wireless networking basic info pleez!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by tracyarn, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. tracyarn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    #1
    I've just gotten Qwest Dsl with an Actiontec gateway for home.

    We've got a PB G4, iBook G3, G3 blue&white (& dell PC w- XP- but that's the least of my worries) & want to get wireless w- all but the blue & white.

    The gateway is now connected to the Blue &white via hardwire & working. I ordered the Actiontec wireless card that goes in the gateway but haven't recvd it yet. Have Airport internal in my G4, but not in my iBook (on system 9.1). & have the card for the dell.

    Will I need a base station?

    When I get the pc card into the gateway, the documentation (a joke - especially if you're a Mac user) doesn't tell me how to configure any of the computers for wireless.

    Could you share any useful tips you may have for a networking/wireless/AirPort total newbie?:confused:
     
  2. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #2
    Re: wireless networking basic info pleez!

    You need wifi cards for all of the machines you want to be connected to the network. Unless of course you dont mind using a few cables for the desktops...
    You *should* get a base station, I suggest one from Linksys. Unless of course your dsl modem thing can act as one.
    it should be simple plug and play. If you have an Airport card in your laptops, there should be a little thing in the menu bar that looks like this: [​IMG]
    For the PC, it should sorta do something similar. I dunno, cuz my PCs are connected via ethernet, but ive heard its not that hard to set up.
    Read ALL documentation, its NOT a joke.
     
  3. camobag macrumors regular

    camobag

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #3
    well...

    I know this may not be so helpful, but all the guys at my house use wireless (everyone using their PCs and just me on my powerbook) via Linksys base station. The base station came with one card for one of my roommates with the other ones who also bought linksys wireless cards. Anyways, it all works great as long as you follow the directions in the setup process for the base station. I know this may not have been a lot of help. Good luck!
     
  4. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #4
    A base station is the way to go. You could do it with your blue-and-white sharing your connection, but that's a pain and it has to be left on all the time.

    If the laptops are your primary computer you may want to consider the Airport Extreme Base Station for it's wireless USB printing capability. It's expensive compared to a Lynksis, but it royally sucks to have to get up and plug your printer in to your laptop, or have to make sure your printer-sharing computer is on all the time. That was the major reason I went with the AEBS, my wife and I both have laptops and the convienence of wireless printing is unbelievable. Just a thought.
     
  5. Crikey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Spencer's Butte, Oregon
    #5
    If your ActionTec is a gateway (a small router device that lets you plug in multiple computers and plugs in turn to your DSL modem), and if it has a PCMCIA slot to accept a wireless card, you probably don't need an AirPort Base Station (or any other base station) because that's what your ActionTec is doing.

    If your ActionTec is actually your DSL modem, then you'll probably need a base station, unless it's one of those new all-in-one DSL modem/gateway/wireless router devices.

    My guess is, if it has more than one network jack to plug your computers into, it's a gateway/router, and once you plug the wireless card into it you'll be good to go. You should be able to plug 'n play your Macs using any available documentation (like what comes with the AirPort card you'll put in the Mac) or at least with that nice screenshot ubergeek included above.

    Once you get it working, figure out how to turn on the encryption features. They are a good idea.

    Good luck!


    Crikey
     
  6. wibbler macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    #6
    wireless printing

    Maybe it sucks to have to plug in yor notebook to print, but it sucks less than mucking about trying to get the Airport to act as a proper print server.

    We've tried, many times, to get the Aiprort extreme base-station to print over wi-fi, but it usually fails with a comms error. I discovered a strange work around, open Airport Admin, click configure the base station, once all the base station info comes up the wi-fi printing might now work - at least 50 / 50 - WHY?

    My solution?

    I plugged NOTH printers into my G5 and set them as shared printers. Now the 3 iBooks and 1 powerbook in the house will all print seamlessly as long as the G5 is awake. Perfect and much less hassle than having ONE printer plugged into the Airsport.

    As for Linksys base stations, I have one, and although it would NETWORK fine - I could NEVER get it to share my DSL - so I gave up, bought Airport extreme Base station and now use the Linksys as a bridge.

    BOTTOM LINE?

    If you don't have loads of knowledge here, then stick to an APPLE base station. And use your blue/white machine as your printer sharer by plugging any printer(s) direct into it and going to system prefs/sharing to click on print sharing.

