Airport Extreme on Telus DSL?

I’ve been struggling with this all day. Haven’t found much help on the Telus website, and their tech agents haven’t had much in the way of helpful suggestions.

I use Telus DSL at home, recently switching to the TelusTV service (which apparently also affects the internet service, as the internet guys keep forwarding me to the TV department for support. wtf?)

My old Linksys 802.11a router has been acting up, so I splurged on a new Apple Airport Extreme 802.11n base station. I have it hooked up to the ethernet switch installed by the TelusTV guy the other day.

DSL Modem –> ethernet switch –> Airport Extreme –> Computer

If I run the AE in “Bridge” mode, with no DHCP service (so it’s essentially a hub, not a router), I can get an IP address if connecting via ethernet to the AE. If I try wireless, there’s no joy. If I try to “share a single IP address” – turn on DHCP and routing – the AE complains about pulling an invalid IP address (even though it’s the same one that was pulled by the computer when running the AE in Bridge Mode). No joy in connecting to the Internet via ethernet or wireless in that mode.

I’ve registered the MAC address for the AE via Telus’ registry app at – no joy.

Lazyweb request: has anyone configured an Airport Extreme to run over Telus DSL via TelusTV? This really shouldn’t be an all-day ordeal. Any tips? Is there a magic phone number or email address to contact to make things work the way they’re supposed to?

I’ve been seriously considering ditching Telus for internet to get it via Shaw, where this balogna apparently doesn’t happen. But that would likely mess up the whole TelusTV thing…

Update: here’s a kicker – I’ve entered both the AE ethernet and wireless MAC addresses into the 2 slots provided on to register my computers. My laptop’s MAC address is not registered. But, if I set the AE to “Bridge Mode”, the laptop can surf the web happily while connected to the AE via ethernet. If I set the AE to “Share a single IP address” mode, so that its MAC addresses are visible, then I can’t get off the LAN. WTF? There’s got to be a secret handshake somewhere… Haven’t been able to connect to the internet via wireless at all, no matter what mode the AE runs in.

Update: a handy dandy OmniGraffle diagram of the network topology:

Telus TV Network Topology

Update, the third: Finally got it working, with “share a single public IP address” running. Looks like the AirportExpress wasn’t reading the DNS values provided by DHCP, so nothing was resolvable. And Telus doesn’t appear to like off-Telus DNS servers, so I couldn’t just manually add others. Seems to be working now, after setting the AE internet panel to use “manual” and providing the info.

For future googlers: the DNS servers I use from Telus are


11 thoughts on “Airport Extreme on Telus DSL?”

  1. How frustrating. My setup:

    (virgin cable modem) -> 802.11n airport extreme -> (802.11n/a) -> laptop and (ethernet) -> computer + airport express.

    Virgin only allow one IP address, handed out via DHCP, so the APE is set to shared (NAT + DHCP). Any other option wouldn’t work out very well.

    Have you tried turning it off and on? 🙂

  2. Depends on the kind of modem you’ve got. If you have a bridge modem — one that doesn’t perform any kind of routing — you should connect the Base to it and then connect the switch to the Base. Having the switch between the Base and the modem is asking for trouble. This setup does require the Base to have routing enabled with “share a single IP address” as the Base becomes the WAN routing device on your side. It is unkown to me if your DSL uses PPPoE or just plain DHCP but you might want to check into that.

    If you have a routing modem have it be the WAN routing device, then connect the Base to it so it gets a private LAN IP from the modem, then connect the switch to one of the base’s ethernet ports.

    Either way you want to have the same device assigning IPs to your computers (preferably the Base) and getting the WAN IP address. That way if anything goes awry you only have to deal with that device.

  3. @patrick: I’ve tried DHCP+NAT, and just the default DHCP without NAT setting. Rebooting everything multiple times, in different orders, just in case… No luck. Bridge Mode works, but “share a single public IP” doesn’t work at all.

    @xeelee: this is the config that the Telus technician set up when he installed the TelusTV service the other day (but with my older/cranky Linksys router instead of the AE). I’ll try reversing the order, and maybe dropping out the Telus switch (which becomes redundant if using the AE as the router anyway).

  4. That’s really weird.

    Of all the option share single public IP should be the one to work. Have you tried changing the internal IP range?

    I think telus might hand out non-public IP addresses until you register the mac address, and there might a conflict there.

    TelusTV… they might need it to be outside of your home router. Depends I guess on the network topology & how the telustv service fits into it.

  5. disconnected the Telus switch and plugged the AE directly into the modem. Still only worked in Bridge Mode. And the TVs didn’t get a signal. Looks like I’ll get to spend another day trying to talk to someone at Telus.

  6. I seem to have missed a couple of words there. Randomly insert things until it makes sense 🙂

    So as I understand it, your setup is:
    ADSL Modem -> Telus Switch
    Telus Switch -> Telus TV
    Telus Switch -> APE WAN port
    APE LAN Ports + APE Wireless -> computer?

  7. got it working. it felt like a DNS problem all along, but I didn’t realize that the Airport Extreme wasn’t pulling DNS info from DHCP, so nothing was resolving when it received the DHCP info from Telus. I set the internet panel to use “manual”, added the IP address I had been given (until it expires?) and then added the DNS servers. All’s well now. At least until my DHCP lease expires and I have to pull a new IP…

  8. It’s annoying when it’s something so small. At least it’s not a hardware problem 🙂

    You can set a DNS server while leaving it to get IP+gateway automagically. As long as it is getting the IP/subnet/router via DHCP then you’re good. So my IPv6 is set to Using DHCP, but I can still manually set the DNS Server(s).

  9. yeah. it doesn’t help that the documentation on the Telus sites is out of date and/or just plain incorrect. The problem had nothing to do with registering MAC addresses. Turns out, the only MAC they need is that of the switch they installed. Everything behind that is fine w/o registration. frustrating. That wasted a day and a half of my life.

  10. I had the same problem with my new Airport Extreme. The Airport received DNS adresses via the WAN, but did not distribute this to my laptop. It took me a few days to solve the problems, but after i entered DNS adresses in my laptop setupt, everything worked fine.

    The problem is that everytime I try to connect a new device (my WAN cellphone, my Ipod Touch, my wifes laptop etc), it isn’t enough to know the password – they also have to change their network setup.

    It should be possible to fix this permanently in some way.

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