AirPort Base Station: About the WAN and LAN Ports

The AirPort Base Station (Dual Ethernet) and the AirPort Extreme Base Station each have two Ethernet ports. The WAN port uplinks to your network, and the LAN port serves wired clients of the base station.
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The base station has two Ethernet ports, a LAN port and a WAN port . Generally speaking, the WAN port connects to the Internet, and the LAN port accommodates wired Ethernet computers. Both ports share these features:
  • They accept standard RJ-45 Ethernet connectors.
  • They are designed not to allow accidental insertion of an RJ-11 telephone connector.
  • A crossover cable is compatible but not required, since the base station automatically senses the cable type and adjusts the pinout signal accordingly.

The WAN port

Figure 1 The WAN port icon

Use the WAN port for connecting to digital subscriber line (DSL), a cable modem, or a wide area network (WAN), such as your existing school or business network. Contact your network administrator before placing a base station on a WAN.

The LAN port

Figure 2 The LAN port icon

Use the LAN port to connect wired Ethernet computers or printers to the base station. This allows them to communicate with wireless computers, to share an Internet connection, or both. You can connect a single computer or printer to the base station; or, for multiple devices, connect to the hub, switch, or router of a local area network (LAN). Since the base station itself is a router, a hub is adequate for a simple network.

Designing a network

For more information on designing a network, see these technical documents:

106658: "Creating a Small Ethernet Network."
120061: "Designing AirPort Networks for Mac OS X (v10.1) Manuals"
75138: "Designing AirPort Networks for Mac OS 9 Document"
Published Date: Oct 10, 2016