Frequently Asked Question
Can I use my Airport wireless base station with my XRouter?

Reference ID: MIH00D0010
Modified on: 2000/08/09

Product Area: Internet Sharing Device
Model: MIH-130 XRouter Pro


Both the MIH120 XRouter and the MIH130 XRouter Pro can be used in conjunction with Apple's Airport in order to allow a mixture of hardwired and wireless clients to access both each other and the internet. The configuration is quite easy, but this article does assume that you've read the instruction manual for both the XRouter and the Airport, and that you've already properly configured your XRouter to connect to your Internet Service Provider.

Step 1: Connecting the hardware

Use a standard "straight-through" type ethernet cable to run a connection from the Airport's ethernet port to any LAN port on the XRouter. If you choose to use port #4 on the XRouter, please make sure the sliding switch is set to "][" and not "X". Once this connection has been made, verify that there is an amber link light on the display of the XRouter corresponding to the port in which the cable is connected.

Step 2: Configuring your XRouter to work with the Airport

The XRouter requires no special configuration to work with the Airport; simply make sure that you have the XRouter already set up to connect to the internet. If you are unclear on how to do this, please refer to your XRouter Users Manual for details.

Step 3: Configuring your Airport base station to work with the XRouter

With every release of the Airport Admin Utility, Apple seems to be improving both functionality and the user interface, so we recommend downloading the latest version from their website. The screenshots and our instructions correspond to Airport Admin Utility version 1.2.

Network configuration demo Internet configuration demo TCP/IP Control PanelWhen you use the Airport Admin Utility to log into your Airport base station, you will see the "Configure Base Station" menu, which will have three tabs: Airport, Internet, and Network. To Configure the Airport to work with the XRouter, we will only be interested in the Internet tab, which determines how the Airport will get its IP address from the XRouter, and the Network tab, which determines how wireless computers will get their IP addresses.

Configuring the Airport's Internet connection

You'll notice that the information presented under the Internet tab looks very similar to your Mac's TCP/IP control panel. Like the TCP/IP control panel, you have the ability to choose how you want your Airport to connect to the internet. To connect the Airport to the XRouter, you should select "Connect using: Ethernet" from the pull-down menu.

The other pull-down menu asks you how you want TCP/IP for the Airport configured. The easiest way to correctly set this up is to select the option for "Configure TCP/IP: Using DHCP". This tells the Airport to obtain its IP address automatically from the XRouter.

By far most people will find that using DHCP is the easiest and best method, but it is possible that you may have reasons for not wanting to use DHCP to configure the Airport's TCP/IP. For example, you might have the DHCP server in the XRouter turned off for some reason. If this is the case for you, then you can enter IP address information manually in this section.

Configuring the Airport's Network connection

The various options listed on the Airport's Admin Utility's Network tab can be confusing enough to someone who is not familiar with TCP/IP and networking in general that they probably provide Apple's Technical Support department the bulk of their workload.

The easiest way to configure this to work with your XRouter is to leave the box marked "Distribute IP addresses" unchecked. This will have the effect of having the XRouter's DHCP server supply your wireless computers with their IP addresses and automate the entire process for you.

When you leave this button unchecked, Apple has a message which says "Client computers on the network must configure TCP/IP manually" at the bottom of the Network screen. Apple places this message there because it is assuming a direct connection to an ISP, and is not assuming that there is a DHCP server (your XRouter) connected to it.

Note: While there are other ways to configure the Airport's Network section and still get an internet connection, we have presented here what we feel is the simplest and best method.


At this point all that needs to be done is to configure wireless clients' TCP/IP control panels to "Connect via: Airport" and "Configure: using DHCP". Wireless clients will now be able to browse the web as well as use Appletalk to transfer files to Macs or print to printers connected directly to the router.

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