Ethernet Connector Problems, get old Airport?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by DavidCar, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. DavidCar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #1
    I use a 600 Mhz G3 iBook with a plug in ethernet connection to a fast cable modem. I've done this long enough that my ethernet connector is getting loose, probably at the point where the connector is fixed to the circuit board, so I expect this to be expensive to fix.

    I've thought of opening the case to try to resolder the connection, but there is probably some potential of destroying the computer totally that way.

    I could get an old Airport card and an Airport Express, gaining a print server at the same time.

    But will an old airport card make the cable bandwidth a waste? Is there some USB or Firewire solution, making a connection to either my ethernet cable, or to a faster "g" wireless connection compatible with the Airport Express, including the printserver and possibly Airtunes?

    Thanks for any ideas or pointers,
    DC
     
  2. brap macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Nottingham
    #2
    If cable modem >11Mb/sec, then yes. USB (v1) had a max bandwdth of not much more - I forget specifics, but a USB - ethernet adapter likely won't perform faster than 10baseT.

    Firewire networking is fine machine to machine, but not with any other devices.

    Is your cable connection really that fast?
     
  3. DavidCar thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 19, 2004
    #3
    cable should be twice as fast as dsl, but I'm not sure how to compare the numbers.
     
  4. brap macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Nottingham
    #4
    The speed should be named as part of your service plan, and it doesn't necessarily follow that cable > DSL. Does your modem have a configuration screen at, ooh, say 192.168.1.1? It should tell you how fast you're running.

    You'd have to be on a top-end plan to max out 11Mbit/sec, for reference here I'm on 1Mbit/256Kbit DSL. At my other dwelling I have 512Kbit/128Kbit Cable.

    Google 'DSL speed test', and run one of the benchmarks. That should give you a rough idea of how fast you're going.
     
  5. DavidCar thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 19, 2004
    #5
    After the last reply I found a website and measured 1626 KBps on my connection. So then that is 1.6 MBits/second, compared with a 11 MBits/second old airport card, and isn't it 54 MBits/second for the new airport card? Correct? Maybe the "g" bandwidth is for multiple computers.

    In that case I should get the old Airport card and an Airport Express, and not try to find a different solution.

    (I thought I would be closer to 2 or 3 MBits/second on my cable. I find nothing at 192.168.1.1. OK, A different webite shows 2682 down and 186 up)

    thanks,
    DC
     
  6. jadam macrumors 6502a

    jadam

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    #6
    Im having the same problem as you with my g3 700mhz ibook. My ethernet connector randomnly decides to work, somtimes it doesnt sometimes it does. It is annoying me a lot and im thinking about getting an old airport card. Only problem is the old airport cards are still rather expensive(for some very odd reason :-/)

    Right now im actually debating on not even buying an airport card and just getting a new ibook after MWSF.
     
  7. DavidCar thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 19, 2004
    #7
    To Brap:

    FWIW, I was a tourist at Canterbury once. I didn't expect to get computer answers there though.

    to jadam,
    There is a Mac retailer I've not investigated selling old airport cards on ebay at a better price. I'm still looking around, and will check locally as well. If I were ready for a new computer, I would go for one. Presently, I have to have my ethernet cable draped over my arm at just the right angle for it to work, or alternately have the computer on the floor turned just the right way.

    To any,
    My next concern is how to also hook up my old computer. Buy a router with "stateful packet inspection" whatever that is. It seems to be the buzzword on the better routers. I could put that between the internet and the Airport Express, then go to the other computer from the router, and hope the other computer can reach the print server on the Airport Express, and that the iBook can reach the other computer through Airport Express and the router. Maybe if I read the Airport documentation I've already downloaded I would know the answer by now.
     
  8. jadam macrumors 6502a

    jadam

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    #8

    Hah, I usually have to keep my laptop in my lap in such a way that the ethernet cable is resting against my leg. That way my leg pushes up against the cable and it "works". Its the most annoying problem and if it werent for that I might not even be considering getting a new laptop.
     
  9. DavidCar thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 19, 2004
    #9
    If you get a new laptop what happens to the old one? If I got a new computer, I want a desktop, and I would then still have a laptop that couldn't use the internet. That is why I would most likely get the airport card, and wait until later for a new desktop, unless I try getting out the soldering iron.
     
