Unimpressed with Airport Extreme

Posted by: Trog

Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/01/10 09:27 AM

Decided to finally replace my old Linksys WRT54G. I bought that back in about 2003 when 802.11g was pretty fresh for home use. It still works, but has gotten a little flaky (requiring more resets) and I'd like to upgrade to 802.11n for my more recent hardware.

I picked up the Airport extreme without doing very much research. In computer years its decades ahead of my old one and... its made by Apple, it must be good!

First thing I notice is that there is no support for dynamic DNS updating. Lame, my linksys did that in 2003. Oh well, whatever, I'll run the simple daemon from dyndns.org.

Then the real garbage begins. Port forwarding on my linksys was always easy. Add the port, hit update and it was always open and available. In recent years, I just said "screw it" and hit the DMZ button (opening all ports) and was done with it. I've never encountered any security concerns.

I can't for the life of me get ports to open with this thing.

It appears pretty self-explanatory. In the advanced tab of networking there is a NAT setup. You hit "+" to add a new service and there is a place for public and private TCP and UDP and a place for your private IP of the device you want forwarded to. Great. Too bad no matter what port I choose, nothing opens up. For example, I use Timbuktu to access my machine from work. It requires only port 407. I put that in all the fields, and add the local IP of my machine...nothing. And websites like this that check for open ports show it is still closed. Same for ftp on port 21... heck I can't even get regular apple sharing to work. frown (and yes, the sharing for both ftp and file sharing is on in the system preferences)

I tried the AEBS version of DMZ too. I set my home desktop to have a static IP by DHCP reservation (10.0.1.253 is the default) using its MAC address. No problem there, but when I hit the button to have that be the default device for NAT I get nothing on any ports. No way to connect to this network externally.

I can't believe this device is really this dysfunctional? What could I be doing wrong, this just shouldn't be that hard to do.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/01/10 09:48 AM

Yes, Enable Default Host in NAT is DMZ.

I don't know why you're having those problems. Something is awry. What is the external IP address that the Extreme is grabbing? Just post the first number, ex 74.x.x.x. I'm looking to see if your modem is also doing NAT, many of the new modems do that now, adding another layer of complication to port mapping.

I have not liked the airport bases until the last couple of years or so. They are up to par now, and have great range.
Posted by: Trog

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/01/10 10:00 AM

Thanks Reboot.

The external IP from my Cox Communications ISP is 68.224.xx.xx

I did read about how double NAT would gum things up. How would you know its doing that just from the IP?
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/01/10 10:11 AM

That is the IP that shows in the Airport config screen right? Not what you grabbed from an IP sniffer or that some web site gave you.

Every modem I've seen that is also doing NAT gives an IP in the range of 192.168.x.x. which are designated for internal IP's. 10.x.x.x is reserved for internal IP's also.
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/01/10 10:30 AM

My AP Express is 10.x.x.x. My dLink router is 69.x.x.x (I changed it from the default 192.168.x.x). I don't do port forwarding, etc, since I don't have a need to. The Express is used solely for iTunes streaming to my stereo in the living room. The dLink is for internet and for my wife's wireless connection.
Posted by: Trog

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/01/10 10:53 AM

Ahhh gotcha. The 68 one is the one that is listed by the AEBS in its parent tab for manual setup. The linksys WRT54G used to set local IPs starting with 192, but as Bozo points out, the AEBS uses 10.0.x.x.

So, it doesn't look like the modem is performing routing functions.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/01/10 12:45 PM

Do you have the firewall off on the Mac?

I don't know why it's not working. I'd try resetting the base station to factory and starting over. The version of the base in the Manual Setup window is 7.4.2?

You have Port Mapping set up like this?

You have hit the Update button to save settings and restart the Extreme I assume? Had to ask.


Posted by: Jim_

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/01/10 12:47 PM

I don't think it would matter but you have powered down and up the modem after you attached the Extreme?
Posted by: Trog

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/01/10 01:07 PM

Thanks for the continued help.

When I first plugged in the router I had everything turned off (modem too, but it has a battery). Upon starting it up, I got nothing but a blinking amber light and the status indicated I had no connection. I shut everything down again and unplugged the cable company's coaxial cable for several minutes allowing the modem to fully reset before repowering the router. That did it, so I think the modem has been reset completely.

