I would like to set some rule on my Time Capsule and Airport Express in such a way that some cell phones can connect only in specific time slots.

In my network both the devices are connected to a router, which provides the Internet connection. Time Capsule and Airport Express create two networks with the same name and password (i.e. one is not an extension of the other).

I tried to set up some rules in this way:

  1. Phone MAC address
  2. Time slot 1: from 12AM to 1 PM
  3. Time slot 2: from 2PM to 11:59PM

However the phone is still able to connect form 1 to 2 pm.

I also tried to modify the default rule in order to set up the time constraints for all the clients and then I added a rule for allowing the connection to my laptop all without constraints (all the day, all hours). With this second option I wasn't able to connect my laptop to Internet.

How can I configure a filter for not allowing the phones to connect from 1pm to 2pm?


  1. What's the time my airport bases are using? It is retrieved from the net and is it based on my default time zone?
  2. When I insert a rule and specify a time slot. Is the time slot the period in which the connection is allowed or the period in which it is not allowed?
  3. Which is the priority assigned to the rules in case of constraints?
  4. And finally, do I have to set up the same rules on both the stations right?
  • 1
    To verify the time of your airport, you can view the log files in AirPort Utility. In APU v5.x, after connecting to the airport/timecapsule, go the "advanced" tab, then "Logs and Statistics" at the bottom. There should be a recent log entry there, and you can see what time the airport thinks it is. The time setting can be changed form the "AirPort" tab, and "Base Station" sub-tab. There is a checkbox to set the time automatically, and the time zone you want to use.
    – Kent
    Jun 3 '13 at 7:34
  • 1
    And, just to make sure ... you turned off the cellular data of the phones when you were testing this, right?
    – Kent
    Jun 3 '13 at 7:36
  • Regarding your question 4: Yes, both devices would have to be configured the same way. Although I'm curious why you two devices reporting as the same network. Is one providing 5 GHz coverage, and the other 2.4 GHz or something similar?
    – bayendor
    Jun 4 '13 at 17:47
  • @8bitVet I have both of theme connected to the Ethernet cable (one is not configured as wireless extension of the other). This is why I have the same network configured on both.
    – Maverik
    Jun 5 '13 at 8:09
  • The details from the "Also" section might be better as edited into the closest answer once you have a answer worth choosing the bounty. If not, you might just ask them as stand alone questions on the site. Everyone benefits from neat, clean, tidbits and we can link them in comments as needed to make the full picture.
    – bmike
    Jun 7 '13 at 19:29

First of all, I would suggest setting this up with the Time Capsule first (unplug the AirPort Express). Then, once you have it working on the Time Capsule, you can duplicate it with the AirPort Express.

Option 1

If you want to lock things down as much as possible, then "No Access" should be the default:

No Access

And then create a new entry for the cell phone for when you do want to allow access:

enter image description here

However, that will mean that you have to create entries for all of your other devices as well.

Option 2

So your alternative is to make the default "Everyone is welcome":

enter image description here

But then specify when the cell phone is allowed to access:

enter image description here

Which to try?

I would use Option 1 unless you have so many other devices connecting that it would be impractical.

Option 2 seems like it would be easier to setup, but I have to admit I have not tried it myself.

Time Zone

Time Zone information is set here:

enter image description here

Note that I am still using AirPort Utility 5.6.1 because I find it a lot easier to use than AirPort Utility 6.

You can use 5.6.1 on Mountain Lion, despite what the installer will tell you.

See http://www.tuaw.com/2013/01/22/use-automator-to-get-the-airport-utility-5-6-1-working-on-os-x-1/ and http://www.macworld.com/article/1167965/mountain_lion_and_the_ancient_airport_base_station.html for details on how to install it.

  • Excellent answer. Also, as @Kent said above, be sure to turn cellular data OFF on the phones as part of your troubleshooting process - otherwise, it'll be hard to tell if you are browsing webpages via cellular or the supposedly-restricted WiFi.
    – Nate
    Jun 3 '13 at 14:00

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