USB WiFi Dongle (802.11ac) for High Sierra

5050

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 28, 2009
172
2
Hi,

I've searched for threads on USB WiFi "dongle" options, but most results are related to WiFi + Bluetooth, Continuity, Handoff, and/or AirDrop solutions. I'm simply looking to increase the default WiFi bandwidth of my flashed macpro4,1 to macpro5,1 running High Sierra.

These USB dongle solutions seem decent enough and priced well. Would any of these work? Also, is there a difference between the longer antenna versions and the Edimax?

Edimax AC1200 Dual-Band
https://www.amazon.com/Edimax-Adapter-Supports-MU-MIMO-EW-7822ULC/dp/B01MY7PL10/

TECHKEY USB 3.0 802.11 ac
https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-1200Mbps-TECHKEY-Wireless-Network-300Mbps/dp/B07J65G9DD/

ZTESY USB 3.0 Wifi Dongle 802.11 ac
https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-1200Mbps-ZTESY-Wireless-Network-300Mbps/dp/B07FJMRLKY/

I assume using the default USB 2.0 ports of the Mac Pro, the 5GHz connection would top out at 60 MB/s and USB 3.0 would give the full 866 mbps, 108 MB/s?

Many thanks in advance!
 

natjonesart

macrumors member
Jan 22, 2017
42
9
Canada
I have used it with Sierra, High Sierra and now on Mojave

It ists as USB-WiFi in my top bar menu as shown in your pic
 

5050

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 28, 2009
172
2
Perfect. Just ordered. Thanks much. What speeds are you reporting on the 5 GHz 802.11 ac band?

I have used it with Sierra, High Sierra and now on Mojave

It ists as USB-WiFi in my top bar menu as shown in your pic
 

JedNZ

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2015
381
145
Deep South
I have the Edimax AC1200 in my secondary cMP. It requires a proprietary utility in order to run, which is still 32bit so we may run into issues if Edimax doesn't upgrade the utility to 64bit in the future.

I also encountered an issue where the incorrect privileges were set, which were insufficient for the utility to run. I had to do a CHMOD terminal command to change it to the right permissions. Not exactly plug n play for Mac users.
 
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TwangKing

macrumors newbie
Nov 9, 2014
24
2
How's the d-link working out for you? I'm in the same boat, I purchased a Mac Pro 5.1 last summer to replace my Mac Pro 2.1, and I noticed my wireless reception is not as good as the old machine. Been looking at powerline, USB adapters, getting another Airport Extreme an an extender. Has your wireless improved using the d-link?

Thanks for your time.
 

MVMNT

macrumors regular
Apr 28, 2010
110
66
Also worth checking your router settings. I changed mine and went from abysmal speeds of 20kb/s to 4.4MB.

Use the wireless diagnostic to find a good clean wifi channel recommeded by the adaptor and change your router to that. Run on 5GHZ spectrum if you can, or 20MHZ on 2.4GHZ. Also limit your router to n/ac traffic only if all your devices are up to date on those standards.
 

TwangKing

macrumors newbie
Nov 9, 2014
24
2
Yes, ran thru all the diagnostics. Currently using the 5GHZ spectrum. The Apple Extreme is on the ground floor, the next room over has the TV & Roku, connection there is rock solid, but my reception upstairs is not so great. No drop outs or lost connections, but very poor reception, bad SNR. Thanks for the tips though, appreciate it.
 

Earl Urley

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2014
403
158
5 GHz signal doesn't penetrate solid objects as well as 2.4 GHz, just to let you know. You might get better results having the upstairs equipment connect to the 2.4 GHz network.

Also, if using an Airport Extreme, might want to find one of the hacks that lets you use Airport Utility 5.6.0 as that version of the utility lets you select signal strength.. perhaps it was reduced to less than 100% at some point?

Some people do that so their signal doesn't carry far enough to be picked up by some noob elite hacker parked outside their house.
 

Earl Urley

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2014
403
158
Glad it worked. In general, 2.4 GHz is better for range, 5 GHz is better for speed, like streaming videos and the like.

Your bad SNR can also be from being in an area where everyone else has WiFi and you use the same channel everyone else does. If you want to get around this, just get MacStumbler / Network Radar and see what channels are being used by everyone else and pick one that isn't.
 

5050

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 28, 2009
172
2
After all was said and done, ultimately went the OSXWiFi path. Purchased it here on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N9QBT2K

Worked out well, getting in the 200 Mbps range on a 200 Mbps connection, so full bandwidth from our Internet connection. Installation took a little time, but was more or less straight forward.


How's the d-link working out for you? I'm in the same boat, I purchased a Mac Pro 5.1 last summer to replace my Mac Pro 2.1, and I noticed my wireless reception is not as good as the old machine. Been looking at powerline, USB adapters, getting another Airport Extreme an an extender. Has your wireless improved using the d-link?

Thanks for your time.
 

TwangKing

macrumors newbie
Nov 9, 2014
24
2
I've been going back & forth on whether I should just go that route & replace the card. Most of the folks who do the upgrade seem more interested in Continuity, Handoff, AirDrop functionality, I haven't seen many posts that mention an increase in speed, but it seems this was a solution for you. I think it's probably what I'll end up doing, plus I'd like to have 802.11ac.