Apple's firewall (in system preferences) is off, and has never been used by me.

Yeah, I hit update after every tinker I do. Interesting though, each time it says to wait while "AE restarts", or something like that. But, only after certain modifications does it actually restart (you get the amber light again, etc.). Most of the time the Airport utility just hangs a bit, but there is no physical change in the status light of the airport itself.

I'm at work for a couple more hours, or I would post pics too. But yeah, its just like that, except in the case of FTP or Timbuktu its a single number in those address fields. I would be happy as a clam to just open up all the damn ports DMZ style if I could, but that was a bust too.

I'll try the factory reset again when I get home, as well as another complete modem/router/computer reboot. Only two possibilities here. Either Apple's hardware is flaky, in which I'm disappointed with them. Or, I'm doing something wrong which is still Apple's fault because this is supposed to be easier than a damn Cisco device! wink
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/01/10 01:13 PM

As a note, I had to directly connect my Mini (ehternet cable) to my Express to do its initial setup. It did "complain" (yellow light) that it did not have an internet connection for several days until AP Utility finally detected the error state and allowed me to tell it to ignore the "error." It has had a nice green glow since.
Posted by: Trog

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/01/10 01:32 PM

Hmmm, yeah. I read that thread. laugh

But, I don't have any kind of third-party device like your Express. Well, I have laptops, but the Wifi network I setup works perfectly.

I just want data to flow from the scary outside Intertubes into my Mac... and the Airport Extreme base station is standing in its way.

"Let my friends in Airport, or I might just have to go back to Linksys!"
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/01/10 02:34 PM

No offense, but you do have the cables in the right spots? The modem ethernet cable goes to the port with the circle of dots?

I'd assume you do since it's grabbing an external IP.

I'm at a loss, see if the factory reset helps.
Posted by: carp

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/01/10 11:24 PM

To be honest , I have never ever had a problem with mine , not even once .

When cable goes down for one reason or another electric outage . The Airport picks it right back up - without me doing anything <-- like magic

I guess I got lucky this time laugh
Posted by: Trog

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/02/10 12:39 AM

Yeah, cables are in the right place.

Full resets and reboots didn't do anything. I might try contacting Apple if I have time in the next day or two. But, I'm getting tired. I'm thinking of just taking it back. Not being able to connect to my machine from work is a deal breaker for me.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/02/10 06:42 AM

There has to be something wrong with the Extreme. Of course if you need DynDns support that's another wrinkle. I just use the clients.
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/03/10 04:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Trog
Ahhh gotcha. The 68 one is the one that is listed by the AEBS in its parent tab for manual setup. The linksys WRT54G used to set local IPs starting with 192, but as Bozo points out, the AEBS uses 10.0.x.x.


The internal 10.0.x.x and 255.255.x.x subnets are typically used for larger organizations (thousands of machines). I don't know why the AEBS would be using that class of addressing, it's more complicated than your typical Class C addressing found in home networks (the 192.168.x.x and 255.255.255.x) The router has less to deal with, plus consumer routers typically suck when using a class B or A scheme.

My suggestion would be to configure the AE to use a class C addressing scheme, exactly like your linksys did. Otherwise your AE and your cable modem are actually on different networks. :P
Posted by: Trog

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/03/10 06:35 PM

Well, the 10.0.x.x was the factory default that Apple sent, and I clearly don't know much about what those numbers really mean or why they would choose that range. FWIW, I didn't have any problem with the DHCP functions of the router for my desktop or any of my peripherals connecting through WiFi. But are you suggesting that this might have been the source of my port forwarding problem?

Unfortunately, I can't test it now. I returned the damn thing. I might buy one again later, or at least try a different brand of 802.11n routers (suggestions?) because I would like the bandwidth for an Apple TV, among other things.

But for now, its welcome back, old friend...



Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: Unimpressed with Airport Extreme - 03/04/10 02:36 PM

I've got those trusty things running too. Great little router. Mine is the older version with removable antennas.

I've got wire running everywhere though. The wireless only connects the wii, ipod and phones so bandwidth isn't really an issue.