    And how can the Dell be the least of your worries, that would be the one that worried me the MOST! LOL
     
  7. wibbler macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    #7
    wireless printing

    Maybe it sucks to have to plug in yor notebook to print, but it sucks less than mucking about trying to get the Airport to act as a proper print server.

    We've tried, many times, to get the Aiprort extreme base-station to print over wi-fi, but it usually fails with a comms error. I discovered a strange work around, open Airport Admin, click configure the base station, once all the base station info comes up the wi-fi printing might now work - at least 50 / 50 - WHY?

    My solution?

    I plugged BOTH printers into my G5 and set them as shared printers. Now the 3 iBooks and 1 powerbook in the house will all print seamlessly as long as the G5 is awake. Perfect and much less hassle than having ONE printer plugged into the Airsport.

    As for Linksys base stations, I have one, and although it would NETWORK fine - I could NEVER get it to share my DSL - so I gave up, bought Airport extreme Base station and now use the Linksys as a bridge.

    BOTTOM LINE?

    If you don't have loads of knowledge here, then stick to an APPLE base station. And use your blue/white machine as your printer sharer by plugging any printer(s) direct into it and going to system prefs/sharing to click on print sharing.

    And how can the Dell be the least of your worries, that would be the one that worried me the MOST! LOL
     
  8. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #8
    Re: wireless printing

    hey, if you got an airport extreme base station, and you're trying to do usb wifi printing, you do realize that only certain printers are compatible right? http://www.apple.com/airport/printcompatibility.html

    and you posted twice ;)
     
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #9
    I've worked with 2 different printers (both on the compatibility list of course) since I got my AEBS and both have worked just fine. There's a few glitches, the AEBS occasionally needs to be restarted, and after a few weeks of being on the printer likes to be turned off and restarted as well, but outside of that and the fact that the printer utility doesn't work wirelessly, there have been no problems. Just plug and go is all I've had to do.
     
  10. tracyarn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    #10
    my budding wireless network

    Crikey was correct - the Actiontec is a modem/gateway/router/wireless (once I get the pc card into it) so it looks to me like I wont need a base station.

    When I said that the wireless documentation was a joke what I should have said was that it consisted of the following: NOTE: Actiontec does not provide MAC® wireless peripherals at this time. If you have a MAC Airport wireless device it can be used to connect to the Actiontec Wireless-Ready DSL Gateway via wireless. You will need to purchase a wireless PC Card for your Actiontec gateway. Qwest DSL technical support does not provide MAC wireless networking support. And that's it.

    We're all so used to taking our laptops to the printer, the idea of leaving the blue &white on & using it for print sharing sounds great.

    Even though I'm a dedicated Mac (the dell is my husbands) I'm the closest thing to a nerd with the PC's in my office. And the support people are much more familiar with PCs. The sales woman at qwest told me that I had to have OSX on my blue & white & that's not true at all.
     
  11. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #11
    Re: my budding wireless network

    uh man why cant people ever learn how to spell Mac correctly *grumble*

    the only peripheral you need is a freakin card for the damned computer...and only for laptops too :\
     
  12. Ugimom macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #12
    Re: my budding wireless network

    Depending on your printer, you won't even need to leave the blue & white on for print sharing. To my Actiontec gateway/router (4 ethernet ports), I have connected a G4 Quicksilver, an HP Laserjet 4000 TN, and a Canon imageRunner 330E (digital copier, with print board), all wired. My Airport equipped Tibook prints just fine (wirelessly) to either printer, even when the Quicksilver is shut down.
     
  13. wibbler macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    #13
    mac prints while off!

    - even when the Quicksilver is shut down. - ???? What - as in totally shutdown NOT asleep??

    wow, Ugimom that is spooky!

    I don't know if my printers are Airport compatible, they have dedicated Mac OS X suites so wouldn't they be? Epson C80 and Epson 1290. They do plugged in to the Airport, just not reliably - and only one at a time (or could I use a hub and plug that into the Airport? Anyone?).

    And no Print utilities is actually a BIG pain if you want to set printers for users who are physically remote from them.

    I'll stick with driving the printers off my G5 - it works so much better, allows multiple printers, doesn't crash my Airport base station and STILL allows people on a different floor to use the printers easily - wirelessly or over the LAN.

    And tracycarn: those support people aren't just unfamiliar with Macs they are afraid of them!

    What chance of growth in the IT department if all the users are able to run their own Macs without much outside help? And the Xservers don't exactly need droves of IT guys to look after them!
     

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