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AirPort troubleshooting guide  

AirPort Troubleshooting guide
 
Learn to troubleshoot common AirPort issues. If, after following the steps, your issue is not resolved, try searching the Apple Knowledge Base for more specific information.
 
This guide offers troubleshooting advice for an existing AirPort network. If you are setting up a network for the first time, try using the AirPort Setup Assistant. For more complex networks, see the Designing AirPort Networks document included on your AirPort Installation CD-ROM disc.
 
Check to see if all clients are affected
 
If you have more than one computer that connects through the AirPort Base Station, check to see if all clients are affected. This may allow you to skip sections of this guide that are not relevant to you. Consider these questions:
 
Is just one client affected?
 
If so, concentrate on troubleshooting client settings on that computer. Make sure that its AirPort card is properly installed, with the antenna connected.
 
Are all clients affected?
 
If so, try this first:
Unplug the AirPort Base Station.
Wait 30 seconds.
Plug the base station back in.
Try to connect to the Internet from a client computer.
 
This addresses a common scenario in which a base station that has been powered on and connected to the Internet for an extended period holds an IP address (DHCP lease) for a longer period of time than your Internet service provider allows. This is normal and does not indicate any issue with your Apple equipment or Internet service provider. If the base station is located where you cannot easily unplug it, you can restart it using the AirPort Admin Utility. If your DHCP lease time seems to be extremely short, contact your Internet service provider to see if there are other issues on the network.
 
In certain network scenarios, it may be helpful to turn off all the equipment on your network then turn it all back on. Leaving some devices unplugged for up to 5 minutes can also help, though 30 seconds may suffice in most cases. Try unplugging the base station, any hubs or routers, and any cable or DSL modems. Shut down connected computers. Plug in the cable or DSL modem first, if applicable. Plug in the AirPort Base Station second, and wait for its lights to cycle through the startup routine. This prevents another device from taking the DHCP lease. Start up a computer third.
 
Are just wireless clients affected?
 
If so, concentrate on factors that affect wireless clients, such as:
 
Network selection and password
 
Hardware access control
 
Client TCP/IP settings
 
Signal strength
 
Sources of interference
 
Are just wired clients affected?
 
If so, check your settings in AirPort Admin Utility, and see the Designing AirPort Networks document for reference. Check all cable routing, connections, and power supplies.
 
Can clients connect to the base station and to each other via AppleTalk, such as for file sharing, but not to the Internet?
 
AppleTalk and file sharing must be active and properly configured on clients. If they can, follow the steps above for powering down or restarting the base station. Then concentrate on the base station's Internet settings, including proper DNS server settings.
 
Can clients connect to the base station but not make any IP connections?
 
If clients get a strong signal connection to the base station but cannot use the network (such as Web browsing or local file sharing), check to see if you are experiencing a PPPoE scenario.
 
Try using the Assistants, and verify your Internet connection
 
If you haven't used the AirPort Setup Assistant, or if you've made configuration changes after using it, it may help to use it now.
 
Set up a computer to connect to the Internet directly, without the base station.
 
For Mac OS 9
Open the Internet Setup Assistant and follow the prompts.
Verify that the Internet connection is good.
Connect to the AirPort Base Station and use the AirPort Setup Assistant.
 
For Mac OS X
Connect directly to the Internet without the AirPort Base Station.
If the connection is not good, make sure you set it up correctly. For Mac OS X 10.3 or later, click the Assist Me button in Network preferences. For earlier versions, see Mac OS X: Connect to the Internet, troubleshoot your Internet connection, and set up a small network.
If you successfully connect, disconnect the phone line or Ethernet cable from the computer and connect it to the base station.
Join the base station's network and use AirPort Setup Assistant to reconfigure it.
 
Notes
If you do not know where to locate the assistants, switch to the Finder and press the Command -F keyboard shortcut. This opens Sherlock in Mac OS 9 to 10.1.5. In Mac OS X 10.2 or later, the Finder's Find dialog appears.
 
If you cannot get online without the base station, double-check your Internet settings. If necessary, contact your Internet service provider (ISP). You may ask your Internet service provider if there are any known issues using 802.11 wireless Ethernet networks with their service.
 
