Customer recently hired me to get her NOOK tablet to connect wirelessly to her home network. She also wanted me to figure out why her family’s iPad and iPod touch wouldn’t authenticate, either. Experimenting with her AirPort Extreme settings, I came up with a simple solution.
In addition to my customer’s two computers and wireless printer, my iPhone 4 running iOS 6.1.3 had no problem authenticating to the network. A message box visible from the NOOK settings window suggested that the wireless login problem may be caused by a MAC Address Access Control restriction in the router. However, when I checked the settings in AirPort Utility, I found that the dropdown menu for MAC Address Access Control was disabled.
Finding that the AirPort guest network was also disabled, I took a hunch to activate this setting using the same password assigned to the main 2.4 GHz wireless. Sure enough: the NOOK was now able to authenticate without a hiccup. Moreover, using the guest SSID, I was also able to configure the iPad and iPod touch so they, too, could sign into the network.
MORAL: If you’re using an AirPort router as your wireless gateway and need to provide Internet and email access to various hand-held devices, you may wish to turn on the guest network. For the sake of security, make sure you set up a closed network and that you incorporate a strong password that includes at least one uppercase letter, numbers, and special characters.