Wireless question - please help!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by lissa, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. lissa macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2005
    Hi there,
    Please forgive a question from a complete novice.
    We currently have a pc broadband connection with AOL. My partner is a Mac Operator and has been loaned a Mac notebook to work from home with.
    AOL does not support mac users.
    My question is can we go out and buy a wireless router which will support the PC and Mac?
    Also when AOL say they do not support Macs does that mean you can't use their broadband with a Mac?
    Please forgive me if Im being dim!
  2. Riot_Mac macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2003
    What wireless router are you using now? Your mac should be able to connect to it... it is most likely 802.11g. Maybe aol means their software doesnt support macs but as far as the wireless network goes that can be used by pcs and macs.
  3. shwc macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2005
    I am not an expert, however, I will share what I know -- or rather what I think I know.

    Generally speaking, all routers use standardized communication protocols.

    The job of a router is to 'route' the internet packets recieved/sent by your modem to and from the individual computers on your home network. Internet packets are platform independent, so are routers. If you have your computer (be it Macintosh, msWindows, or linux) network preferences set to be assigned a internet address via DHCP (dynamic host protocol), then the router will be able to assign your computer a local internet address. The only platform dependent part is in the software used to configure the advanced (ie beyond the default settings) options of your router. Most routers these days use a web page to configure the advanced settings. A few use platform specific software that you load onto your computer. The web page interface is platform independent, requiring only a web browser.

    Essentially all internet service providers (Earthlink, TimeWarner, Comcas, AOL, etc) "support all platforms" this is because the internet uses a standard set of communication protocols. Your computer knows and uses the same internet protocols. ISPs only claim they don't support Macintosh computers out of ignorance or because the don't have configuration software (which you do not need) for the Mac.

    There may be a problem with your broadband modem, however. Most modems are platform independent. For some reason (world domination, stupitidy?) certain modems that AOL supplies its broadband customers are incompatible with macs. I have no idea what the nature or reason for this is.

    Vote with your wallet. AOL is considered bad value for the money by many on this and other geeky computer sites (your milage may vary). Get rid of AOL or force them to give you a Mac compatible modem.

    It is possible that putting a router between your AOL modem and your Macintosh computer might solve the problem ... don't hold you breath though.

    check out this thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=155097&highlight=aol+broadband

    There is some AOL advice burried in this thread

    I also came accross this article in macworld

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