AirPort Express basestation not working...
August 15, 2004 4:59 AM   Subscribe

AirPort problem: I just set up my new AirPort Express basestation, and, believe it or not, it doesn't work properly. more inside...

So yeah, the airtunes function works perfectly and it's recognized by my computer but when I try to access anything on the web I get a page that says I'm being blocked by an SAS proxy. I'm using comcast digital cable, and when they set it up I saw this page as they were messing with proxies to register my modem. I check all my internet settings and the proxies all appear to be off, but still this problem. I've restarted everything 10 times and completely reset and re-set-up my base station to no avail. anyone have any insights?

I hate to burden askme with my trivial personal computer problems but recently nothing apple makes has been working for me and this makes me sad as I have loved them for their reliability and usability my whole life.
posted by garethspor to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I forget if the Airport has it's own MAC address. I know that my router needs to clone mine (and I'm on comcast). In other words: It has to identify itself as a unique computer on the internet
posted by filmgeek at 6:00 AM on August 15, 2004

what's a sas proxy? (google doesn't help much - gives a few hits on problems and then a load of advertising spam).

there is a common problem with cable, in that the provider's dhcp server, or the dhcp server in your cable modem, or something else, somewhere, is configured to only provide connections for one "thing" and already has your computer's mac address, so is refusing to play nicely with your airport. if that's what's happening here (and if it is, i still have no idea what a sas proxy is) then you have several options: try waiting and things will probably eventually expire / time out (and then accept the new "thing" connected - typically in 12 or 24 hours); call your provider and explain what's happening and they'll reset something; configure your airport to give the mac address of your computer (or whatever was connected to the modem before) rather than its own mac address. i don't know if that last option is possible, but i think it's what filmgeek is trying to explain.

this may be a load of crap - i really don't understand the problem, but thought filmgeek's answer might need clarifying (if i've understood it).
posted by andrew cooke at 6:33 AM on August 15, 2004

I'm going to second the suggestion that this is a MAC address thing. I dunno if the airex permits you to set the MAC address, but if it does, set it to the same as whatever device used to be plugged in to wherever you put the airex.

Mr. Cooke kinda-sorta is telling you why.
posted by majick at 6:42 AM on August 15, 2004

That's what you need to do:

Either "clone" the MAC address that Comcast knows and expects (probably the original PC the technician set up with) on the Airport Express (Can it do this? I don't know...), or call Comcast and tell them you've changed your machine, and have a new MAC address, and give them the MAC address of the Airport Express.

I'm using an oldish LinkSys wireless router, and I clone the MAC address of my old defunct G4 on it, and distribute internet goodness to all my machines. I'm on Comcast, by the way...
posted by jpburns at 7:40 AM on August 15, 2004

implicit in all of this is that the mac address is what "identifies" something (in this context). so if you give the airport the mac address of your computer then it "looks like" your computer. that's why people are talking about mac addresses.

(hey, you might ask, isn't "identifying things" what ip (internet) addresses are for? yes, you're right, but the mac address is used to sort out the ip address (which is where dhcp comes in). so getting the mac address right lets the ip addresses be assigned correctly...)
posted by andrew cooke at 7:56 AM on August 15, 2004


This may work.

unplug the modem. Let it reset. It will now read the airport express correctly (it was expecting your laptop).

Then try it.
posted by filmgeek at 9:27 AM on August 15, 2004

I had a similar problem with Comcast Cable internet, but we were using a LinkSys router. The problem (as others stated) was because we had one computer on the line before, and when we tried to switch it to the router, the modem had trouble following along. Comcast had to change something on their end to make it work. We called late in the day and found a tech support guy who liked the challenge. Good luck!
posted by samh23 at 12:52 PM on August 15, 2004

Response by poster: yeah, I think you guys have the right ideas but I have no idea how to change the MAC address of my airport, I really think that the problem is solvable on comcasts side but the trouble is finding a tech who is in anyway interested in figuring it out, they're all telling me that I must have some proxy turned on and I'm as sure as I can be that I don't. As always, thanks for your helpful suggestions.
posted by garethspor at 1:07 PM on August 15, 2004

Response by poster: ok!

for what it's worth, I fixed it. I spent a lot of time on the phone with comcast and figured out that it was a proxy setting that was stuck on. So I talked with applecare and they told me to reorder the list of network port configurations so that it tries to connect through airport first. Probably, checking for airport last was screwing up the proxy settings preventing anything from working.

Thanks for all of your helpful suggestions nonetheless.
posted by garethspor at 3:55 PM on August 15, 2004

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