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Adding 802.11n to older iMac

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 11:20 AM

Post your comments for Adding 802.11n to older iMac here
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#2 User is online   davetaflin 

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 12:34 PM

That sounds fine for iMacs with USB-2. What about still older iMacs that have only USB-1, which wouldn't give any speed advantage over 802.11b. Is there a solution that uses the Firewire port instead?
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#3 User is offline   Felix001 

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 12:46 PM

Thanks, Chris!
I didn't know this hardware existed. Now I can change my AirPort Extreme Base Station over to the straight 802.11n only (5GHz) mode and fully realize the benefits of that freq range. I've been running in the slower 802.11n (802.11b/g compatible) mode since I still have one legacy Mac on the network. This MaxPower adapter will solve that problem.
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#4 User is offline   alauser 

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 12:57 PM

Another possibility for older equipment is to use an AirPort Extreme base station or other compatible N-router to extend the existing wireless network. Plug the non-N equipment into the router using an ethernet cable and disable the internal wireless. If one uses a Time Capsule instead, even a USB-1 machine running Leopard (is that possible?) can back up at wired ethernet speeds instead of USB-1.
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#5 User is offline   cfromberg 

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 01:02 PM

also the 1st generation macbook pros and imacs dual core can be upgraded with 802.11n. the mac pro upgrade kit, $49.95, fits perfectly!
i did that upgrade over a year ago, didn't look back since! the 802.11n upgrade kit card has 2 antennas, just like the atheros card that is in those macs originally.....
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#6 User is online   davetaflin 

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 01:10 PM

Thanks. I think some non-USB-2 iMacs can run Leopard. Not mine, unfortunately, but Time Machine apparently supports Tiger (though you wouldn't know that from Apple's Web site).
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#7 User is offline   jonespita 

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 01:18 PM

Adding a USB 2.0 card is easy and cheap. I added a 4-port USB 2.0 card to my Quicksilver G4(2002) ($16-40) the USB drivers that come with OS X worked fine. I added the WiFi stick, no problems.
Pita
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#8 User is offline   MacKayaker 

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 01:21 PM

And yet another option that may also provide a bit more flexibility, albeit, at a higher price is to use an Apple Airport express, set up in air to Ethernet bridge mode. It picks up the signal from the existing network, and converts it to wired signal. This worked well with the last generation of these - I haven't had need or occasion to try it with the newer 802.11n based one.
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#9 User is offline   Chloran 

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 01:26 PM

Good luck, this product that they are showing you is only 2.4Ghz. Any device connecting to a AirPort Extreme it needs to be 5Ghz to connect at 300Mbps otherwise if you use one of these "n" cards you will only ever get a max of 130Mbps on 2.4Ghz
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#10 User is offline   MackyMoto 

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 01:49 PM

Don't know of any FireWire device myself. But, you can use an Airport Express as a bridge. You connect to the Airport Express via Ethernet, and then you'll connect to the rest of your network wirelessly. Not as elegant as the USB solution, but it will work.
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#11 User is offline   mathdave 

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 04:12 PM

I bought an Airport Express to take with me while traveling. I connected it to an older Airport Base Station by ethernet. I set up two wireless networks, one for the iMac on the Airport Base Station and use the Airport Express for my MacBook Pro and Apple TV. It should give me the best connection for the newer equipment as well as the earlier connection for the iMac. I have choice of the two frequency bands for the 802.11n network. -- The ABS serves as my router and the AE is configured in bridge mode.
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#12 User is offline   chucklaux 

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:26 AM

I agree with mathdave. I use this set up too. I use an Airport Extreme and an original Airport Express attached via ethernet.
Having 802.11g wireless is handy when people visit with older (non-n) computers and to provide the WiFi I need my iPhone.
This way my Macbook, Macbook Pro, and Apple TV scream on the 5GHz n network and my other devices go at their maximum on the g network.
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#13 User is offline   kirkrr 

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 05:51 AM

ANOTHER SOLUTION!
Powerline Ethernet adapter. Many companies make Powerline ethernet adpators - a box the size of a small power brick that plugs into you home electrical outlet, and has an ethernet port on it. You need 2 - one to introduce ethernet to your house wiring, and another, where ever you want to connect.
These come in 14mb, 85mb (both compatible with one another) and a Netgear proprietary 200mb version. Faster Powerline adapters have been announced to be available soon.
The advantage is no security issues (the electrical transformer at the street power meter is the "firewall") and it just works, plug and play. Put one next to your broadband modem/router, and plug others in anyplace in your house, and you have ethernet jacks everyplace.
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#14 User is offline   cfromberg 

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 05:59 AM

as long as you only have one circuit in the home it works fine... but if you have more than one breaker box the power line ethernet fails... the new 200Mbit power line adapters are great, if they work...

@ my parents house i had the worst case scenario with 2 separate circuits and the power line solution was a no go...
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