Configuring AOL-DSL Connections
"Extreme" base stations have two ethernet ports. One of these ports on the new base station is for the high-speed connection to you ISP which is called the WAN port. You may connect this port to a router which is connected to your high-speed internet, a hub which attached to a LAN, or directly to a cable or DSL modem. The WAN port has a symbol next to it that looks like a circle of dots.
The other ethernet port is the so-called LAN port. It has a symbol that looks like this <···>, and is meant for your internal network in case you're using the ABS as a router. So if you're planning on attaching the ABS to the cable/DSL modem and hooking up a number of desktops, this is the port you'd want to attach a hub to.
You always want to connect the WAN port to the high-speed ISP interface in your home. Attaching the AOL-DSL connection to the LAN port can confuse the ABS. Furthermore, whenever you update the firmware of a ABS it is a very good idea to disconnect the WAN port while you are doing so. Only AFTER you have finished updating the settings or firmware reconnect the WAN connection.
This step is not described by Apple in their literature, but it can be very important in order to ensure that the ABS configures itself the way you intended it to. Otherwise, the ABS will take preference to the configuration data sent by the high-speed modem! Anyway, here is how to configure the AOL-DSL pane.
Not much to configure here! The only decision to make is how much you want to stay connected. For the sake of security, it may be beneficial to not stay continuously connected.
Unless there is a Firewall between your network and the Internet, there is ample opportunity for a hacker to attempt to break into your network. A Firewall is arguably the most important security tool against hacking attempts. Not leaving your Network connected to the Internet is another way to reduce the possibility of someone even trying to break in. You can enable the Firewall via the Network Tab (which is next).
Last but not least, you can configure the speed of your WAN ethernet port (the port to which the AOL-DSL modem should be connected). Typically, the setting should be left on Automatic. Should you find that the ABS is not surfing as fast as it should be, you can force it to use 100Mbit/s full-duplex or 10Mbit/s full-duplex. However, most modems today only support 10Mbit/s connections. Forcing the ABS to communicate at 100Mbit/s may thus break your connection!