6 Replies Latest reply: Dec 6, 2009 6:46 AM by Gordon893
iTrust Level 1 (0 points)
I have an Airport Extreme Base Station that I used to use wirelessly until I got Verizon Fios. The Fios technicians said the base station couldn't be used and so it's been sitting unused for a few months. However, I really, really miss printing wirelessly, and was wondering if it was possible to use the Airport Extreme Base Station ONLY to print wirelessly, and not connect it any way to my internet (I don't want to mess with any of the fios stuff at all).

If it's not possible, is there any other way to print wirelessly without purchasing another product or special printer. I have a HP c4480 printer.


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • Gregory Mcintire Level 4 (2,170 points)
    Do it just the same way you used to do it.

    To print you will have to log off the other wireless network and log onto the extreme network first.

    Personally, I would try using the Extreme with your new Verizon Fios. If they did not give you a detailed explanation as to why it would not work then my guess is that they simply do not want to be bothered with your Mac.

    Every thing that my parents wanted to be able to do with their setup, the fiber optic cable company said "no, you can't do that with our stuff with a Mac". The were wrong on every point. I set it up for Mom and Dad once the pros were gone. It is just easier for them to say no to Macs than to learn the Mac. They have been 'trained'.
  • iTrust Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks, but I don't really know what "do it the same way you used to do it" means. Last time I used the Airport Extreme Base Station as my wireless router, which meant someone came in and hooked it up to my cable modem and handled all of the information/setup for me. This time, I just want to know specifically what exact steps I have to take in order to use my Airport Extreme Base Station to print wirelessly. For example, Step 1....Step 2...etc. etc.

    Also, I am not going to use the AEBS with my Fios because I cannot afford to mess anything up and be without Internet for even a few hours. This isn't an option for me, and quite frankly I'm not nearly close enough to being qualified to do anything like that.

    I just need some help using the AEBS ONLY to print, and I need someone to walk me through the step-by-step process if it's possible.

  • xjetjok Level 1 (0 points)
    Maybe this info will help:


    If you have an older Extreme base station (like me) the instructions should still applicable. Good luck.
  • Gregory Mcintire Level 4 (2,170 points)
    If your printer has a USB cable the easy way to go about this in my opinion is to plug that USB cable into your Extreme base station. I have the Extreme ABS that looks like a flying saucer. I plug the usb cable into the port that has the symbol that doe NOT look like this <--> rather it looks like a Saguaro cactus.

    My computer then sends print documents to the Extreme via WiFi and then Extreme sends them to the printer via the USB cable.

    If your Airport status is not showing in the Mac's menubar go to system Prefs/Network/Airport and check a little box so it will show up in the menu bar.

    Now if your Extreme is plugged in the wall and powered up your Mac should be able to find it. Click on that menubar item for Airport and scroll down and select your Airport Extreme. I don't know for sure what its name will be. It should still be the same as it used to be when you used it last.

    Now try printing a simple document. In the print dialog window you should be able to select what printer you want to use. If your new Extreme printer is listed select it. You may need to click on Print & Fax and figure out how to select it from there, and choose it to be the new default printer.

    I think this info will do the job. Whenever you want to print you have to go to the Airport icon in the menubar and change your airport connection from your Verizon stuff to your Extreme. Then of course you have to change back when you are done. That is why it would be great to toss the Verizon WiFi radio out the window and just plug your Verizon modem into your Extreme WiFi radio transceiver (router). But I understand you cannot deal with that at this time.

    If this does not do the job, if I have missed something, I will bet you 5 bucks that you can still figure it out if you just look at any error messages and/or look at the Print&Fax prefs and the Print dialog windows etc. and see what I may have missed. Maybe you have to go to SystemPrefs/Sharing and allow your printer to be shared. I don't think so. The way I figure any of this stuff out is to just look at stuff and think and try things and see what happens.

    Your Verizon setup should be something like this.... a cable comes into your house and goes to a 'modem'. From there and ethernet cable (CAT-5 cable) goes from that modem to your Verizon router (WiFi radio transceiver).

    As for getting rid of the Verizon router, when you are ready to give it a go, simply unplug the ethernet cable (it has a plug on the end that looks like the kind of plug that telephones use to plug into the wall, except it is a bit wider, but still has that same kind of snap-lock tab) that comes from the Verizon modem (the modem has the heavy round cable and probably many blinking lights) and plug it into the Extreme. Mine has an icon on the Extreme that is many dots in a circular pattern.

    At this point you may have to unplug the Verizon modem form the wall AC power and the Extreme also. Then plug them back in, wait a minute, go to your Airport icon on your Mac menubar, Select Extreme and start surfing the web.

    It really is that simple with a Mac. Maybe Verizon has found a way to make things difficult but my guess is no. Any password should be taken care of in your Airport Setup Utility program. It should be the same password(s) as you used before when you used your Extreme.
  • F Shippey Level 7 (21,500 points)
    Your Verizon setup should be something like this.... a cable comes into your house and goes to a 'modem'. From there and ethernet cable (CAT-5 cable) goes from that modem to your Verizon router (WiFi radio transceiver).

    There is a VERY good chance his modem and wifi router are in the same box. Mine is.
  • Gordon893 Level 1 (0 points)
    When I got fios several months ago, I just took the cable from the modem that the technician had plugged into my G4 and plugged it into my airport Extreme. I then plugged the USB cable from the printer into the Airport.
    I was then able to print wirelessly from my MBPro without any problems. I think I had to give the Airport password the first time I tried to print, but that was all.
    I do have to switch the USB from the printer back to the G4 if I want to print from that, but I do most of my printing from the laptop.