If you have a cable modem, unplug it from its power supply for at least 30 seconds to fully reset it. Additionally, press the reset button if it has one. Clearing the modem's memory may address a situation in which certain types of cable modems require the MAC (media access control) address of a previously connected device. In rare cases, an Internet service provider might need to manually reset the address. To learn more, see "ISP provisioning may prevent Internet connection via cable or DSL".
 
Lost network password
 
See AirPort Extreme Base Station: How to reset.
 
Use the latest version of the Mac OS that you can
 
It is best to have the latest version of the Mac OS that you can use, whether you have Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X. Use the Software Update control panel (Mac OS 9) or Software Update preferences (Mac OS X) to install software updates. Because some updates are prerequisite for others, repeatedly use Software Update until there are no updates left to install. For more information, see Mac OS X: How to update your software.
 
To get individual downloads, see Apple Downloads.
 
Use appropriate AirPort software and base station firmware
 
For Mac OS 9
AirPort versions 2.0 and 2.0.2 for Mac OS 9 work with Mac OS 9.0.4 or later, but Mac OS 9.1 or later is best.
 
For Mac OS X
To get the latest version of AirPort software that works with your version of Mac OS X, use Software Update preferences.
 
Base station firmware: Your base station should use the latest firmware that is available for it. Firmware is included as part of AirPort software. In certain circumstances you may have to download it separately to get the latest version. When you connect to a base station using AirPort Admin Utility (/Applications/Utilities/), you will be prompted to update the firmware when a later version is installed on your computer as a part of AirPort software. From document 107844, you can learn how to update a base station's firmware. Though this document describes AirPort Extreme, the steps are similar for all base stations.
 
You can get the latest base station firmware from the AirPort support page.
 
Make sure that cable routing is correct for your base station
 
The AirPort Base Station (Graphite) has a single Ethernet port and a modem port. The AirPort Base Station (Dual Ethernet) and AirPort Extreme Base Station each have two, one LAN and one WAN, in addition to a modem port.
 
If you are using a dial-up Internet connection, make sure you have plugged the phone line into the correct port (not into an Ethernet port). The modems of all Apple products are labeled with the icon of a telephone hand set. In this illustration, you can see the hand set icon at the bottom left, next to "Internal modem port".
 
If you are using Ethernet connections pictured below, make sure your cable routing is correct. On the AirPort Base Station (Dual Ethernet) and AirPort Extreme Base Station, be sure that the WAN Ethernet port is connected to your Internet connection -- your uplink, such as a cable or DSL modem, Ethernet pod, or router. Be sure that the LAN Ethernet port is connected to your wired clients, if any. For more information, see the Designing AirPort Networks document.
 
Note: The icon used for the LAN Ethernet port on the AirPort Base Station (Dual Ethernet) is the only Ethernet icon used on products that only have one Ethernet port.
 
 
The WAN Ethernet port icon
 
The LAN Ethernet port icon
 
If you are using a third-party base station, see the documentation provided by its manufacturer.
 
What type of wireless card do you have?
 
If you have a non-Apple 802.11 wireless Ethernet card, make sure it's compatible with the Apple software and hardware you are using. The PowerBook G3 Series computer works with the Lucent WaveLan or Orinoco card, and only in Mac OS 9. Third-party cards do not work with Apple AirPort software when the computer is started up with Mac OS X.
 
Are any hubs, routers, or other computers connected to the network?
 
Check all cable routing to make sure you have connected devices in the correct order.
Check all cabling to be sure that connections are snug and that all cables are not damaged.
If it will help, diagram your network, then compare the diagram to your actual cable routing.
Check any power supplies. A failing power supply can stop traffic from passing through a hub or router.
Check to see if all clients are affected.
If you have set up a more complex network, check the TCP/IP settings of client computers to be sure they are still correct.
 
Verify how your Internet service provider configures IP information
 
 
IP configuration
Make sure the base station's method of getting IP information (using DHCP, BootP, or Manually) is the one required by your Internet service provider.
 
