I have a small home network - a server and 3 desktop PC's; I have a cable modem, a Netgear 5-port 10/100/1000M GS605 network switch, and I recently installed a new Apple Airport Extreme 802.11n WiFi router to replace a seemingly failing Linksys router. I did not take care to connect the ethernet cables as before as the Airport had at least one fewer ports. Now my network is not functioning. Can you help with some basic directions?

I am connected to the Internet with my MacBook laptop picking up a wireless signal from the router. Sometimes I connect via an ethernet cable and also pick-up the wireless signal for an iPhone and iPad.

  • Is the cable modem also a router? If so, are you using it as a router? Or are you using the Airport Extreme as your router? Or are you trying to set up a network with more than one router? – David Schwartz Mar 3 '13 at 7:01

Since it is not clear how your existing setup was, I'm making an assumption based on the most common setup that could exist where your Cable Modem was not acting as a router, your linksys router was the primary router providing wired and wireless access, and you had a Netgear switch connected to the Linksys router to get extra ethernet ports for your network.

Make sure that the upstream port aka WAN port of the router (your Airport Extreme) is connected to the cable modem's ethernet port.

I'm assuming that you're using the Netgear device just as a switch to have extra ethernet ports in your network. If that be the case, connect an ethernet cable between the Netgear's LAN port and Airport Extreme's LAN port.

Connected a wired ethernet cable from your router to your laptop and verify you're able to get an internet connection.

You can then try to setup your wifi by logging into your router's web administration page when connected using the ethernet cable. After configuring your Access Point details, password, etc. switch to wifi on your laptop to confirm if you're able to access the internet.

  • This is correct if his cable modem is not a router or is not being used as a router. – David Schwartz Mar 3 '13 at 8:09
  • @DavidSchwartz - yes you're correct. From his question it looked like his Cable modem was not acting as a router. Besides if that be the case, the OP's previous setup would have been overkill by having a router-behind another router. – Tuxdude Mar 3 '13 at 8:11
  • We don't know what his previous setup was. He might have been using the Airport as a switch and access point with his cable modem being his router. In that case, your answer would be incorrect and will give him double NAT when he didn't have it before and will isolate some of his devices from each other. (Of course, you can't know for sure what his setup is. So all you can do is guess.) – David Schwartz Mar 3 '13 at 8:15
  • @DavidSchwartz - yes fully agree, let me update my answer with the assumptions. And the OP has stated that he bought the Airport only recently to replace his failing Linksys router. – Tuxdude Mar 3 '13 at 8:28

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