  10. jadam macrumors 6502a

    jadam

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    Jan 23, 2002
  11. DavidCar thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 19, 2004
  12. mim macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    flesh, melbourne.... heart, london
    #12
    Oh, England's just full of smart people. You get them in the oddest places ;)

    Ok. I'm going to break this down, because there are a few important points that you've got confused.

    Stateful packet inspection: The easiest explanation is 'a type of firewall'. Also known (or used to be known) as a dynamic packet filter. It's better than a 'static' firewall because rather than only checking where packets are coming from and going to (information that's contained in the packet header) it can analyse the packet and tell - for example - what application it came from. If you don't know what it is, chances are that you'd never use that feature anyway. If you're at home and not running a server or only running an email/web server, then I wouldn't really bother with it. Save your cash and buy Little Snitch instead.

    Router: In your case, this guy sits between your network and the internet. From the internet, your network will look like a single computer with a single IP address, because all the packets are coming through your router (you might have 1 or 100 machines on the network, it makes no difference). A router can act as a type of firewall by blocking incoming connections from reaching your network. The one thing the router will not do is let your computers see each other - to do this you'll need another bit of kit called a switch or a hub.

    in a typical situation, you plug all your computers into the switch (you can get wireless switches to 'plug' wireless laptops in too). You plug the router into the switch as well. Then you plug the modem into the router. The router will have a LAN and a WAN port. Your switch goes into the LAN (local area network) and the modem goes into the WAN (wide area network).

    Your airport express is a special case - it can act as a router and a switch...but it can only be a switch for Airport (wireless) computers. If you get another computer, or your friends bring theirs over, you won't be able to plug them all into a switch and then plug the airport express into that....doesn't work (because the APE doesn't have a LAN port). You can do this with the Airport Extreme basestation however, 'cause it's got a LAN and WAN port.

    So sorry for the long reply....but here's the upshot - you can plug your modem directly into the APE, and all your computers will be able to use the internet, see each other, and use the APE print server as long as they ALL have wireless network cards.

    You don't need another router or firewall, as the APE will do these jobs pretty well. Get Little Snitch on your machines if want good control of connections going OUT from your network.

    I was going to do almost exactly the same thing you're considering, however I decided to get the iMac network port fixed (ended up being on Applecare anyway - YAY!). The problems with the other options were that the USB network adaptors aren't very reliable on the Mac (this may have changed since), and having one "b" connection on the wireless "g" network will drop the whole thing down to the slower speed.

    I'd breakout the soldering iron if I were you :)

    Good luck!
     
  13. DavidCar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #13
    I just discovered your reply. Thanks for the information on stateful packet inspection, etc. I ended up getting an old airport card and an airport express. I used that for a while, and got used to the print server and AirTunes. Now I'm about changing my setup again.
     
  14. DavidCar thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 19, 2004
    #14
    Old Airport Speed Bottleneck

    I just got a fiber to the home connection today offering speeds of 10Mbps/10Mbps. My original question on this thread was whether an old airport card would be a speed bottleneck. I can now answer that.

    If I connect directly to the fiber gateway with my failing ethernet port connection angled just right I can get 10Mbps/2Mbps. (I don't think the upload speed is measured correctly here, because measured at a different more distant site via my old airport card I can get 4.5Mbps upload)

    But measured at the same site over my old airport card I can only get 3.0 Mbps. I'm going to do more tests tomorrow, probably also checking to see if stateful packet inspection is also a speed bottleneck.
     
  15. mim macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    flesh, melbourne.... heart, london
    #15
    This will be really interesting - let us know the results.

    Cheers,
    a.
     
  16. DavidCar thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 19, 2004
    #16
    I've not done extensive speed tests. I am presently having an exceedingly tough time getting my router to recognize a wired connection to a beige G3. Multiple intermittent problems, but that is another story.

    I heard that an 11 Mbps airport connection means the sum of the upload speed and the download speed. With various kinds of measurements, it appears I can get a 3Mbps download and 4.5 Mbps upload over an old airport card. Wired over the router I can get 7.8 download using the same measurement site where I got 10 Mbps when I bypassed the router, so I'm guessing I'm losing 2Mbps to packet inspection, etc. Some netgear routers have a "Firewall Throughput" spec, and I tried to email netgear about that spec for this router, but the person who answered my question didn't understand the question.
     
  17. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #17
    It is an 11 Mbps Maximum Theoretical Transfer Rate. That means computer to computer, computer to internet, whatever. You can send or receive a max of 11 Mb of data every second.
     

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