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Airport Express service for Lunatic Haven

07/09/11

  07:12:06 pm, by The Dreamer   , 913 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Networking, WiFi

Airport Express service for Lunatic Haven

That's right, I got an Airport Express to go with the two Airport Extremes that I have in my home.

As I mentioned before, I had gotten the second Airport Extreme to extend my 'wired' network to a room where the CAT5 to that room was bad and not wanting to try to fix it. The problem is that I run separate SSIDs on my main Airport Extreme for a/n and b/g/n frequencies. Since things that can use 5Ghz, tend to work better around here. And, there didn't seem to be a reliable way to ensure that 5Ghz was always chosen unless it had a different SSID. Something I learned about doing from LISA &#59;D

Well, the second extreme was set to extend my network, and I told it to go for the 5GHz SSID. But, in extend wireless mode...there's no option to set different SSID(s)....so it was advertising my 5GHz SSID for both frequencies. Wanting to keep things straight, I ended up turning off allow wireless clients to use the second Airport Extreme.

But, increasing number of wireless devices in my home....I wanted to have a better WiFi signal in the bedroom.

Now I did have some older 802.11g access points, and they were on and using a different SSID. Hadn't noticed that I had set the Airport Extreme to do only WPA2 personal until today. The old 802.11g access points originally only did WEP....there was an upgrade to get WPA personal, but it broke the WDS feature that I was using then. But, when I stopped using WDS...I did upgrade but left them on their own SSID because it didn't seem to work too well otherwise.

Though wonder if WPA vs WPA2 would explain it...the other was at the time the Airport Extreme wasn't doing access control and the old Belkin APs had a list of MAC addresses would allow...though it wasn't getting updated that well...

So, I was liking the use of RADIUS to control access on my home network...and wanting to use the same RADIUS to control whatever method I extended my network. So, that pretty much meant....another Airport Extreme or an Airport Express.

I knew there were differences, but I tried to decide if the differences were that important. Apparently, I didn't get it right...but an Airport Express being cheaper than another Airport Extreme...meant that I could try this sooner than later. Plus I there's always the possibility of it becoming part of my arsenal for travel use (except for its dependence on Airport Utility...which is current difficult because I run an Ubuntu laptop....though I am considering a Mac laptop [now instead of a Windows laptop]).

The first difference is that it only has a 10/100 port on it....which was important for extending my network (to TARDIS), but didn't seem important for extending the reach of my wireless now. The other difference (I missed) is that its 2.4GHz or 5GHz....rather than both at the same time.

Was trying to decide if I would have it extend my wireless network by wireless (or wired)...if it were simultaneous dual band....wired would likely be the only choice. Though decided that wired would remain the way to extend my 2.4Ghz network...since the lack of reach of 2.4GHz was kind of why I was doing this.

Though I wonder if I want a second Airport Express to extend the 5GHz network or a third Airport Extreme and use the Airport Express for travel (kind of considering a MacBook Air :)

Anyways, setting up the Airport Express pretty uneventful....

Went on to Box....picked out an IP and set up DNS entries for it, and then 'rndc reload'.

Then I edited the include dhcp configuration file on box, reloaded dhcp and ran my sync script to copy it over to orac and reload dhcp over there.

Then I edited 'users' for freeradius on box, reload there and the other sync script to copy it over to orac and reload freeradius over there.

And, then plugged it in. Doesn't quite work upright on the UPS outlet, hopefully it doesn't matter that I put in upside down. And, then I waited to see if it would find itself. I checked the logs for DHCPDISCOVER, etc. Occurred to me which box should I be looking for the event one. Didn't matter, both saw it and logged it, etc.

Though it wasn't happy with it doing Double NAT.

Fired up Airport Utility....first thing it wanted to do was upgrade the firmware on the Airport Express, ok. And, then it wanted to resolve the problem....change from router to bridged, and then I continued with the wizard...and that was pretty straight forward too. Then tweaked things with Manual configuration. Saw that it had copied over the RADIUS settings etc.

Noticed with logs...all the traffic for FreeRADIUS only goes box, the primary. Probably little different in performance between box and orac for RADIUS.

Some of the options were a bit different than the Extremes....but the main thing was I had set the 2.4Ghz channel manually on my Airport Extreme, and it used the same setting for the Airport Express. And, I wanted it to be on a different channel.

Using WiFi Analyzer on my Droid2, I had figured out which channel was best for the living room...which is different for around my bedroom.

Guess we'll see how this all goes.

While I mull over what trouble with Wireless networking I'm going to get up to next.

Wish there was a WiFi Analzyer for 5GHz....

1 comment

Comment from: Mocmed [Visitor]
Mocmed

Hilarious title! Good work

08/31/11 @ 01:22
Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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