new to Macs, what do I need?

thorshammer88

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 19, 2005
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Hello, I'm about to purchase my first Mac, the imac. I currently have one PC that is hard wired to my cable connection. What exactly do I need to purchase in order to have wirless internet to my mac from from cable modem and network my PC? I would like to just leave my PC setup the way it is. Sorry if this is a dumb question, Im new and never set up a network or wireless connection. Thanks
 

Eniregnat

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2003
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In your head.
Some sort of wireless router or switch and a Mac with an Airport Card.


(A?)DSL Modem-->WiFi Router
WiFi Router-->Hard line to PC
WiFi Router-->Mac via Airport

or
(A?)DSL Modem-->Wired Router or switch
Router/switch-->PC
Router/switch-->WiFi Router (like AirPort Express)
WiFi Router-->Mac with AirPort card

or
Add WiFi card to PC
(A?)DSL Modem-->WiFi Router (it dosn't have to be Apple, but I like the AirPort Express)
WiFi Router--> WiFi PC
WiFi Router--> WiFi Mac (via AirPort card)

Others will chime in.
 

patrick0brien

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Oct 24, 2002
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The West Loop
-thorshammer88

What Eniregnat said. Though I prefer Apple's Airport as both wired and unwired router for the following reason:

Security

No, you Mac isn't the real risk of hacking here, someone sitting on your network, stealing bandwidth, and maybe doing something illegal with your wires, is the risk.

So as soon as you set yourself up and get everything working, lock that router down.

1. WEP well, fairly cracked anymore - I don't even bother
2. WPS, if your router supports it, do it if you can.
3. Access Control List, definitely! Access Control is a list your router has in it's memory of every wireless network device that is allowed to access it. Every network device has a MAC address and it can look like this 0e:58:f2:00:12:34 (depending on your router, those colons could be dashes "-")
4. Closed, or invisible network - o in propellerhead-speak No SSID. The SSID is the name of the router that the router broadcasts. A router can't be hacked if it can't be found :D.

One further note on this: when I would get evil, and do a little wardriving, I'd come across a router who's SSID was 'linksys' or "d-link', these are default SSID's that these routers come with and is a big green flag to me that I can probably not only get on the network, but get into the admin consol of the device, and really ruin their day by locking them out of their own toy.

Why Apple's hardware? Unlike LinkSys, D-Link, or NetGear to name a few, Apple's Admin consol exists not on the device itself, but on your computer. And when you update a setting, an encrypted burst transmission is sent to the router. Very very hard to hack - wardrivers will get confused ('cause everybody's got linksys') and move on.
 

fedora

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2004
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I'd do: cable modem > wired with ethernet to a router > then wired from router to the NIC in the PC > then another cabel from the router to airport (express).
 

varmit

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Aug 5, 2003
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I think everyone might have just confused you. Here is what you need, or at least a product that has the same specs. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=5250774&type=product&cmp=++&id=1051384663529

It has a 4 ports for the wired computers, like your PC, and the Wireless which you are going to use with your new iMac. You can even hook up the iMac to the wired port if you want too.

How to set it up, well, just follow the directions that come with it. It will go something like this, plug your cable modem into the WAN port, then your computers into the ports or connect wirelessly. You will use your browser to connect to the router using 192.168.1.1, and make a few changes to the router to make sure the wireless connection is secure, and so that it works correctly with your cable modem. Again, its best if you follow what the directions that come with it.
 

Eniregnat

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2003
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In your head.
That them their Varmit is right. Keep it simple. Security is nice, but if all your doing is browsing the web, then you might consider sharing.
 

thorshammer88

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 19, 2005
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Remind me to never make you upset Patrick :D

Thanks everybody, I really appreciate the help.

So lets see if I get this, I hard wire this, http://www.apple.com/airportextreme/ to my cable modem and then run the cable modem to my PC? I dont have to do anything to the imac I assume as it has airport in it already right?

Thanks for the link to the router varmit, this does the same as the airport extreme right?

The linksys is so much cheaper than the airport. Is the airport worth the price? Will it give me a noticeable difference in performance? Thanks again
 

nbs2

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Mar 31, 2004
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A geographical oddity
thorshammer88 said:
So lets see if I get this, I hard wire this, http://www.apple.com/airportextreme/ to my cable modem and then run the cable modem to my PC? I dont have to do anything to the imac I assume as it has airport in it already right?
...
The linksys is so much cheaper than the airport. Is the airport worth the price? Will it give me a noticeable difference in performance? Thanks again
Almost - you want to go from the airport/linksys to the PC.
As for linksys vs. airport, i've never used an airport, and i think my linksys works like a charm. can't really think of a reason to spend the extra cash. the only thing is that i normally try to hide my router, while if think the airport i would probably display prominently - it looks cool.
 

patrick0brien

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Oct 24, 2002
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The West Loop
thorshammer88 said:
The linksys is so much cheaper than the airport. Is the airport worth the price? Will it give me a noticeable difference in performance? Thanks again
-thorshammer88

I spent the extra cash for three reasons: the reliability, the afor-mentioned security feature - that and running a pro-level Wireless Distribution System at home.

I've been through several LinkSys (Linksii?) and they were great until Cisco bought them - then they got spotty.

Oh, and the airport has an unmentioned advantage - one of the most spherical transmission zones available.

And don't worry - I'm an honest sort. Sometimes it's nice to know I could control something if I wanted to.
 

thorshammer88

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Original poster
Jan 19, 2005
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Well, I got the airport extreme. I havent gotten the imac in yet. Right now Im trying to figure out how to to set this up. I cant seem to get it to work.

