16.3. Configuring Third-Party Access Points

The previous section covered a wide variety of wireless security settings for Apple AirPort base stations and Time Capsules. But Apple is just one of many manufacturers of Wi-Fi access points, and because Macs work just fine with other brands too, you may have Wi-Fi equipment from another company.

The sheer number of products available and the varieties of features and interfaces they offer make it impossible for me to provide detailed instructions for configuring all of them. However, I can offer some general information that applies to the majority of third-party access points and go into slightly more detail for a few of the most popular brands. For brands not mentioned here or to learn how to configure additional settings, consult the documentation that came with your access point or the manufacturer's website.

16.3.1. Access point configuration basics

Although Apple includes AirPort Utility with every AirPort base station and Time Capsule (as well as with Mac OS X itself), such desktop configuration software is extremely uncommon. Instead, most access points include a simple built-in web server. You connect to the access point by pointing your browser to a special private IP address, type your administrative credentials to get access to the device's settings, and then use web-based forms to configure it. Depending on the device and what settings you change, you may need to restart the access point after making changes — which could ...

Get Mac® Security Bible now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.