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I will try to be brief. In my career I have always used the upper end of the subnet for network devices. For instance, I use .250-.254 for network devices such as the routers. I am very fond of using .254 as the default gateway for internal networks. Is there a way to change the private network default gateway of the Airport Extreme to x.x.x.254? As an example, the factory default network is 10.0.1.0/255.255.255.0 with a default gateway of 10.0.1.1. I would like to change the gateway to 10.0.1.254.

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I have never been able to accomplish this when the AirPort itself serves up DHCP. Even if you enter a DHCP reservation for the MAC addresses of the hardware, it seems to configure itself for .1 rather than the address you wished to reserve. I guess the hardware grabs that address before it starts DHCP.

Now, if you were to have another DHCP server and let the AirPort run in bridge mode (you lose both DHCP and NAT in this case) you might have a chance at setting the router and default gateway to be x.y.z.254 but that seems a lot of work to keep with your preference and probably will break things you need the AirPort to do for you.

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Thank you for taking the time to answer. I was hoping for something different but it is what it is. Ultimately, it means I have to change the default gateway settings on all statically defined devices in my environment. Or better, do dhcp reservations for them and change them from static to dhcp. Since it is just my house I don't have too many such devices: printers, hypervisor hosts, hand full of server VM, etc. –  Rob Miller Apr 7 '13 at 18:04
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Just configure the AP in Bridge-mode so it's running DHCPD and distributing addresses.

Then, on the internet tab configure it statically and give it the high IP you want. You probably want to configure the range to be 1-253.

Personally, I find Airport Utility 5.6 to be better than the 6+ versions. You might want to give that a try too (see here for how to get it).

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I may have described the problem poorly or do not have a full grasp of how the AirPort works. What I am trying to do is keep the internet side "as is" (i.e. dhcp a public address from my ISP and nat all outbound traffic through that address. On the inside network, the one with RFC1918 (private) addresses, I would like the default gateway to be .254 instead of .1. It seems like a simple process, and one that I've had no problems doing on other WAPs and DHCP servers, but the AipPort does not seem to support this simple configuration option. –  Rob Miller Apr 7 '13 at 17:49
    
Also, I agree with you about the 5.6 vs 6.x UI but it does not seem to support the configuration option either, but that could just be my ignorance. –  Rob Miller Apr 7 '13 at 17:50
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