Wi-Fi for Beginner

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Matte2, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. Matte2 macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2014
    I use a 2012 Mac Mini via a cable modem connection in my bedroom and I was wondering how would I set-up a Wi-Fi connection so that I can connect my 2010 Mac Mini to my smart TV in my living room in order to view internet content on my television? How do I make a Wi-Fi connection secure?
  2. Longkeg macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2014
    S. Florida
    Step 1: Go to any big box store with an electronics department. (Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc.)

    Step 2: Buy a wifi router.

    Step 3: Read and follow instructions.


    Call your cable company (the nice people who get the internet to your cable modem) and have them set you up.
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    It is also possible your cable company have already provided you with a modem that is also a router and thus Wifi capable (That's what they always do here), so you can look in the manual that came with the thing. Or perhaps you can upgrade to one from same company for a small fee (Don't buy one where you rent it though).
  4. techwarrior macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2009
    Start with the basics. What is the modem make\model. Look for a tag on it. From that, along with who your service provider is, folks here might be able to start you in the right direction.

    Most service providers these days provide a modem\router combo (most also charge a $5-12 monthly rental fee). The best visual clue is, a modem will have a WAN + 1 LAN ethernet port. A Router will tend to have a WAN + 3-4 ethernet LAN ports. The Wide Area Network port (WAN) connects to the cable feed into your home, the other ports can connect computers and other devices to the local area network (LAN).

    If it is a wireless router, there will generally be a WiFi SSID and Password printed on the label as well, this is the default and can be changed in the web UI. These are generally reasonably secure, but if someone has access to the device in your home, they can get the WiFi credentials off the device (similar to putting a sticky note with your password on your computer screen).

    If you look at the Network properties in System Preferences, the LAN IP address and router IP address will appear, something like (router) and (Mac). With any web browser on the Mac, type in the router address ( and a login screen will appear. Google search the router login or manual to get the default login. Once in, for security purposes, change the password to something only you would know, and remember. From there, all kinds of fun becomes available as to configuring your network.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    If your home/apartment is of any size, you might consider one of the new "mesh" systems rather than a single standalone wifi router. Some that come to mind are:
    - Linksys Velop
    - Netgear Orbi
    - eero
    - google wifi
    (there are others)

    They're easy to set up using either iOS or Android (can be done on a smartphone, iPad, Android tablet).

    A couple of systems out there (Linksys Velop and Netgear Orbi) can also be set up using a web browser.

    A 2-node system would probably do you well...
  6. Matte2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2014

    What Mac-friendly Wi-Fi routers would you recommend? The computer where my cable modem connection is located is approximately 70 feet away from my smart TV and separated by a wall.
  7. Papanate, Apr 2, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018

    Papanate macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2011
    North Carolina

    Are you sure you don't have a wifi router? - Making a home Wifi secure
    really means adding a username and password - and then whatever security
    protocol the router has built in. Within a typical neighborhood that will protect
    you most everybody.

    What Wireless Router to get? I like ASUS RT-AC68U - However depending on heavy
    you wireless usage is you might want to get something more high end. For simple
    single ended streaming (Such as smart TVs with Netflix or Prime) a dual band router
    will work fine for you.
  8. Matte2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2014

    Thank you for the explanation. My cable modem is an Arris SB6141 that I own, and does not have Wi-Fi. MY ISP is Cox.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 2, 2018 ---

    I do not have a Wi-Fi router.
  9. Papanate macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2011
    North Carolina

    Cox Cable has a Lease Program for a Wireless Router - the upside being that
    your cash outlay is small - and they will help you set it up.

    Buying a WiFi Router is cost effective over the long term - leasing you will pay for the router
    in about 1.5 years. Buying you will get a better router (bang for the Buck) and have more
    control over your wifi environment.
  10. techwarrior macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2009
    Any decent router will work. You want to look for one that supports 802.11ac which is the current WiFi standard.

    Apple (Time Capsule\AirPort Extreme), Belkin, Linksys, Netgear, etc all have ac routers.

    The distance may be a stretch for some WiFi routers. If the wall(s) are drywall, less of an issue, but if concrete\block\brick, may need more gear to cover the space. Start simple and add if needed.

    Modern WiFi routers offer dual band (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz) frequency bands. 5Ghz is faster, but doesn't have the range and wall penetrating properties of 2.4Ghz. 2.4 is a crowded frequency, competing with neighboring networks, interference from wireless phones, microwaves, radar, bluetooth, etc. A router the does both gives you flexibility to overcome the limitations. If the router can be located near the center of the space, more likely to get whole home coverage than if opposite ends of the home.

    If a single router won't cover the space, there are options to add more access points. But, don't go there if you don't have to. 5Ghz range is typically up to 100 feet, but walls can reduce that considerably. 2.4 may go up to 200 feet, less loss from walls, but more prone to interference.

    Start with a router you can return if it won't cover your space. Walmart, Best Buy, Fry's etc often have generous return policies. And, if the stores have reasonably helpful staff, they can help make recommendations.

    Apple devices will work on any WiFi network that follows the standards. Apple "friendly" is really not a consideration with WiFi, but if you really like Apple products, Airport devices are good, solid performers but not necessarily the best products on the market in terms of other features. Airport Utility is built into Macs and iOS devices and is pretty easy to use.

    Most routers will have a web configuration page. Once logged in, they may walk you though setting it up with a wizard, or have a step by step manual to guide you.

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