How to get Wi-fi on MacPro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by OutOfDate, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    #1
    Hi, I'm rubbish at technical stuff and feel a bit of an idiot for asking this! (please don't laugh!)

    I have a MacPro (running Lion 10.7 if this is relevant) which has previously been connected to the web via a cable. I've since had to move my poota to another room and now the cable doesn't reach, so I need wi-fi.

    I assume that I need some sort of plug in thing but I don't know what to get. Would someone be able to link to what I need or point me in the right direction?

    Thanks

    :eek:
     
  2. macrumors regular

    jaggunothing

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Location:
    Bangalore, India
    #2
    This thread should help you, if you have wifi at home you will need to buy a dongle for the macpro and connect using it.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1309023
     
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    #3

    Thanks for your reply. We do have wifi at home and have a pc connected to it as well. That thread you linked to mentions upgrades and things but think I'd rather just get a dongle. Have looked on Amazon but there are so many different makes! And the prices vary quite a bit as well. How do I choose? Is there some that I should avoid for crapness reasons?

    Thanks!
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    What model of MacPro do you have?
    It may already have Wi-Fi built in.
    If not, you need an Apple Airport extreme card for MacPro (from Amazon).
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    #5

    Will a dongle not work then?

    It's a 2x2 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon (or at least thats the info I have written down from the last time I asked a question on here!)
     
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    #6
    I'm pretty sure it's not built in but how do i double check?
     
  7. Tesselator, Sep 2, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013

    macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #7
    I haven't seen Wireless LAN (802.11n) in a dongle. I'm not sure if that means they don't exist or just not common. I'm also under the impression that for a nice connection you need to supply more power than USB2 is good for.


    Sounds like a MacPro1,1 2006.


    Open System Preferences and click on the "NetWork" cp. It will likely have it listed if it's already there. To be 100% sure open the computer and see if there's a card installed. It'll look like this: http://www.amazon.com/Apple-AirPort...1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1326686857&sr=1-1 If it's not there them buy that one in the link there and install it. Here's what it looks like (if installed) when you open your computer:

    [​IMG]

    And that image comes from a how-to located here: http://meanderingpassage.com/2007/0...-an-airport-extreme-card-in-an-intel-mac-pro/ but I didn't bother reading it so I dunno the sanity level - I assume normal.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    #8

    You're right it is a MacPro1,1. Just found where that info is.

    Can you explain "Wireless LAN (802.11n) in a dongle"? There are USB Mac compatible dongles available on Amazon so how is that different to what you've mentioned?

    It's not listed under Network and will check inside when I can figure out how to open the thing!

    Thanks for your help :)
     
  9. macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #9
    Aren't those BlueTooth tho? BT is a different animal. You can geek out on the differences here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/local-area-network-wi-fi-wireless,3020-6.html
    You can start at page one instead of page 6 if you want a little fuller understanding of networking wholly.

    And I guess there are USB Dongle 802.11n adapters out there. Like this for example:
    http://www.newertech.com/products/usb.php
    <shrug> But I think you might be better off with something from Apple instead of a 3rd party thinggy. That's only a guess tho, I really don't know anything about these dongle-do-dads.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    #10

    I didn't know they used bluetooth.

    Does it matter that the card you linked to (Apple Airport Extreme Card 802.11n for Apple Mac Pro Mb988z/A) is from the US? Will that make any difference? (I realise that's probably a daft question). I've looked on Amazon.co.uk but can't see one that fits that exact description. The Mb988z/A bit is usually different but I don't know what that bit means and so if it's important.

    Thanks again!
     
  11. mike457, Sep 2, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario
    #11
    The NewerTech one Tesselator mentions works perfectly. It is currently on sale for $22.99. I have used it on Powermac G5s, G4s, and on Intel models. It supplies a solid wireless N connection. Other wireless N dongles that work with Macs should be fine as well. I do not understand Tesselator's hesitancy about them. That it is from the US makes no difference.

    It is true that the MacPro is easy to work in. This procedure will walk you through it. Make sure you have the antennas.

    BTW, if you go for the internal card, you might check online auctions. You can probably get a used card much cheaper.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    #12
    Oh so you think dongles are ok? Now I don't know what to think!

    Anyway my partner has found one of the cards on Ebay quite cheap so I'll guess I'll try that.

    Thank you very much!
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario
    #13
    Good luck! It's a fairly easy install. If it doesn't work out for you, try a dongle. I know dongles are ok because I've used them (particularly the NewerTech model sold by OWC) for years, which I think puts me well up on Tesselator! :D
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    #14
  15. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    #15
    I'm sorry was that English? :D

    ----------

    Well, didn't order the card from Ebay as need to check it comes with screws and another poster mentioned antennas?! (Is it supposed to come with them?)

    So might end up getting the dongle anyway. When you plug them in does the poota just recognise that it is there.

