Extending an AirPort Network
I just got a cable installed and AirPort, but it does not reach to either the middle or lower levels of the house, and that was the only place we could put a cable in (on the upper level). How do we get it to work on the lower levels?
It sounds like you will need to buy a range-extending antenna for your wireless network. Take a look at something like this. That may do the trick. —Evan Trent
Routers and Hubs
I was reading your site about sharing a cable Internet connection with a router. I’m slightly confused about one thing I’m hoping you can clear up for me.
Here’s my situation: I will be living in an apartment with four of my friends. We each have a computer (five computers). We want to share a cable Internet connection. Do I need to get a 5-port router or can I get a 2-port router and plug the router into an Ethernet hub? I already have an 8-port hub and I don’t understand if I can just plug the router into the hub and go from there, or do I need to get a router with enough ports on it for each computer?
You can buy a two-port router and plug it into your existing hub. What you need to do is connect your cable/DSL model to the WAN port on the router. Then connect your existing hub to the LAN port on the router. If your router has two identical ports that are numbered and not labelled LAN or WAN, what you probably need to do is connect the uplink port on your hub to one of the jacks on the router. If your hub has no uplink port, you can buy a crossover cable and connect any of the numbered ports on the hub to one of the ports on the router. —Evan Trent
Networking a Cable Modem and Two Macs
First I want to say thank you for putting the most informative Web site up for Mac networking! Even though I think I know it all, a situation comes up and I need to turn to expert advice, and there is your site!
Anyway, I have pretty much gone over your site and am a little confused on the best way to hook up a network between two Macs.
I recently bought a G4 because my 7200/120 was just getting too slow.
The G4 right now has a cable modem connected to it, and it also has an Epson color printer connected to it. I was going to scrap the old 7200, but then thought about keeping it, as it has some usefulness to me and my kids.
I would like to have the cable modem used on both Macs, and have the file sharing and printing options too. The G4 is on the second floor of my home, and the 7200 is in the basement family room.
I am not sure if I need bridge software/hardware for the two Macs if the G4 has the printer and modem connected to it.
Could you suggest my networking options with these two macs? Price is not really an issue (unless it gets to be as expensive as a new G4!).
My suggestion would be for you to purchase a hardware Ethernet router and plug that into your cable modem. Then plug both computers into the router. That will take care of sharing your Internet connection without running any software or worrying about which machine is turned on when, if it crashed, etc. Hardware routers are cheap and reliable and fast. It will also trivialize the file and printer sharing issue because both machines will be connected to the same LAN through the router, or through a hub which comes before the router. —Evan Trent