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wireless, wireless networking, airport, 802.11b, 802.11, wifi, wi-fi, Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum, DSSS, interoperable, network Headgap's Wireless Resources


LinkSys Wireless G Router - works well with Mac's and offers Airport Extreme speeds

I like and use Linksys Routers for my Mac network. They are relatively cheap these days and since even Radio Shack carries them we don't bother. Buy the LinkSys Wireless AC Dual Channel. Hard connect via ethernet one of your systems to set up the unit. First thing put in a password. The default password will result in every 12 year old on the internet taking over your router. Second put in a network name. Make it simple so you can remember it but now too simple. No spaces. You will want to enter that name on each system you have accessing your network so that it doesn't try to roam. That way your connection is solid since you have told your unit to hook directly to that network. While you are at it replace those old Ethernet Cables with at least 5E or CAT6.

You should know that 802.11AC is the new Airport Extreme and is now dual channel on the later Macs. I am still using 802.11N gear which is probably fine for most folks but if you are buying new get the later. The old 802.11G is equivalent to the first Airport Extreme and is the faster. 802.11b is your regular Airport connection. You may want to choose the AC version DUAL CHANNEL of your next router purchase so you will be ready as you update your other equipment.

The regular Airport cards for older Macs are no longer produced. That is why the price is higher today on those units than they were new. I never used Airport choosing instead industry standard items where possible (I'm cheap). If you need an Airport card for your older iBook click the link to the Headgap Store. They are in the wireless section. Do know that they don't support some of the later security protocols that some routers require. You may have to turn off your security or at least dumb it down to match the early Airport cards. The early Airport B cards do still work but not with modern encryption so you will have to downgrade your routers setting to use it. See our solution using a cheap wireless access point below for older Macs below.

I hate DLINK. While some of their stuff is advertised as Mac compatible I have always had trouble. Perhaps you haven't and I guess good for you.


Ben Dittman (a Headgap reader) writes: If a person uses a PCI based wireless card that uses the Broadcom chipset in a Sawtooth G4, it will often work using Apple's Airport Extreme drivers since Airport Extreme cards are based on the Broadcom chipset. One card in particular that I know works is the Buffalo WLI2-PCI-G54. I have personally seen it in action in a Sawtooth. Theoretically, any Broadcom based card should work, but I definitely can't guarantee that since I haven't tested them all. 802.11g speeds for less money than an Apple Airport (802.11b) card. As long as you have a free PCI slot this is a great option. That is a tech tip from me. These really are hard to find these days.

WIRELESS N - Back In Stock! Lower Prices!

I thought it would be a long while before I upgraded my Wireless G components to N. Cost keeps me from running out and adopting new technology quickly and I am certain that many of you are like me when it comes to parting with cash. I have had my eyes out for a low cost alternative that would enable me to install the much faster and longer range N. Well I finally located some market USB Devices that we could get drivers for. I replaced our trusty LinkSys Wireless G Router with a Wireless N Router (LinkSys) unit and have started using these new dongles.

You get more bars at even marginal locations with the Wireless N USB Adapters and the transfer rates are astounding.

I can now see how video can easily be shared. Perhaps shortly I will have a Mac permanently attached to the TV. Makes it better to watch those shows I missed from online and all without stringing CAT 5E or CAT6 across the floor. The USB Lan Adapter we include the drivers on our latest SuperSink DVD which is also chock full of updates and the best freeware and shareware available (a $16.77 value all by itself) included with your purchase. Oh yes if you need a Wireless N Router just watch the sale papers for Best Buy, Office Depot etc for the LinkSys Wireless N. They sell them so cheap (about $50) we simply don't bother to stock them. We use the little wireless N USB Adapters on our own iBook when we travel. It has better ears and gets a better signal even on older slower non N networks. We stock USB 2 cards for your G4 if you don't already have one. While these work on the USB1 ports they work faster and better plugged directly into a USB2 card. I have installed these on the older iMac G3 units with USB1.1 and they work fine and a lot better than the old Airport cards.

Make any Mac with USB Wireless!
N Speeds!

Make your Apple Mac USB Wireless N speeds
Requires OSX 10.4 up

Wireless USB 2.0 802.11N Mini LAN Adapter
Special $34.77 shipped

Provides Faster Wireless N networking on iMacs, Mini's, iBooks, Powerbooks, and MacBooks or any Mac with a USB 2 Port!

