ISPs Conflict With Airport MAC Address

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Date: Monday, December 2nd, 2002, 00:00
Category: Archive


I recently ran into a problem that neither cable companies or Apple seems to want to know anything about.

I originally ran Cox Cable Internet access through a Toshiba cable modem straight into a snow airport and distributed it to three TiBooks/iBooks. This worked great until I moved to a new address and node of the cable system. Suddenly, the cable modem didn’t like the Airport. For days I reset, hard reset and reconfigured the Airport thinking I must be doing something wrong. If I hooked one of the laptops straight into the modem it ran fine. If I enabled software base station on that laptop, it distributed internet to the others just fine.

I spoke with Apple and the ISP, both of which blamed the other or my ability as a geek. After a bit of research I discovered that others are having the same problem with various ISPs. The common thread was the hardware (MAC) address. Some ISPs do not like the MAC address offered by the Airport.

I tested the theory by dusting off an old router, placing it between the modem and the Airport. Eureka! The provider now had a MAC address it liked and I was off and running. Apple needs to let folks know that the built-in router in the snow Airport may not work with all ISPs. Or they need to provide access to the MAC address set up like other routers do so we can change the address to one the provider will accept.

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