Using AirPort Express on a Hotel Room Ethernet

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Date: Wednesday, August 4th, 2004, 09:24
Category: Archive

I took my AirPort Express (AX) on the road for the first time this week. Having seen some reports about AX devices not working on some hotel networks, I took the conservative approach and pre-configured my AX to act as a Bridge only. I set the address of the AX manually to 10.0.1.1 and created a new location on my PowerBook with IP address 10.0.1.2 so that I could later configure the AX using an Ethernet cable directly between the AX and PB. Read More…


I took my AirPort Express (AX) on the road for the first time this week. Having seen some reports about AX devices not working on some hotel networks, I took the conservative approach and pre-configured my AX to act as a Bridge only. I set the address of the AX manually to 10.0.1.1 and created a new location on my PowerBook with IP address 10.0.1.2 so that I could later configure the AX using an Ethernet cable directly between the AX and PB.
The reason you might want this bridge-only setup is that SOME networks may only allow ONE MAC address (Ethernet address) per room to be associated with an IP address. In such cases, if the AX gets its IP address from the hotel network, then you have “used up” your one MAC address slot, and the computer will not be able to get a second address.
I plugged in the AX, connected it to the hotel Ethernet, and waited for the green light to come on. I then opened a browser and was immediately connected to the hotel network usage confirmation page. Bingo.
The downside of this setup is that the AX and the PB will not (typically) be on the same IP network and this means you cannot stream music from iTunes to your AX. (I have been in hotels that have stereo systems or at least a TV with audio inputs where such a setup might be nice.)
The AX works fine in this mode, but I also found that it works if you tell it to get its address via DHCP from the hotel network. At least on *this* hotel network. In this setup you *can* stream music, so I guess I will leave it with this configuration until I encounter a hotel network which limits the connection to one MAC address.

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