 
Client ID
If you use a cable modem or DSL connection, check if your Internet service provider requires you to enter a Client ID. Most Internet service providers do not require this, so do not be concerned if yours does not. Client ID appears in AirPort software versions 1.2 and later.
 
 
PPPoE
If your Internet service provider requires you to use PPPoE, make sure it is set up correctly.
 
 
Restricted address ranges
 
Using AirPort Admin Utility, check the "Public" or "WAN" IP address. If this address starts with a "10" or "192", your ISP is using restricted address ranges. This may affect the ability of the base station to share the Internet connection among computers. If you have difficulty connecting to some websites when the base station has a public IP address beginning with 10 or 192, use AirPort Admin Utility to turn off connection sharing for the base station. Only one computer will be able to connect through the base station. If you have a broadband modem, you may need to unplug its power supply for a few seconds to reset it. If that resolves your issue, contact your Internet service provider. In this configuration the base station is serving as a wireless bridge between your computer and the ISP, rather than as a wireless router. To connect more than one computer, your ISP would need to assign additional IP addresses to your account.
 
All these settings can be changed using either the AirPort Setup Assistant or the AirPort Admin Utility.
 
Joining an existing AirPort network
 
If you are connecting to an existing AirPort network, you have several options:
Use the AirPort Setup Assistant. Select "Set up your computer to join an existing wireless/AirPort network."
Mac OS 9 Control strip - Click the AirPort icon and select the network name. It should have a black dot beside it.
Mac OS X 10.1 or later - Choose your network in either the AirPort menu bar item or in the Internet Connect application.
 
Check signal strength
 
You may lose your AirPort connection if you go beyond the range of the base station, or if there is an obstacle between your computer and the base station that blocks wireless signals. You can check signal strength by opening the AirPort application (Mac OS 9) or the Internet Connect application (Mac OS X). Does the bar show any signal strength? Try moving closer to the base station, or try removing potential sources of interference.
 
Record any alert or "error" messages
 
Record any messages word for word. These may be helpful you contact Apple. Try using the password "public" if you see either of these messages:
 
"An error occurred while reading the configuration."
 
"The base station you have selected couldn't be configured. Please enter a valid IP address or password."
 
Check the lights (LEDs) on the base station
 
AirPort Base Station (Graphite)
 
This base station flashes red or amber lights if it has an issue. If you see a red light, reset the base station.
 
If you cannot connect to the base station with AirPort Admin Utility after a forced reload, connect to the base station with a crossover type Ethernet cable, and manually configure the client computer with this IP information:
 
IP address: 192.42.249.15
Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
Router: 192.42.249.13
 
Try connecting again.
 
AirPort Base Station (Dual Ethernet)
 
When this base station has an issue, all the lights are white. In a hard reset (forced reload) or soft reset mode, the middle light will blink rhythmically. Learn how to reset the base station.
 
If you cannot connect to the base station with AirPort Admin Utility after a forced reload, connect to the base station with any Ethernet cable (crossover or patch type), and manually configure the client computer with this IP information:
 
IP address: 192.42.249.15
Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
Router: 192.42.249.13
 
Try connecting again.
 
AirPort Extreme Base Station
 
When this base station has an issue, all the lights flash at once. Learn how to reset the AirPort Extreme Base Station.
 
If you cannot connect to the base station with AirPort Admin Utility after a forced reload, connect to the base station with any Ethernet cable (crossover or patch type), and manually configure the client computer with this IP information:
 
IP address: 192.42.249.15
Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
Router: 192.42.249.13
 
Try connecting again.
 
Learn more about indicator lights on AirPort base stations:
AirPort Base Station (Graphite): LED Behavior
AirPort Base Station (Dual Ethernet): LED Behavior
AirPort Extreme Base Station: Meaning of Indicator Lights (LEDs)
 
Verify proper AirPort network selection, hardware access control
 
Make sure an AirPort network is selected and that you have entered a password, if necessary. If hardware access control has been enabled on the base station, your AirPort card's MAC (media access control) address must be entered in the AirPort Admin Utility. If you are not the person who set up the network, ask the network administrator. When your computer is not in the access control list, you may be able to associate with the network, but not connect to the Internet.
 