New Mini SIze! Finally a reasonable cost USB Wireless solution for the Mac! Mac OSX 10.4 to 10.6 compatible! Extend your wireless coverage and experience greater speed with this Wireless N USB 2.0 Adapter! Based on the 802.11n 2.0 standard, this Wireless N USB Adapter delivers the highest wireless data rate so you can enjoy uninterrupted data streaming. This Wireless N USB Adapter features integrated antenna and is backwards compatible with 802.11b/g networks! With WPA2, WPA, 802.1x and WEP security encryption, the Wireless N USB Adapter helps keep your wireless connection secure from intruders. Transmit: Up to 150 Mbps, Receive: Up to 300 Mbps. Frequency Band: 2.4 - 2.5 GHz. REQUIRES: USB2 Port, 10.4 . 10.5 or 10.6 & a compatible wireless network. Includes our OSX Super Sink DVD ($14.77 value) with drivers from us DOES NOT WORK WITH OS VERSIONS EARLIER THAN 10.4. Our $34.77 price includes domestic shipping. See the Wireless section of the store.

WIRELESS-N Connect your old Beige Mac to a Modern Wireless-N Network
Access Point
4 Ports


Want to hook up your old Beige Macs Wirelessly to your modern network. This is an affordable way to do that! This Wireless-N Access Point and Router acts as the central connection point for your wireless network. With data transfer speeds of up to 150 Mbps you can stream, download, and send emails lighting fast. Integrated is a 4-Port 10/100 Switch so can also hard wire your devices directly to the router. Web-Based Advanced User Interface allows you to set up the access point using an OSX web browser to link to your existing network. Once set up you can simply plug in your old Beige Macs and select TCP-IP from the control panel and select DHCP and you are connected wirelessly at N speeds on your old Beige Mac. REQUIRES: An OSX Machine and Browser to set up the Access Point. Any Beige Mac that has an Ethernet Port or an optional 10/100 PCI Ethernet Card. We recommend OS8.6 or later but earlier versions will work. Our $39.77 price includes domestic shipping. See the WIRELESS category.


I originally hated wireless mice and keyboards since they sometimes cut out. I have since worked with Bluetooth Mice and Keyboards and find them acceptable. See the Input section of our online store. We sell an inexpensive USB dongle that will add bluetooth compability to any OSX system. See our wireless category.

Add Bluetooth to any USB OSX Mac compatible bluetooth

Upgrade Now!

BlueTooth 1.1 Class 2 Dongle- $12.77 includes shipping

JUST PLUG IT IN TO ADD Bluetooth wireless technology to your Mac! This Bluetooth adapter from Solteras features USB connectivity and Bluetooth v1.1 Class 2 support, giving you a range of up to 33 feet. Works with Bluetooth compliant devices such as: PowerMac, PowerBook, iBook, PDA, Handheld PC, Digital Camera, Printer, or Mobile Phone. REQUIRES: OSX 10.2.8 or later. Uses Apple's built in bluetooth support, no drivers to install. Must be plugged into a root port. Our Low Price $12.77 includes domestic shipping. See the Wireless of the store.


We stock the older Airport cards. Call and ask or check our Wireless section for current pricing. They are no longer made and the used ones that are left are in high demand. See the Wireless Section of our online store for more information. If you have an older iBook they are about the only portable choice.

Wireless 802.11 Resources

 Apple started it with Airport. Now others are on board. Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) worldwide industry standard is what it is. This standard allows for interoperability with other 802.11-based equipment. Imagine being able to use your cable modem access on all systems in your home and or office without having to string wires. Because it is radio frequency it will work anywhere around the home and most offices, not to mention the neighbors house, the back yard, by the pool, the patio, up the tree &.......

Below is a list of links to sites and information about wireless networking. - Apples main airport site with downloadable resources about setting up wireless networks and more. - LinkSys has a complete line of products that are designed for PC's. I like and use the wireless routers and hubs on my Mac network since they are smart enough to let you set up their routers via a web brower. - Belkin has a few items that are Mac compatible. Check to see if the drivers for the item you are interested in are available in a Mac version. - Dlink offer a complete line that is more available and perhaps more economical. They just added a Wireless Cable/DSL Router. I always had trouble setting up their gear for Mac use. - Article from TechWeb - August 7, 2000, By Joel Conover - Anatomy of IEEE 802.11b Wireless. - 3com's white paper about 802.11b. - IEEE Organization link about 802.11b


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This page was last updated: Tue, May 23, 2017 01:18 PM

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