Looking for USB WiFi adapter for MacBook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DevilInPgh, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. DevilInPgh macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2008
    Hi, I need to get a few suggestions on some USB WiFi dongles. My internal AirPort card works fine, except when on my university's wireless network. Pitt uses 802.1X authentication, and this has put a severe damper on the throughput. This problem was reproduced in two other MacBooks containing the AirPort card type (0x168C, 0x87), but all other types of AirPort cards were fine. I went to the Apple Store to get a new AirPort card as part of my AppleCare, but they said that each MacBook has its own specific type, which cannot be replaced by another. So I'm at my wit's end, as Apple can't help me and, seemingly, Pitt has been unwilling to help me very well in terms of fixing the network. Thus, I'm looking for a USB dongle that will work with 802.1X authentication, is compatible with an Intel Mac, and costs <$50. Your help is greatly appreciated, because my next line of attack is to demand Pitt buy me a USB dongle (if it costs too much) after misleading me and many other people.
  2. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    What? This is hogwash. MacBooks just use standard AirPort cards, they can be swapped out with new ones. I'd try calling AppleCare (1-800-MY-APPLE) instead of taking to an Apple Store. This way you can explain the problem, mail it to Apple, and let them replace it. Besides, 802.1X shouldn't be a problem at all for the AirPort to access. I use it everyday.
  3. DevilInPgh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2008
    Well, the manager at the Apple Store said that my (0x168C, 0x87) can only be replaced with another (0x168C, 0x87).
  4. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    What's your macbook model? Is it a MacBook Core Duo with G only?

    LOL grammar nazi.
  5. DevilInPgh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2008
    MacBook is a C2D 2.16 GHz with a (0x168C, 0x87) AirPort card, which I guess is N-ready but also does b/g.
  6. RCL macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2009
    Recently, I purchased a high powered USB dongle from WiFi Signal King for my MACbook. It has expanded my signal range greatly.

    According to the manufacturer all of the USB's are MAC compatible... Check it out!


  7. galstaph macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2002
    The Great White North Eh
    I just bought a trendnet tew424ub (from tigerdirect here in canada)
    trendnet has up to date mac drivers avail on their website. Works pretty good for my iBook (had airport card connector issue). Only downside is it is 802.11g based rather than n spec, but it works well. Rumor has it frys has them real cheap 25$
  8. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I believe that is the Atheros chipset? I believe Broadcom chipsets are better. I mean you can pay for a Broadcom card and install it yourself.

    Since they don't require a computer for school, you technically don't need one and therefore they have no obligation to buy you an adapter ;)

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