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Ask Max: Crossover cable to an AirPort Express?

Asked on 10/09/2006:

First off, thank you for your time. I just recently purchased a Mac Pro workstation for use at home. My home network is completely wireless since my girlfriend growled at the sight of cables running all over. I have read various forums in which users state they have connected to their wireless network by running a cable from their PowerMac/MacPro to an Airport Express base station. Some say they have used a cross-over cable, some say it's not needed because the AE base station is auto sensing. Could you confirm if this is possible, and how I would go about configuring it?


You can use an Airport Express to bridge a wireless connection to a wired computer. You will have to have another Airport Express or Airport Extreme base station as your main base station. They both will need the latest firmware to support the secure WDS connection. Join your two base stations through WDS and then connect the Mac Pro to the ethernet port with any ethernet cable. The gigabit ethernet port on the Mac Pro will auto detect what kind of connection is on the other end of the cable and adjust to that. It is easiest to set up WDS when both base stations are setup together so if you encounter problems then reset them both to "Default" settings. Then set them up through the WDS tab in the Airport Admin Utility.Good luck… and I know the growl your girlfriend gave you from experience.

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