corporate firewall or Antivirus, remove these from the equation while testing. Reboot your test machine into safe mode with networking and bypass all network equipment apart from the provided ONT.
- Note: Pings to Google.com or Google's DNS servers may be filtered out as DoS traffic. If you're performing a pingtest, choose a different IP or host (such as charlottesville.speedtest.ting.com).
- If your tests are successful when you remove the Airport, check your DHCP configuration, and replace any network cables between the Airport and your client devices.
Forgotten Network Password
- If you have a Mac already connected to your Airport Extreme and you need to find the network password for a new device, follow this guide for step-by-step directions to recover it from the keychain.
- If you have a Windows PC already connected to your Airport Extreme and you need to find the network password for a new device, follow this guide for step-by-step directions to recover it from the Wi-Fi Status menu.
- If you do not have any connected devices and have forgotten the network password, the only way to regain access is to perform a soft reset.
Resets the device password and disables security for five minutes so that you can join the network to make changes.
- Press and hold the reset button with a pen, pencil, or straightened paperclip for 1 full second, then release it. The light (LED) will begin flashing amber, indicating that the device is in soft reset mode.
- From the AirPort menu bar item, choose the network created by the device (the network name does not change).
- Open AirPort Utility from Applications > Utilities.
- Select the base station, then click Edit (The Edit window will indicate that the base station is in Soft Reset mode).
- Move through the tabs to make changes to your passwords or other settings as needed, and click Update and Continue as required
- Quit AirPort Utility.
Resets the base station back to an unconfigured state, but retains the last saved configuration and any profiles so you can restore your base station from previous settings.
- Press and hold the reset button with a pen, pencil, or straightened paperclip until you see the status light (LED) start to flash amber rapidly, which should occur after about five seconds.
- Release the button and the device will reset.
- Wait about a minute for the base station to finish restarting, then open AirPort Utility from Applications > Utilities.
- Select the base station from Other Wi-Fi Devices, then click Edit.
- Select the Other Options button.
- Select "Restore previous settings" and click Next until you get to the final window.
- AirPort Utility will indicate that Setup is complete. Click Done.
- Quit AirPort Utility.
Factory Default Reset
The last resort when nothing else has worked. This is the same as a hard reset but also removes any saved configurations or profiles. Note: This will delete all of your configuration including wireless network names, network keys, forwarded ports, and reserved IP addresses.
- If the device isn't accessible from AirPort Utility, the Factory Default reset can be accomplished by using the reset button.
- Disconnect the base station's power cord.
- Press and hold the reset button with a pen, pencil, or straightened paperclip.
- While continuing to hold the button, reconnect the power cord.
- Keep holding the reset button until you see the status light (LED) start to flash amber rapidly, which should occur after about six seconds.