Sometimes the network name may be invisible, known as a "closed network." The network administrator chooses when to do this. You join a closed network by choosing "Other" from the AirPort menu bar item. If you have trouble joining a closed network, check with the administrator to be sure you are entering the network name correctly. For troubleshooting purposes, it may also help to make the network name visible.
 
Check the TCP/IP and AppleTalk settings of the AirPort client computer
 
The most common setup is for the base station to take the IP address provided by your ISP, with AirPort-enabled computers connecting to it wirelessly. The wireless computers then get private IP addresses (such as 10.0.1.3). Sharing the IP address is known as "connection sharing" or "network address translation" (NAT). If you are using this common setup, you can verify that you have these correct settings at the client computer. If you are not, skip to the "Force reconfiguration of IP information" section below.
 
Note: AppleTalk allows you to do certain file sharing, printing, and other services on your local network. TCP/IP alternatives to AppleTalk exist in most cases. AppleTalk is not required for Internet connection.
 
For Mac OS 9
Open the TCP/IP control panel. You should see these settings:
Connect via: AirPort
Configure: Using DHCP
IP address: "Will be supplied by server...", or "10.0.1.2" or higher
 
 
If necessary, make changes.
Close the TCP/IP control panel, clicking Save if prompted.
Open the AppleTalk control panel.
You should see this setting:
Configure via: AirPort
 
 
If necessary, change the setting. Close the AppleTalk control panel, clicking Save if prompted.
 
For Mac OS X
From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
From the View menu, choose Network.
Choose AirPort from the Show pop-up menu.
If AirPort does not appear in the Show menu, choose Network Port Configurations from the Show menu, select AirPort, then choose AirPort from the Show menu. (In Mac OS X versions 10.0 to 10.1.5, choose Active Network Ports from the Show menu.)
Click the TCP/IP tab, and check for this setting:
IP address: "Provided by DHCP server", or "10.0.1.2" or higher
 
 
If necessary, make changes.
Click the AppleTalk tab.
Make sure the checkbox for "Make AppleTalk active" is selected.
To avoid a potential conflict with AppleTalk, or to troubleshoot an existing issue, see AppleTalk does not work after being enabled.
If you have made any changes since you opened System Preferences, click Apply Now.
 
 
Both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X
 
Any IP address supplied by the base station should be in the range 10.0.1.2 to 10.0.1.255. If the IP address starts with 169 or 192, you do not have a successful connection to the base station. This may be resolved by one of the other sections in this document. Sometimes it may help to force a reconfiguration of your IP information.
 
Force reconfiguration of IP information
 
If the base station is working but one client is getting an IP address that starts with 192 or 169, it may help to force reconfiguration of the client computer's IP configuration -- after first checking physical connections and (wireless clients only) AirPort network selection.
 
For Mac OS 9
Close any open Internet applications (such as Web browsers and email). Be sure to save any changes to any open documents.
Open the TCP/IP control panel.
From the Edit menu, choose User Mode.
Click the radio button for Advanced.
Click OK.
Click Options.
Click the radio button for Inactive.
Click OK.
Close the TCP/IP control panel.
When prompted, click Save.
Open the TCP/IP control panel.
When prompted, click Yes.
Close the TCP/IP control panel.
Open a Web browser, and try to connect.
Repeat the steps from previous section to check TCP/IP and AppleTalk settings of the AirPort client computer. Did you get a correct IP address?
 
For Mac OS X
Close any open Internet applications (such as Web browsers and email). Be sure to save any changes to any open documents.
From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
From the View menu, choose Network.
Choose Network Port Configurations from the Show pop-up menu. (In Mac OS X versions 10.0 to 10.1.5, choose Active Network Ports from the Show menu.)
Deselect the checkbox for AirPort.
Click Apply Now.
Reselect the checkbox for AirPort.
Click Apply Now.
Open a Web browser, and try to connect.
Repeat the steps from the "Check the TCP/IP and AppleTalk settings of the AirPort client computer" section above. 
 




 

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