I have a network currently set up as per the image below.

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We use Regus's shared Internet and I've create a sub network for our office by using DHCP and NAT on the airport extreme router. Now the Airport Extreme complains there is Double NAT - but it still appears to work fine. I manually set the DNS servers on each client's network adapter and everything works.

What I am trying to do is set it up so the DHCP from the router auto assigns the DNS servers to the client machines without me having to manually enter them for each client. The problem is when I set the DNS servers on the router to and - this doesn't work and web pages don't load. I am a bit stuck here and manually entering the DNS servers will prove to be a longer process. How can I get the DNS servers to auto assign?

I've been advised that it's better to use the Windows server as a DHCP server, but unfortunately if I want to use the router with NAT, DHCP is forced. Is it better for me to have the Windows Server as the router with NAT and have the Airport as just a bridge?

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Using an Airport Extreme as dhcp server is not a good idea when anyone haves a complex LAN/Scenario, because in the dhcp server you can only set 2 ipv4 dns server address, so in your case use the primary for the internal resolution (win server) and use the secondary for a public dns server (ISP/other) don't forget to set your internal domain name (if you have one) in the "Domain Name" filed.

In other hand you can configure your windows server to resolve internal and external query names to do this, first configure your local domain and internal dns records in your windows server (don't forget the reverse records for each host), and finally in your windows server configure the forwarders in DNS-> your zone click on Action menu, click Properties and the Forwarders tab, click edit and finally type the ip address of your ISP DNS servers, in your Airport Extreme router only configure 1 dns server this one must be the ip address of your windows server.

  • Thank you that's exactly what I needed. Setting the Forwarders in the DNS configuration did the trick. I understand Airport Extreme is not great for what I need to do but this is more of a learning curve for me so when I get more appropriate hardware at least I will understand how to set it up correctly. Thanks again! – Wasim Sep 26 '14 at 20:09

It appears that your DNS/DHCP needs are a bit more comprehensive than I would personally be cozy with handling with a simple consumer router.

If you were talking about using an L3 switch or a switch/router more geared toward the enterprise, where you could control the individual ports, that would be a different story. You would have a great deal more granular control...

In this case, it is my opinion that you need something "smarter" than an airport router. In your case I would say that using a windows box for this would be the least you could do. I don't know what kind of budget you are running, or the size of your organization, but it really sounds like you are exceeding the capabilities of your current network infrastructure and you should really consider a cisco switch or something with a bit more... umph...

Good luck!

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