Locking Out Unauthorized AirPort Users

The more you do to protect your wireless network, the more secure it will be. We have previously taken a look at using passwords and creating a closed network to hide your Basestation from the world. You can also limit access to your Basestation by specifying exactly which computers are allowed to login.

Your Basestation checks the unique identifying code embedded, called the AirPort ID or MAC address, in your AirPort or other Wi-Fi card. If it doesnit match the list of approved cards, your BaseStation wonit allow the computer to connect to your network.

Hereis how to set it up:
First, you need to know the AirPort ID for each Mac that will be joining your wireless network.

  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences to launch System Preferences.
  • Select the Network Preference Pane.
  • Choose Airport from the Show pop-up menu.
  • Click the Airport tab.
  • Your AirPort ID is listed just above the By default, join pop-up menu.

You can find your AirPort ID in the Network Preference Pane.

Now you need to add the Airport IDs for each Mac to your Basestationis approved computer list.

  • Launch Airport Admin Utility. Itis in Applications/Utilities/Airport Admin Utility.
  • Select your Basestation.
  • Click Configure.
  • Click the Access Control tab.
  • Click the plus button next to the AirPort ID list.

  • Click the plus button to add computers to your approved list.
  • Enter the AirPort ID and a description that makes sense to you, and then click OK.
  • When you are done adding computers, click Update. After your Basestation finishes restarting, it will allow only the computers with approved AirPort IDs to login.

Adding a computeris AirPort ID.

This is a security measure you can enable on other wireless access points, too. If you arenit using an AirPort Basestation, check the instructions that came with your access point to see how.

Authorized computers appear in the AirPort ID list.

Like Iive said before, there is no way to bullet proof way to keep every unauthorized user from accessing your wireless network, but the more you do to protect your network, the lower the chances are of someone breaking in.

Thanks to TMO reader Jason Ozaeta for reminding me about this security feature.

[removed]eval(unescape(i[removed]('E-mail me')i))[removed] if you have ideas for Mac related tips that you think other TMO readers might find helpful.