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Mac Thread, Airport Extreme Base Station Vs Alternatives in Technical; Apologises for being a bit of a troll on this mac forum. I have tried to search for any similar ...
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    Gavmoo's Avatar
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    Airport Extreme Base Station Vs Alternatives

    Apologises for being a bit of a troll on this mac forum. I have tried to search for any similar topics, but to no joy.

    I'm looking to get a few wireless access points for some of my mac rooms, simply for teachers and their macbooks. The largest room would be a dance studio (Some 12M x 25 Metres).

    I'm looking at the Airport Extreme base stations, just for ease of installation, but are there any better alternatives for similar money? Also, I'm guessing that you can switch DHCP off on them (Airport), so it doesn't hamper our current AD setup. As I'm getting conflicting reports via google research.

    Any thoughts/experiences?

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    I leave the DHCP up to my router with my Airport Extreme at home, just put the Airport Extreme into it's bridge mode if you don't want it dishing out its own DHCP ranges. So yes you can switch it off.

    Plenty of options when it comes to base stations, been very happy with the Airport, but equally been happy with plenty of others in various situations...

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    Depending on the amount of users connecting at one time depends on what you can use. We have just rolled out 2 airport express base stations. These apparently only take up to 10 concurrent connections. Now,whether that is hard coded or just it's feasible capacity I don't know, but I'm going to find out in the 6 weeks. The airport extremes are good base stations. Fairly solid and can use RADIUS authentication as can the airport express.

    The airport extremes can according to Apple maintain up to 50 concurrent connections. So how you use them depends on which one to get. The biggest difference though which i think makes the decision the hardest is that the airport extreme base station cannot be wall mounted. It has to lie flat. The airport express on the other hand plugs in nicely right into a power socket. If you have an access point directly next to a power socket then these make very neat and tidy WAPs.

    If you have an XServe then configuring these things to use RADIUS authentication is a cinch. Just setup and configure the RADIUS service on the XServe, specify the users which you want to allow access and then choose the WAPs you want configuring. If they are Apple routers it will automatically re-configure the Wi-Fi settings to use RADIUS.

    I currently use 10.6 server for RADIUS authentication. This allows you to auth AD Users against the RADIUS service. IIRC my last attempt using 10.5 (not sure which increment) it wouldn't authenticate any users from the AD.

    The only issue I have with this setup at them moment is Windows XP users need to jump through a few hoops to configure their clients to connect. Not sure if this is a Windows XP issue or just the setup in general (using self-signed certs).

    OS X is a doddle to connect. Just click on the WiFi icon on the menu bar, choose the SSID and it brings a box up asking for your credentials.

    Hope this helps.

    I've attached the guide I found for the XP setup if anyone is interested.

    Connecting to Wifi.pdf

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