Using AirPort wireless communication internationally

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Regulations for wireless communication vary between countries, so an AirPort card or Base Station is only certified for use in the country in which it was originally sold. In the case of the base station, both the modem and wireless card must be individually certified for use in the various countries.

AirPort operates in the the 2.4 and 5.0 Ghz bands, which are internationally recognized band for radio LANs. However, regulations in certain countries do not allow the use of all available channels, so you should only use the permitted channels within a given country. The following chart describes the channel regulations for the 2.4 Ghz band.

North America 1 to 11
South America 1 to 11
Europe 1 to 13
Asia/Pacific (except Japan, Taiwan) 1 to 13
Japan 1 to 14
Taiwan 1 to 11

When traveling, beware that your AirPort product may be able to operate on channels that are not available in the country that you are visiting. For example: If you bought your AirPort card in Japan and traveled to North America, you should not use your computer to create a network on channels 12 to 14, because your North American colleagues would not be able to see your network (cards purchased in North America only work on channels 1 to 11). When creating a computer-to-computer network, select a channel by simply changing the Channel menu from Automatic (shown below) to another number.

Conversely, if you frequently travel to a region that allows more channels than your home region, you may want to consider purchasing an external wireless adapter from the region in which you are using the device.

Administrators of 2.4 Ghz wireless networks that frequently host foreign visitors should consider limiting their networks to channels 1 through 11, which are common to all AirPort products. You can change the channel of a base station using AirPort Admin Utility. Just click the AirPort tab, then use the Channel menu.

An AirPort client joining a network will see the network regardless of channel, so long as it's on one of the channels allowed by the country in which the client AirPort card was purchased. When a network does not appear to the client, it may indicate that the network is on a channel not supported by the client card (such as a North American AirPort card attempting to join a channel 14 network in Japan). It may also just be a "closed" network that you could join by choosing Other and typing the network name.

Note: You are responsible for complying with local regulations when using an AirPort product outside the country in which the device was purchased.

Important: Wireless Internet access requires an Internet service provider (fees may apply) and AirPort (or AirPort-compatible) wireless Ethernet card and base station. Some Internet service providers are not compatible with AirPort. Read more about AirPort requirements for wireless Internet access.

Published Date: Feb 20, 2012