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View Full Version : Best/cheapest way to get my parents' Mac mini AirPort-ready? USB dongle?




BurtonCCC
Jan 7, 2007, 09:43 PM
My dad, being the cheap-skate that he is, didn't go for the AirPort and Bluetooth when I convinced him to switch to Mac less than a year ago. Now, whenever I'm home from school, I have to go to the huge hassle of turning off the wired router, either plugging the ethernet into my PowerBook or my AirPort Express, then restarting the router and waiting for the internet to kick in. Then when I'm done, I have to put it all back the way that it was so he can get internet on his Mac mini. Needless to say, we can't be on the internet at the same time. I know the Mac mini requires an AirPort module, not a card, which would run at least $100 instead of $50 and then an additional $100 for labor, at least. So at least $200 to put this in, which obviously isn't worth it as it's almost half the value of the computer!

So... my question is... is there some sort of USB dongle I can plug into the Mac mini's USB port that will not only allow the mini to always have the ethernet plugged into it, but will also forward the internet wirelessly to my PowerBook (and my Wii!)? I would want this device to have WEP security. Any suggestions? Or cheaper way to get the actual Apple Airport module?

I know it's been a few months since I've posted anything here. I've missed you all!

Daniel.

EDIT: Any chance the Nintendo Wi-Fi USB thingy would work? I am going to be forwarding the internet to a Wii in addition to my PowerBook.



4JNA
Jan 7, 2007, 09:59 PM
found one usb that worked for me. thread is HERE (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=261137).

got mine from geeks.com, but clicking on the link now shows out of stock. a quick search on google/froogle is showing lots in the $13-16 range. search for a 'WF748-CUI' and then click on the drivers link in the original post. worked well for me, fast, and decent range. best of luck.

panoz7
Jan 7, 2007, 10:21 PM
I have to go to the huge hassle of turning off the wired router, either plugging the ethernet into my PowerBook or my AirPort Express, then restarting the router and waiting for the internet to kick in.

Just to clarify: this is how your network is set up now:

internet - modem - switch - mini

If that's the case, why can't you have both the mini and the airport express plugged into the switch at the same time?

It sounds like all you really need is a wireless router with a few ethernet ports... you've all-ready got an access point (the airport express) and the switch should take care of the ethernet ports.

Am I missing something?

BurtonCCC
Jan 8, 2007, 12:44 AM
Just to clarify: this is how your network is set up now:

internet - modem - switch - mini

If that's the case, why can't you have both the mini and the airport express plugged into the switch at the same time?

It sounds like all you really need is a wireless router with a few ethernet ports... you've all-ready got an access point (the airport express) and the switch should take care of the ethernet ports.

Am I missing something?

Here's my setup:

Cable from the wall > Cable modem (one ethernet out) > Ethernet cable > Mac mini

I think I'm just going to look into a ethernet splitter? That way I'll do:

Cable from the wall > Cable modem (one ethernet out) > Ethernet splitter > Two ethernet cables > 1 to Mac mini & 1 to AirPort Express

Would an ethernet splitter slow down my internet connection? I know it would if both the computers were surfing the net at the same time, but would there be a noticable different when only one computer is using it, due to the split?

Daniel.

tdhurst
Jan 8, 2007, 01:51 AM
An ethernet splitter won't work, what you need is a basic wired router. Linksys or Dlink seem to work for me and they are fairly cheap.

Cable Modem>WAN port on router>Lan Port 1 to the Mini, Lan Port 2 to your express. Turn off DHCP on your express, as the wired router would handle that.