    What are the pros and cons for each?
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    #16


    Why wasn't it? Two complete sentences with concise instructions.

    Do you need me to be more verbose?

    It's the least invasive solution of all the ones in this thread.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    #17


    I don't know what an Airport Express is, or what an AE is or how I would put it in client mode!
     
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    #18
    Airport Express (AE for short) is a small wi-fi router that can pretend it is another "client" device (that you will plug your Mac Pro into) to connect to your existing wireless network. A "client" is simply a device that connects to a wireless network. You just won't be using the AE as a router.

    http://www.apple.com/airport-express/

    The other instructions as quoted will tell you what you need to do to set it up.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1731

    I would suggest that you go this route - because I sense it will be significantly easier for you than opening up your Mac Pro and doing internal surgery. With the AE solution, the Mac stays closed.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    #19
    Thanks for the explanation. So how is this different to a dongle?
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    #20
    I suppose in this context, it's the same thing. The other posters (and the other thread) were suggesting you buy a USB wireless adapter - essentially a wi-fi radio that plugs into USB to let you connect to your network. The Airport Express will have an ethernet cable between it and your Mac Pro, and you'll have the latest networking protocols (802.11n and simultaneous dual band 2.4 and 5GHz) that you will not get in a used/discontinued/questionable condition internal card. The Mac will just "think" it's connected directly via ethernet, but the actual connection will be via wifi from the AE to your router (as you are looking for).

    But, that thread and the link to the Other World Computing product selection was from January 2012. However one of the posters in that forum also suggested an Airport Express in "bridge" mode. In Apple's language, and when you use Airport Utility to set it up, you're going to be using "client" mode. Truly, it couldn't be easier. You're going to get a significantly better experience using this solution that you can setup and manage with Airport Utility, than with some third party USB2 solution with an uncertain driver setup.

    Your self-stated lack of technical ability means you are going to be getting yourself into a mess that may be above your head if you try to find and install the right internal wireless card. Use the simple Airport Express external option, and you will have the best speed and installation experience, given your unique needs and abilities.

    Plus, you can use the Airport Express for many more things down the road once you eventually move on from this Mac Pro. Your chosen solution may of course depend on how easily you can obtain the necessary parts and/or devices. Only you have the insight into that - I don't know where you are and what retailers you have available locally or whether you will buy online.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  21. InuNacho, Sep 2, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    InuNacho

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Location:
    In that one place
    #21
    I second the Newertech USB stick mentioned above, my 4,1's Airport card is dying and honestly I think this little USB thing is faster than the card ever was. I'm running 10.6 so I don't know if anything above that breaks the Ralink software.

    EDIT: I do have one slight problem with it, if my Pro goes to sleep it goes into the fast fan unable to wake up crash.
     
  22. macrumors 601

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #22
    There seems to be a lot of confusion

    Options listed:

    1) USB dongle - this is the cheapest and easiest method. Get a mac compatible dongle, plug it in. However, it's probably the least compatible. The dongle may or may not use native drivers. If it doesn't use native drivers, you'll have to acquire new drivers for new OS versions. Even if it works for the most part, it might not support all functions, like waking from sleep mode or wake-on-LAN.

    2) Airport Express (AE) - this is the most expensive alternative and requires software configuration. The AE is a little box that plugs into AC in the wall and connects wirelessly to your wi-fi network. You plug your Mac Pro's existing Ethernet cable into the AE. The AE must be set up into bridging mode.

    3) Airport card - this is the official method. It is the most difficult to physically install, but it is the most compatible. Because it is official, you'll never have problems with drivers or feature support. You buy a Mac Pro Airport upgrade kit, which is a miniPCIe card that you plug into a slot inside the computer and hook up to existing antennas inside the computer. This is how it is done by Apple if you had ordered Wi-Fi as a factory option. The only drawback I can think of is that this method probably has the worst reception.
     
  23. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #23
    Tp-link tl-wdn4800

    Been using the TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 for about 3 years now; no problems on Mac Pro 1.1. Its a PCI-E card that works out of the box no 3rd party software to install like some USB dongles.

    You don't have to plug any wires or anything just drop and into 1 of the PCI spots and it uses the Mac OSX's native WiFi application to use. I've had used Snow Leopard and Lion on my end no problems.


    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007GMPZ0A/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=tonymacx86com-20
     
  24. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Location:
    Rocky Mt State
    #24
    Don't over think this issue.

    Easy and less expensive way - get the Newer Tech.

    If you think you are technically proficient enough get to install a PCI card then get the TP Link as it is a better option. The TP link is dual band and supports n.

    There are other options but these are good suggestions to solve your problem.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    #25
    I'm surprised that no one mentioned anything about making sure that you get both 2.4 and 5 GHz 802.11n compatibility. Not all "n" upgrades support both.
     

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