Mac Pro (Early 2008) Wifi alternative question

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by fstamm7, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. fstamm7 macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2008
    I am waiting for my Early 2008 MP to arrive.

    Are there any alternatives to the Apple Airport card? I seem to recall that the Apple Airport card has less than ideal reception in the metal case.

    How about a PCI e Wifi card with an external antenna? Do you know of any cards that are Mac compatible?

    Does anyone have experience with alternative Wifi setups?
  2. BluePAZ macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2007
    Why would you even get the wireless card? The Mac Pro is a 50 lbs. desktop, I don't think you'll be moving it anywhere you can't run a wire, and besides hard wiring is better.
  3. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Maybe he wants it. Maybe he's at home and has a home wireless network and no CAT5 in his house and so he'd like to share stuff over his wireless network. Maybe he wants it.
  4. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    You could run a cable from the Mac Pro to a second AirPort Express :p

    Actually this is what I current do with my Mac Pro heh. Feels all dirty and ghetto like but it works ;)
  5. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
    Hmm...there are a few *very* good reasons to have a wi-fi card in a desktop.

    1) Depending on your network set-up you may not be able to run a wired connection.
    2) You can use the Airport card as a router and thereby serve a wireless signal. This can then effectively act as a bridge to extend an existing network or replace an existing wireless router.
    3) Depending upon your network configuration you might (with less hassle) get better transfer speeds with wireless than wired connections.

    To the OP. There may be alternatives, but the Airport card works great.
  6. anthonyjr macrumors regular


    Sep 27, 2007
    Reception is perfectly fine for me. (Living on the second story with the router located on the first floor.)

    It really depends on how well your router performs. There's always the option of buying antennas with a higher dB output, which will increase the area of wireless connectivity in your household. These are available at Radio Shack for about $15-20.

    I've yet to see any other AirPort replacements for the Mac.

    Some people don't like drilling holes or tripping over cables. If you aren't transferring large files wirelessly between computers in a household, there's no reason not to stay wireless. Even Draft N speeds are relatively nice for file transfers if time is on your side.
  7. Norco macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2007
    And most importantly, what difference does it make? He is looking for a recommendation, not your opinion which doesn't make his situation any more clear. People have many reasons for doing stuff, and thats their business.

    I'm currently using the Airport card and it works well. The key is not to have anything like, directly in front of the computer blocking any signals. Previously I had a large table and chairs near my desk and sometimes it affected my signal.
  8. fstamm7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2008
    I am "sharing" a wireless connection with a few of my neighbors.
  9. anthonyjr macrumors regular


    Sep 27, 2007
    In the case of sharing, I recommend buying a Linksys WRT54G & flashing it with the DD-WRT firmware so it can be used as a wireless bridge. If you put high dB antennas on it, it will pick up your "shared" network from quite a ways away.

    You can then connect anything to the back four ports and be connected to the internet via the wireless bridge/repeater.

    For this you wouldn't need the wireless card, just an ethernet port, a CAT5 cable, and a Linksys WRT54G w/ the DD-WRT firmware. Both the wireless card and the wireless router are roughly the same price.
  10. fstamm7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2008

    could this bridge then wirelessly repeat the internet connection through my house?
  11. GangsterTalk macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2008
    why the card is needed

    You need to add the Airport card in order to use the Airport Admin. Utility. That is used to add Airport Express to an existing wireless network in Client mode. That's why I need it.
  12. davidwsica macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2005
    That's not true, I can use the Airport Admin Utility on my Mac Pro without the Airport card.
  13. Apple-Z macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2008
    Can I connect an external antenna to my internal AirPort E Card ?

    Hi all !

    First, here's my config:
    3 GHz Mac Pro Quad Xeon
    OS X 10.5.2
    2 GB RAM
    Built-In BlueTooth and AirPort Extreme
    250 & 500 GB HDD

    I've been looking through the forum for some information relating to improving the performance of the built-in AirPort Extreme card on my Mac Pro. I'm sharing an internet connection, and lately my connection has been very flaky. I've found information in other groups that OS X 10.5.2 has had an effect on networking, but I don't know if this is the cause of my problem.
    I initially searched the web to see if I could find an external aftermarket antenna that I could plug into my Mac, but I did not see anything in the way of an antenna connector on the back of the tower and it never occurred to me that the built-in AirPort card might have an antenna connector on it...

    So a couple of days ago I bought a LinkSys WUSB300N USB 2.0 Wireless Adapter, thinking I could use this to improve my wireless signal, since the adapter is basically an oversized USB stick with a pair of small antennas. The adapter can be placed in a cradle with a 6' cable so I can adjust its position easily. Unfortunately, after trying to install this adapter on my Mac, I found there is ZERO Mac support and no drivers from CISCO :( Although it does work (and I am getting a decent signal) under Win XP in BootCamp and Parallels, I want to use my Mac native apps rather than living on the dark side ;)

    So, with all that I've been reading about the cables going to the pair of connectors on the AirPort card, my question is: Are either (or both) of these connectors on the AirPort card used to connect to a wireless antenna ? If yes, then I assume that I can buy an aftermarket external antenna and plug it into the card, and then locate the antenna somewhere where the signal is better, rather than relocating my Mac to another room...

    This would be great, since I could return the LinkSys USB adapter and simply get a wireless antenna instead, which would mean sticking to the signal from my built-in AirPort card, and not having to worry about trying to find a Mac compatible USB adapter...

    Thanks for any help on this :)

  14. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    I ordered my MacPro a year ago with Wireless AirPort card.

    At the time i did not have any wifi access or a wireless router as the office i was in had the modem and router there, so hardwired was the route to go.

    however since getting a MBP and an AEBS, i switched rooms and expanded my graphic office, now im glad i added the card as the N specifications/signal is just as quick as my wired connection, downloading megahuze files in reasonable time (on par with my wired connection).

    when i first got my macpro and did not have it connected to the internet it kept connecting to the airport card with some random wifi signal which was my neighbors house, with was roughly 4-5 houses from me! im not sure how that was happening but that was pretty crazy!

    so Airport = Exceptionally well!!
    i had built a pc with a PCI / PCIe card and its reasonable but ntohing really to brag about.
  15. Beardy man macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2007
    Okay, time for a really silly question... ;)

    I've just got a new MacPro but my office needs sorting out (no room for an extra computer yet) so I've set the MacPro up in an adjoining room. No ethernet in there.

    My main network is wired but there is a G5 iMac in the office with WiFi as has the new MacPro.

    Is it possible to transfer files between two WiFi Macs WITHOUT a wireless router or Airport base station? i.e Mac to Mac direct?

    It could be about a week before the office is re-vamped to make room for the MacPro and I'd like to at least transfer some files over but I don't want to start running CAT 5 cables down the hallways. If wifi is out, I'll just play with DVD-RW :D

    Don't say you weren't warned it was a silly question!

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