How-to: Setting Timed Internet Access through AirPort Utility

Apple’s AirPort Base Stations, namely AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and Time Capsule, are highly useful networking devices for homes and offices. These devices provide you with the easiest way to share WiFi networks, especially if you belong to a household of Mac and iOS users.

Did you know, though, that AirPort Base Stations also let you limit Internet access of all Mac and iOS devices that connect to your home network? You can easily set time limits on Internet access through these Base Stations’ built-in AirPort Utility. This feature will certainly come in handy for those school nights when negotiations have failed and your kids just won’t put down their iPhones, iPads, or iPods and go to bed.

To set timed Internet access through AirPort Utility:

  • Launch AirPort Utility on your Mac (the Utility is in the Applications folder, under Utilities). Select the Base Station used for your home network.
  • Click the Edit button that appears at the lower right corner of the window.
  • A new menu will appear on your screen. Click the Network tab at the top of the menu. Make sure the box beside ‘Enable Access Control’ has a check mark.

Make sure ‘Enable Access Control’ is checked. (image from

  • Once that box is checked, click the Timed Access Control button. Clicking the button will bring up another menu, where you can add devices under the Wireless Clients section.
  • Hit the Plus sign to start adding the devices you’d like to set time limits on. For each device, type an appropriate name in the Description field (e.g. ‘The Teenager’s MacBook Air’) and enter the device’s Mac Address in the field provided. You can set time restrictions for iOS devices, too.
  • In the next section, you can choose the days and specific times when the said devices will be allowed Internet access. You can make individual settings for each device you add.
Setting specific days and times for Internet access (image from

Setting specific days and times for Internet access (image from


  • Once you’ve set everything up according to your preferences, click the Save button. The devices you’ve specified should now have time-limited access to the Internet.

Don’t know how to get the Mac addresses of your kids’ computers? Here’s a quick tutorial:

  • For iOS, go to the Settings menu, click ‘General’ then ‘About’. You should see a screen with the device’s details, including Carrier, Model, and WiFi Address. Jot down the WiFi Address.
  • For Macs, head to the main menu and click the Apple logo. Choose ‘About This Mac’ and click the System Report button at the bottom of the window that pops up. Down the list on the left, find ‘Locations’ (under ‘Network’) and click on it. Take note of the ‘Hardware (MAC) Address’ that appears on the right.

There you have it! Now you can rest assured that your kids won’t be browsing the Web at all hours of the night. For advice on using your AirPort Base Stations, or to get yourself a Base Station for easier network management, you can trust MacMall’s retail stores in Torrance, Chicago, Huntington Beach, and Santa Monica. We have Apple-authorized experts at all our service counters, just waiting to help you out.

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