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HT3477: AirPort base stations: About the Guest network feature

Learn about AirPort base stations: About the Guest network feature

HT3477 AEBS guest network facility no longer available?

597 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Feb 24, 2012 8:58 AM by kazten2010 RSS
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Feb 23, 2012 2:42 AM

I recently installed an AEBS to replace our completely hopeless BT Home Hubs 2.0 and 3.0. The AEBS connects to the internet via a Zoom X5 non-wireless modem and the network is extended with an Airport Express to reach the far bedrooms. This setup has worked beautifully with none of the slowing down drastically, going to sleep and disconnecting the the "energy efficient" Home Hubs did umpteen times a day. Anyway, at the initial setup, I looked into creating a guest network, but I was warned about conflicting NAT and I didn't have the time to delve further into it at that moment.

I thought after installing a software update to Airport Utility the other day that I would have another go, but when I entered the "edit" facility for the AEBS, I can set up timed access for computers to the network, but all mention of a guest network seems to have vanished.

Have Apple removed this facility? If so, is it coming back?

I reset the AEBS from bridge mode to DCHP and NAT to see if any other options appeared, but nothing.

All refernce to the guset network facility referes to the old Airport Utility before the update.

Has anyone got any ideas?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,435 points)

    Your Zoom "modem" is a gateway device, which combines a modem and router in one package. As such, your Z5 gateway is providing DHCP and NAT services on your network.


    With this type of device, AirPort Utility chose the correct Bridge Mode setting for your AEBS...since you only want one device on a network providing DHCP and NAT services.


    In order to enable the Guest Network, the AEBS must be confiigured as the "main" router on the network providing DHCP and NAT services. Since it cannot do this when the Zoom device is already providing these services, the Guest Network feature is not available.


    Sometimes, it is possible to configure the AEBS to act as a router anyway when there is another router on the network, but this can create IP address conflicts with two devices both trying to provide DHCP services for devices on the network. In addition, this type of setup will also create a Double NAT error.


    This might work with some routers and not others. If you were able to use the Guest Network with the Home Hub devices, they allowed this. The Zoom device likely will not.


    If the Guest Network function is important to you, you might want to look at a simple modem....not a gateway device.

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,435 points)

    I suppose that you could try to disable NAT on the X5, but that does not make it a simple modem....and you would still have two DHCP servers on the network....which may be being picked up by the AEBS as a conflict, so it won't likely allow the Guest Network feature to be enabled.


    You might want to check with X5 support to see if it is possible to configure the X5 gateway as a simple "bridge mode" modem. That would allow the AEBS to provide DHCP and NAT for the network correctly, which would enable the Guest Network option.


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