I took the cord that ran from my cable modem to my PC and pulled the end in my modem and plugged it into the airport. How do I connect the modem to the airport though? Do I need an ethernet cable? It looks like there is only one port in the airport to connect. Do I need a wi-fi card for my PC to get this to work? I didnt think I needed one. I am so lost, any help would be really appreciated. Thanks
 

Schroedinger

macrumors regular
Feb 12, 2004
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Baltimore, MD
You should have an ethernet cable running from the modem to one of the ports on the airport. Beside it, there should be another port, and you run an ethernet cable from that second port to your PC.

There are different symbols above the two ports on the airport, use your manual to tell them apart. Also, apple offers airport management software for the airport. Find that somewhere on Apple's website.

And just to confirm, are you sure there is a wireless card in the imac?
 

thorshammer88

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Original poster
Jan 19, 2005
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Thanks, I havent gotten the imac yet. Im just trying to set it up so its working hard wired to my PC. So you mean I need two ethernet cables?

Thanks
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
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Andover, MA
thorshammer88 said:
Thanks, I havent gotten the imac yet. Im just trying to set it up so its working hard wired to my PC. So you mean I need two ethernet cables?

Thanks
If you look at the back of the Airport:


you'll see the ports you need. The cable modem needs to be connected - via an ethernet cable - to the WAN port. Your PC can plug in - via another ethernet cable - into the LAN port. So, yes, you do need a second cable, but all should be fine once you get that!
 

thorshammer88

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Original poster
Jan 19, 2005
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thanks jsw. I have done that, but my PC doesnt seem to recognize the airport. Is there something I need to do after this? Thanks
 

patrick0brien

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Oct 24, 2002
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The West Loop
thorshammer88 said:
anyways now its recognizing my printer at least. How do I configure the public WAN ip address? When it shows me a summary in the utility, it says that its not configured. Thanks
-thorshammer88

Can you give us screenshots?

Unfortunately I'm at work right now and cannot shadow you in my home AE network.

Also, your Wan and LAN ports should already be configured for DHCP by default. A way I test is worry about the WAN connection first. I hook just it up and go to Internet settings to see if it's grabbing a valid IP - if not - turn off the Cable modem and unplug the Airport as well. Wait three minutes for the Cable modem to reset then turn it back on. Wait for it to settle down, then turn the AEBS (that's conected to it) back on, and wait for it to settle down. then inspect to see if the IP looks good.
 

thorshammer88

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Original poster
Jan 19, 2005
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Thanks again Patrick. At least now its giving me the WAN address. Should I just reset the airport? If everything is wired correctly is my PC supposed to be able to automatically detect and configure itself for the airport? Or do I have to change some other settings. Thanks
 

patrick0brien

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Oct 24, 2002
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thorshammer88 said:
Thanks again Patrick. At least now its giving me the WAN address. Should I just reset the airport? If everything is wired correctly is my PC supposed to be able to automatically detect and configure itself for the airport? Or do I have to change some other settings. Thanks
-thorshammer88

Ok, if your AEBS is displying a valid IP (you should see a Host ID too for further confirmation) all you really should have to do is hook the PC to the LAN port (port marked <...>) and make sure it is set to DHCP (Obtain network address automatically)

A valid IP from the AEBS should be 10.0.1.xx
 

thorshammer88

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Original poster
Jan 19, 2005
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Thanks Patrick,

I tried that and on my network connection tab I got an error message with something to the effect of "this connection has little or no activity" Any idea about what else I can try? It shows a speed of 100 MBS if that means anything. Thanks
 

patrick0brien

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Oct 24, 2002
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thorshammer88 said:
Thanks Patrick,

I tried that and on my network connection tab I got an error message with something to the effect of "this connection has little or no activity" Any idea about what else I can try? It shows a speed of 100 MBS if that means anything. Thanks
-thorshammer88

You having a device conflict in Windows? Do you hae a bridge active that could be kicking out the network activity you need?
 

thorshammer88

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Original poster
Jan 19, 2005
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while I was messing around earlier trying to set it up I somehow created a bridge. Should I delete it? Thanks
 

mactastic

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Apr 24, 2003
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Don't you need at least one Mac on the network to set up the AEBS? I haven't heard of Airport Admin for Windows...

I bought the AEBS for the reasons stated plus a couple others. One, easy antenna addition if needed (hasn't been necessary yet) and two, included phone modem just in case I moved somewhere without broadband access (which has come in useful since moving to the boonies).
 

patrick0brien

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Oct 24, 2002
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thorshammer88 said:
while I was messing around earlier trying to set it up I somehow created a bridge. Should I delete it? Thanks
-thorshammer88

Ah-HA! Yep! Kill that puppy, see if it helps.

-mactastic

You may then be interested to know that yes, Airport Admin for Windows is available (AE Admin for Windows) . It's good to see that Apple's admission that Windows is a good market, extends beyond merely the iPod. :D
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
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Huh... well whaddya know! It's been a while since I bought my AEBS, when I got it that was one of the criticisms of it: Not being able to configure it without at least one Mac handy. How times change. Not like I care, since I'm not yet running a PC at home, (and even if I was, I'd still use my PB to administer it) but it's good to know. Might help me push an Express or two on some PC users who REALLY like the idea of wirelessly streaming music for $130.
 

thorshammer88

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 19, 2005
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0
Thanks Patrick, still no luck.

Heres a run down of my connections

Local area connection 5
connected, firewalled
WAN Network Driver

Local area connection 4------this one is the one im using for internet
Connected, shared, firewalled
Linksys NC100 Fast Ethernet Adapter

1394 connection 2
connected, firewalled
1394 Net Adapter

This is after I deleted the bridge

See anything strange, missing. or something that shouldnt be there?

Thanks again