The Non-Techie’s Guide to Setting Up Wi-Fi At Your Vacation Rental

Mike Stachowiak —  May 1, 2013

apple airport expressApple sells this amazing little product to set up a complete Wi-Fi network at your vacation rental, called AirPort Express. It’s so easy that you don’t even need any technical skills to set it up – I promise. It works with both PCs and Macs, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues. Here’s what you need to do:

1) Install Cable, DSL, or Fiber Internet

Depending on your property location, you’ll have the choice of a few Internet options. The basic is DSL, which runs through your existing telephone lines. You might also have Cable Internet which is typically faster than DSL and runs through the coaxial cables that deliver television to your home. If you’re in a larger city, or just lucky to live in a newer building that invested in fiber connectivity, you may get blazing fast internet through a fiber network provider. Typical providers like Comcast, AT&T, Verizon FioS, or WebPass will install this for you. Rates range from $25 – $100 per month.

2) Install the AirPort Express Base Station

For $99 you’ll get the base station which needs to be plugged in to your Cable or DSL modem. Now, just follow the simple instructions on your computer or iOS device to walk through the setup. PC users will need to download a free copy of the setup assistant which is built in on all Apple devices. Set up a name for your network and choose a password for guests. Without a password, anyone within range of your network will be able to gain access. That’s it, wi-fi setup is complete!

3) Extend the Wi-Fi Range for Larger Homes

If you have a large home or even a 2 story property, it can be hard to get internet access in all corners of the house. Just purchase a 2nd AirPort Express and place it in range of your primary base station and near where you want to extend your range. For example, you might set up the base station in the downstairs living room with a second AirPort Express at the top of the stairs to extend your network to the bedrooms and den.

4) Bonus: Plug in Speakers and Create A Wireless Sound System

You can plug in speakers to any AirPort Express then wirelessly stream music from iTunes on your computer or mobile devices from any room in the house. If you’ve extended your network and plugged in speakers to the 2nd device, sit back, relax, and enjoy the whole-house musical experience.

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Did you set up a wireless network for your vacation rental? Did you use the AirPort Express or another product? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Mike Stachowiak

Mike Stachowiak

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Co-founder at MyVR.com. Mike Stachowiak is an entrepreneur, technologist, and active member of the start-up community in Silicon Valley. He has a vacation home in North Lake Tahoe and has been active in the vacation rental industry since 2009. You can find him on Twitter and Google+.
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