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Old Feb 26th, 2007, 02:40 PM   #1
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Setting up a wireless Mac network

I know nothing about setting up a wireless network and my friend who has a G5 iMac and her Intel MacBook Pro at her studio has asked me how this is done. Does she need to get an Airport router or will an Airport Express do the trick? Can a non-Apple wireless router work as well?
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Old Feb 26th, 2007, 02:50 PM   #2
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Setting up the network is not particularly difficult but knowing what she wants out of it is of primary importance.

Easiest route (free as well) is to use the built-in Airport cards in her existing computers. With this she will be able to share an internet connection, share files/folders, share a printers. The downside to this is that one of the computers needs to be on and connected to the internet for the other to have access.

Next step up is to get a third party wireless router such as LinkSys WRT54G. Setup isn't difficult and the network isn't dependent on one of the computers as a server for the internet connection.

The Airport Express is an easy to setup solution and has a couple of nice additional features (Airtunes and printer sharing) but it is more expensive than a third party router.

Current top of the line is to go with the new Airport Extreme router from Apple. With this she will be able to connect USB hard drive to the router as a file/folder server or back-up station. Connect a printer to the router for printer sharing with the need for a dedicated computer. Does not have Airtunes though.

How she goes about setting up depends on what she has for an internet connection and what she wants to get out of it. Personally I like the new Airport Extreme router but it isn't cheap. Setup should be dead simple though.
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Old Feb 26th, 2007, 03:33 PM   #3
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Aside from the online guides you'll find for setting up a wireless network, electronic devices as routers do come with explicit instructions, for Macs as well usually.

The easiest route is the relatively expensive Airport Express or Airport Extreme, which may be overkill but are great for reliability. d-link and some other routers do come with a lifetime warranty and will walk you through the entire setup process over the phone, if necessary. But with the Apple routers, that isn't often necessary.
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Old Feb 26th, 2007, 03:43 PM   #4
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It's relatively simple. If a knucklehead like me can set up a mixed wired/wireless network involving DHCP and static IP addressing with a variety of Linux/Windows/Mac machines then you can too!

Just get a Linksys WRT54G router; then, it's cable/dsl modem -> Linksys router --> MacBook Pro and iMac. The included guide(s) should be enough and we're all here to help too.

If, in the unlikely event that you cannot get it working, then, try the Apple products but for something like her setup the Linksys should be fine and much cheaper. If she wants streaming music all over the place and different devices then all bets are off.
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Old Feb 26th, 2007, 04:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the great info guys!

She has Telus ADSL and basically wants to be able to use the MBP without having to bring it over to the the internet connection and plug it in. As well being able to use it downstairs (her studio has a loft where the the iMac and the dsl connection is) and sit outside in the summer with the MBP would be good. Also being able to send something to the printer from the laptop is something she would want to do. Sitting outside would be about 30 or 35 feet from where the router would be.

The MBP of course has a wireless card, but the iMac does not.

The Linksys looks like a good deal if that would work. I saw that the model you guys reccommended is $49 US from Amazon, as opposed to $200 for the Airport Extreme.
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Old Feb 26th, 2007, 04:29 PM   #6
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GA,

30-35 feet isn't a problem. I have a D-Link and I must admit it has incredible range. As for the imac, you can either wire it, or pick up an express card. VERY easy to set up.
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Old Feb 26th, 2007, 04:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GratuitousApplesauce
Also being able to send something to the printer from the laptop is something she would want to do.
Uhhh....what sort of printer is this?

My next to-do (holy grail) item on my network is to have the Linux-equipped wireless laptop connect to the wired Laserjet 4MPlus which currently has a static IP address. Of course, after that would be to set up an Apache server on said laptop along with MySQL and have it serve up a weblog but I don't think it will ever go that far.
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Old Feb 26th, 2007, 05:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by macmac
GA,

30-35 feet isn't a problem. I have a D-Link and I must admit it has incredible range. As for the imac, you can either wire it, or pick up an express card. VERY easy to set up.
Depends which iMac - if it's an older one make sure it doesn't need the old style card and if that's the case, you'll need a clip for it too. Ask me how I know.

Apple doesn't make the older cards any more and they're pretty scarce.

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Old Feb 26th, 2007, 05:09 PM   #9
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As I said in my first post, you can just use the stuff you already have. I would assume that the iMac is wired to internet using an ethernet cable. Turn on internet sharing and set up a wireless network. The MacBook will then connect to the network you just created and will have internet access. If you turn on printer sharing and leave the printer attached to the iMac it will work as well.

From you preferences panel, click sharing and then the internet tab. There is a simple dialog box to share the internet coming on ethernet out through your airport.

Apple's built-in help files should walk you through the process handily.

Good luck.
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Old Feb 26th, 2007, 06:44 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Macified
As I said in my first post, you can just use the stuff you already have. I would assume that the iMac is wired to internet using an ethernet cable. Turn on internet sharing and set up a wireless network. The MacBook will then connect to the network you just created and will have internet access. If you turn on printer sharing and leave the printer attached to the iMac it will work as well.

From you preferences panel, click sharing and then the internet tab. There is a simple dialog box to share the internet coming on ethernet out through your airport.

Apple's built-in help files should walk you through the process handily.

Good luck.
Doesn't the iMac need to have an airport card for this to work?

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