Best dongle to retrofit wifi to late 2012 imac

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mellofello, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. mellofello macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    My imac is in a area that would be nigh impossible to (cleanly) run a cat 5 cable to. I really could use some more bandwidth. Currently I am only getting 20mbps of the 50mbps I get at my fiber modem. I want to upgrade to Has anybody tried the usb dongles?

    I wish someone would make a thunderbolt stick since it looks like that port will never be used.

    Also recommendations on routers would be appreciated. Not going airport, because they don't play nice with game systems.
  2. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Mar 29, 2008
    No idea what issues you're having. I've been using Time Capsules for years. Recently switched to the latest-gen 2TB Time Capsule from my gen. 4 Time Capsule, and they work PERFECTLY with my game consoles, and I have all of them (Wii, Wii U, Ouya, PS3, 360, DS, 3DS, Vita etc).

    I never ever rebooted any of my Time Capsules. They're the best routers I've ever owned.
  3. mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    I always had nat issues with my 360 on my old extreme. I have many different devices connecting, and in my experience the airports are sometimes finicky with non apple products.

    Do a google search for AirPort Extreme, and Xbox and you will find many people have had issues.

    Anyway back on track I won't be buying the extreme, so recommend some other equipment please.

  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I've always like linksys routers and so take a look at them. tbh, I've not done any research on how they are with but in the past I've been pleased with their range and performance.
  5. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
  6. Giuly, Jun 28, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040


    The all-new AirPort Express in client mode. Hold on, they exist just as much as USB 3.0 802.11ac dongles that work on a Mac. :rolleyes:

    There's the Linksys WUMC710 "Universal Media Connector" for $100 that bridges 802.11ac to Gigabit Ethernet, which should come closest to what you want.

    As far as the Router itself goes, the Linksys EA6500 or the D-Link AC1200/AC1750, the latter offering the same beamforming technology (called Smart Beam over at D-Link) as the AirPort Extreme.
  7. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    sometimes all the hardware changes in the world won't matter. it's your physical space (walls and other obstructions) that's the hindering factor.
    old plaster walls are hung on metal lathing (otherwise known as a faraday cage)

    in your mind draw a line from the airport to the computer.
    what does it pass through?
    does it go through walls at right angles? going through the walls at steep angles causes them to appear thicker.
    does it pass through the kitchen? and maybe a refrigerator or a cabinet full of metal pans.

    try to clear up some obstructions.
    if your airport is buried in a shelf right next to things it can interfere. Try to get it in the open, and most recommend higher.

    sometimes moving the airport from one corner of the room to another can clear up some of these problems.

    which band are you using?
    5GHz is faster, but 2.4GHz goes through things better, so if there are a lot of walls between you and the router, 2.4 might be faster at that location.

    download iStumbler, check out what channels your neighbor's networks are using, you want to be as far as possible from them. keep in mind, channels overlap, you must be 5 channels away to be completely clear (so 1 & 6 or 6 & 13). Depending on the density of your neighborhood, you may never be completely clear, but you can aim for the holes.

    check out powerline networking. It may be a better bet than wireless for your situation.
  8. mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    Thanks for the recommendations. Would the Cisco router receive the signal and then plug into my imacs Ethernet port? Is ac fast enough to overwhelm usb2?

    My modem and router are only 20-30 feet from my Imac, and only penetrating one tounge and groove wall. I live in the city so every Chanel has a network. I'm currently on 3 which is the least congested.

    I can't do power line because my solar panels communicate through home plugs already.

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