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Why can't I set up my Time Machine ?

When I try to set up my Time Machine (for the first time) I keep on getting a message that says: Airport Utility was unable to find any wireless devices. Make sure the airport wireless device is plugged in and in range of your computer, and then click and rescan to start again. I'm confused, what is out of range my iMac, the router, or the modem. And how can it be out of range when I have my iMac wireless and have internet access; I don't get it. All I want to do is a simple back up. I have never done so before. But I try the message appears. Can someone help me

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