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Internal vs external 802.11g adapter

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Anonymous
a b F Wireless
November 14, 2004 7:30:23 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.comm,alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Hello all,

(I am new to Mac and wireless newsgroups. If there are other, more
appropriate newsgroups, please mention them.)

I've just bought an 802.11g wireless access point (Linksys WRT54G) to
share my DSL connection between several computers. I (unscientifically)
tested the signal quality in every room with a laptop equipped with a
PCMCIA 802.11g adapter.

In a specific room, the driver utility claims that link quality hovers
between 35% and 50% (whatever that means) depending on the orientation
of the laptop. In that room, I plan to use an Imac G4 (flat panel, round
base) which came with an "Airport Extreme" slot.

Customer-Installable Parts Instructions
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=26264

What format did Apple use for the Airport Extreme network adapters? It's
not PCMCIA/Cardbus, is it?

Is it standard? In other words, if I want to insert an adapter in that
slot, are there third-party, non-Apple, available adapters out there?

Do the Airport Extreme adapters have the same range as PCMCIA or PCI
wireless adapters? PCI adapters have an antenna, most PCMCIA/Cardbus
adapters have a flat "bulge" which I imagine serves as an antenna. If
the Airport Extreme is buried deep within the iMac, where is the
antenna? How can it be effective "inside" the computer?

I started looking for USB wireless adapters, because they usually have a
large antenna. Are there third-party USB wireless adapters with Mac OS X
drivers out there? Are they better or worse than an Airport Extreme
adapter in terms of range and driver support?

I plan to use WPA, or 802.11i if it ever becomes available to my
hardware. I've read that some USB wireless adapters do not support it?
Is it a hardware or software (driver) limitation?

I apologize for so many questions, but I must admit I am somewhat
confused when it comes to Apple hardware.

I'd be very grateful for any guidance and insight.

--
Regards, Grumble
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
November 14, 2004 7:38:12 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.comm,alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

In article <41977a52$0$10439$636a15ce@news.free.fr>,
Grumble <devnull@kma.eu.org> wrote:

> Hello all,
>
> (I am new to Mac and wireless newsgroups. If there are other, more
> appropriate newsgroups, please mention them.)
>
> I've just bought an 802.11g wireless access point (Linksys WRT54G) to
> share my DSL connection between several computers. I (unscientifically)
> tested the signal quality in every room with a laptop equipped with a
> PCMCIA 802.11g adapter.
>
> In a specific room, the driver utility claims that link quality hovers
> between 35% and 50% (whatever that means) depending on the orientation
> of the laptop. In that room, I plan to use an Imac G4 (flat panel, round
> base) which came with an "Airport Extreme" slot.
>
> Customer-Installable Parts Instructions
> http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=26264
>
> What format did Apple use for the Airport Extreme network adapters? It's
> not PCMCIA/Cardbus, is it?
>
> Is it standard? In other words, if I want to insert an adapter in that
> slot, are there third-party, non-Apple, available adapters out there?

As far as I know, the Apple Airport Extreme card is the only device that
will plug into the iMac Airport socket. It is most definitely NOT PCMCIA

> Do the Airport Extreme adapters have the same range as PCMCIA or PCI
> wireless adapters? PCI adapters have an antenna, most PCMCIA/Cardbus
> adapters have a flat "bulge" which I imagine serves as an antenna. If
> the Airport Extreme is buried deep within the iMac, where is the
> antenna? How can it be effective "inside" the computer?
>
> I started looking for USB wireless adapters, because they usually have a
> large antenna. Are there third-party USB wireless adapters with Mac OS X
> drivers out there? Are they better or worse than an Airport Extreme
> adapter in terms of range and driver support?

The iMac runs the antenna round the edge of the screen. When the
Airport Extreme card is plugged in, there is a little antenna wire that
is then plugged into the back of the card.

> I plan to use WPA, or 802.11i if it ever becomes available to my
> hardware. I've read that some USB wireless adapters do not support it?
> Is it a hardware or software (driver) limitation?
>
> I apologize for so many questions, but I must admit I am somewhat
> confused when it comes to Apple hardware.
>
> I'd be very grateful for any guidance and insight.

You could read about some stuff at the Apple web site
http://www.apple.com/airport

There is also a book on the market called "Mac OS X Unwired" by Tom
Negrino and Dori Smith, which should explain some more of your questions.

However, a few of your questions can only be answered by people that
have first hand experience, and I did set up my Mom's 17" iMac, I do not
have experience with 802.11 WiFi running on PCs.

