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How to set up an old Mac with AirPort Extreme Network
My iMac G4 800 MHz Flatpanel does not have an original (and now practically unobtainable) AirPort card. Even if you find one for 100 euro or more, and it turtns out not to be a scam, you still only have 802.11b, not g, wireless. That is a problem! Here's the fix. I purchased a Belkin Wireless G Gaming adapter (F5D7330). The adapter is hooked up to the UTP ethernet port and it draws power from a USB cable (of which it has two, but one is enough). So you do not need the power adapter, and there are no net cables involved.

This has allowed me to connect to my AirPort Express router. It feels great making an 802.11g connection with a machine that is deemed not AirPort Extreme Ready.

Of course, I want to secure my network. I can set up my Base Station using the AirPort Assistant, but how do I setup the adapter correspondingly? AirPort software only works with the original unobtainable AirPort card. After I tried everything else, I read the manual. Go to System Preferences » Network » Configure and switch to manual IPv4 (or set it up as a new location). Type 192.168.2.220 for the IP address, etc. Follow the instructions in the manual which are intended for Windows. Use the reset buttons on your Base Station and adapter in case things do not work out; even unplugging the USB may be required. Success!

[robg adds: Note that this is not really a portable solution in terms of size; it's more like a typical wireless router, not a cardbus solution.]
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How to set up an old Mac with AirPort Extreme
Authored by: mactarkus on Nov 20, '07 08:13:38AM

Unfortunately, you won't really enjoy the faster G speeds since the 800MHz G4 iMacs didn't have USB2. Also, that particular solution doesn't support WPA -- only WEP so you're wireless network is less secure.



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How to set up an old Mac with AirPort Extreme
Authored by: Unsoluble on Nov 20, '07 08:20:51AM

The USB is only for its power; data is transmitted through the ethernet cable, so your speed isn't capped by a non-2.0 connection.



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How to set up an old Mac with AirPort Extreme
Authored by: jcbeckman on Nov 20, '07 08:32:11AM

He said it gets *power* from the USB port, but is hooked to the Ethernet port. Plenty fast enough that way.



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How to set up an old Mac with AirPort Extreme
Authored by: mkutny on Nov 20, '07 09:19:24AM

My beef with many of these gaming adapters is that they do not allow WPA but rely on WEP, which is rather insecure. Probably not a deal breaker for most home users, but for business it certainly is. I did stumble across an open box special at a local store the other day, a D-Link DWL-G820 for $30. That one, and some other D-Link models, support WPA. (I'm sure other manufacturers have WPA capable models too). The down side is that these usually require an adapter for power, rather than getting power from the USB bus. Still, it's nice to be able to use the built-in ethernet port for your wireless connection.



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How to set up an old Mac with AirPort Extreme
Authored by: rspress on Nov 20, '07 10:32:04AM

I ran across that problem as well. If you want true 802.11g speeds then you need to purchase an 802.11G ethernet bridge. It is basically a wireless ethernet port that has one to four ethernet ports on the adapter. Since you are using the Macs ethernet port instead of the slower USB1.1 port you will see the full 802.11G speeds. Since many come with more than one port you can plug in another slower computer if you have one.



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