Bob Harris
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
November 15, 2004 5:51:39 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.comm,alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

"Grumble" <devnull@kma.eu.org> wrote in message
news:41977a52$0$10439$636a15ce@news.free.fr...
> Hello all,
>
> (I am new to Mac and wireless newsgroups. If there are other, more
> appropriate newsgroups, please mention them.)
>
> I've just bought an 802.11g wireless access point (Linksys WRT54G) to
> share my DSL connection between several computers. I (unscientifically)
> tested the signal quality in every room with a laptop equipped with a
> PCMCIA 802.11g adapter.
>
> In a specific room, the driver utility claims that link quality hovers
> between 35% and 50% (whatever that means) depending on the orientation
> of the laptop. In that room, I plan to use an Imac G4 (flat panel, round
> base) which came with an "Airport Extreme" slot.
>
> Customer-Installable Parts Instructions
> http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=26264
>
> What format did Apple use for the Airport Extreme network adapters? It's
> not PCMCIA/Cardbus, is it?
>
> Is it standard? In other words, if I want to insert an adapter in that
> slot, are there third-party, non-Apple, available adapters out there?
>
> Do the Airport Extreme adapters have the same range as PCMCIA or PCI
> wireless adapters? PCI adapters have an antenna, most PCMCIA/Cardbus
> adapters have a flat "bulge" which I imagine serves as an antenna. If
> the Airport Extreme is buried deep within the iMac, where is the
> antenna? How can it be effective "inside" the computer?
>
> I started looking for USB wireless adapters, because they usually have a
> large antenna. Are there third-party USB wireless adapters with Mac OS X
> drivers out there? Are they better or worse than an Airport Extreme
> adapter in terms of range and driver support?
>
> I plan to use WPA, or 802.11i if it ever becomes available to my
> hardware. I've read that some USB wireless adapters do not support it?
> Is it a hardware or software (driver) limitation?
>
> I apologize for so many questions, but I must admit I am somewhat
> confused when it comes to Apple hardware.
>
> I'd be very grateful for any guidance and insight.
>
> --
> Regards, Grumble

If your Macs have Ethernet connections, use a game adapter (sometimes known
as a wireless Ethernet bridge.)
http://store.yahoo.com/justdeals/f5d7330.html

Don W.
Related resources
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
November 15, 2004 4:38:33 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.comm,alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Don W. wrote:

> Grumble wrote:
>
>> I plan to use WPA, or 802.11i if it ever becomes available to my
>> hardware. I've read that some USB wireless adapters do not support
>> it? Is it a hardware or software (driver) limitation?
>
> If your Macs have Ethernet connections, use a game adapter
> (sometimes known as a wireless Ethernet bridge.)

As far as I understand, WPA cannot be used when a wireless bridge
is involved. Am I mistaken?

http://www.tomsnetworking.com/Sections-article78-page2....

Dynamically assigned and rotated encryption keys are not supported
in a WDS connection. This means that Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)
and other dynamic key assignment technology may not be used. Static
WEP keys only may be used in a WDS connection, including any STAs
that associate to a WDS repeating AP.

Static WEP is unacceptable :-(

I'm confused, because e.g. D-Link claims both the DWL-G810 and the
DWL-G820 support some form of WPA (the wording is rather strange).

http://dlink.com/products/?pid=241
http://dlink.com/products/?pid=333

(Can anybody tell the difference between the two devices?)

Perhaps what D-Link calls a bridge is an 802.11-802.3 bridge, whereas
what Tom calls a bridge is an 802.11-802.11 bridge?

I think that would make sense.

Thanks for the suggestion!

--
Regards, Grumble
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
November 16, 2004 1:08:10 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.comm,alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Grumble <devnull@kma.eu.org> wrote:

> Perhaps what D-Link calls a bridge is an 802.11-802.3 bridge, whereas
> what Tom calls a bridge is an 802.11-802.11 bridge?

Technically, a bridge is any device that connects one physical network
to another. In wireless parlance, it usually refers to an access point
(AP) that connects a wireless network to an Ethernet network (as well as
functioning as the hub for its wireless network). But "bridge" can also
refer to a technique of linking two or more wireless access points
together so that the radio connection substitutes for an Ethernet cable
between the two devices.

This technique was often referred to as "wireless bridging" but is now
generally called WDS, for Wireless Distribution System. It can be used
to connect wired-only devices to a wireless network. The wireless (WDS)
segment of the network is invisible to the wired devices, which only
"see" an Ethernet LAN. The catches: WDS is not yet standardized, so it
doesn't usually work between APs of different manufacture; and you can't
use WPA in WDS mode.

Without WDS-compatible APs, the only way to connect a device --
computer, printer, game box, etc -- to an existing wireless network is
with an adapter that functions in client mode. Yet another catch: while
many APs can now do WDS, very few can operate in client mode. (The way
an AP or base station usually operates is referred to as "infrastructure
mode".) Apple's new AirPort Express base station can operate in client
mode, but only for the purposes of audio streaming and USB printer
sharing, not for a Mac connected to it via Ethernet.

There are devices that function as wireless adapters/clients and connect
to their computer (or game box, etc) by Ethernet rather than through USB
or a card slot. Their advantage is that they work with any Ethernet
device and don't require installation of any additional software. Again,
the computer "sees" only a standard Ethernet LAN: the wireless link is
transparent. And while "Ethernet-to-wireless external adapter" might be
a more precise description, these devices are frequently called . . .
"bridges". D-Link's DWL-G810 is such a device.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
November 16, 2004 10:45:27 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.comm,alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Neill Massello <neillmassello@earthlink.net> wrote:

> The catches: WDS is not yet standardized, so it doesn't usually work
> between APs of different manufacture; and you can't use WPA in WDS mode.

The latest firmware release for Apple's AirPort Express and Extreme base
stations has added support for WPA when using WDS. AFAIK, other brands
of wireless APs can't do this yet.

See
<http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/airportextremefi...
x.html> or
<http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/airportexpressfi...
x.html>.
!