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What are my options for wireless networking on an iMac G3?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I used to live alone, so I never bothered with setting up a network. I didn't have a laptop, so I never bothered buying an Airport card or base station. But, for the next semester, I'm living with friends who enjoy a broadband network used by an HP laptop, an iBook G4, 2 desktop pcs and my Indigo Alien Egg.

[Yeah, yeah - I know. I'm upgrading to the G5...but not 'til 2007, sadly.]

For the next several months I need to find a solution I can live with and Apple stopped making Airport cards and my Mac won't take an Extreme. Someone at CompUSA suggested Airport Express, but I STILL need an Airport card, right? I can't use it without one? I've seen some on ebay, but I don't relish the idea of sending some total stranger $200-$250 for a used Airport card.

Have you guys heard of something called a 'Mac Wireless G54' USB adapter? Supposedly will work with ANY Mac G3 and higher with an open USB port as long as you're running (I think) 10.2 and beyond. Or something to that effect. They claim twice the speed of an Airport card at roughly half the cost ($57.95).

Too good to be true? Just so's ya know - I'm running Tiger OS 10.4 (quite well - thank you!) on an iMac G3 500mhz.

(Before you start feeling TOO sorry for me - my roomies often lament the fact that my almost 5 year-old workhorse 'puter is STILL faster than their barely 1 year-old 2ghz pc. Only the G4 laptop is faster...but just barely.)
post #2 of 14
I would be interested in anything that would work.

I also have a Indingo iMac G3 500 running Tiger rather nicely.
post #3 of 14
I haven't tried this so could be wrong. As CompUSA suggested you should be able to use Airport Express as a network connector as well, if your computer has ethernet connector. Connect your machine and AE with ethernet cable, and use AE as WiFi client.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Project2501

I haven't tried this so could be wrong. As CompUSA suggested you should be able to use Airport Express as a network connector as well, if your computer has ethernet connector. Connect your machine and AE with ethernet cable, and use AE as WiFi client.

No.
The ethernet port on AirportExpress is a WAN (input) port, not a LAN (output) port. The Big Airport Base Station DOES have that ability though.

No reason the USB WiFi adapter shouldn't work though as long as it comes with OSX drivers (it's basically an airport card equivalent that plugs into a USB port.)
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post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot

No.
The ethernet port on AirportExpress is a WAN (input) port, not a LAN (output) port. The Big Airport Base Station DOES have that ability though.

No reason the USB WiFi adapter shouldn't work though as long as it comes with OSX drivers (it's basically an airport card equivalent that plugs into a USB port.)

I based my answer to this PDF found in Apple Airport Express homepage. Under Airport Express in Depth/high speed connectivity it says
Quote:
Ethernet. The WAN port connects to a DSL or cable modem or local Ethernet cable to
provide high-speed Internet access to the users on your wireless network.When the
base station is being used to bridge your network, you can use the Ethernet port as a
local area network (LAN) port as well.

I thought that was what he wanted? If you have better first hand experience I stand corrected.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Project2501

I haven't tried this so could be wrong. As CompUSA suggested you should be able to use Airport Express as a network connector as well, if your computer has ethernet connector. Connect your machine and AE with ethernet cable, and use AE as WiFi client.

Yeah, I was wondering about this, as well.

I have all the software and system requirements met, but strangely - under 'hardware' requirements, it says I still need an Airport card. I was hoping the Airport express would negate that, but I'm still not sure.
post #7 of 14
Certaintlly there are wireless USB dongles.

Some with official drivers and some without...

The official drivers one cost more obviously.

You can use many many usb wireless dongles on the market, if you look carefully for proper drivers.

Still it's not as easy as airport obvious, since it's built in.
post #8 of 14
You can try this. Still a little steep at $100, but cheaper than E-bay and a genuine Airport card.
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post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot

No.
The ethernet port on AirportExpress is a WAN (input) port, not a LAN (output) port.

Well that's just baloney. I have an G3 iMac using the ethernet port on an Airport Express to connect to a wireless network exactly that way.

I did it this way when I decided it wasn't worth purchasing an old Airport card + carrier, when the Express could later be used elsewhere when the old iMac retired.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac~N~Cheese

I ...
I've seen some on ebay, but I don't relish the idea of sending some total stranger $200-$250 for a used Airport card.
...

Hell, this is a rip-off, totally.
Anyway, take a WiFi USB Adapter (as advised previously) of your choice and
it should work flawlessly. I have no first hand experience, but friends of mine.

cheers
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post #11 of 14
You need a Wireless Bridge or a Wireless Router with the ability to Bridge. You could go with one of Apple's products or a third party. (I do not believe the Airport Express can act as a Bridge (that's from Apple's docs not experience)).

All a Bridge does is convert Ethernet (which your iMac has) to WiFi. The good news - they are cheap and don't require any software to be installed on the iMac

USB Adaptors generally have bad press due to the fact that you must install drivers. Some work: many don't.

mrtotes
post #12 of 14
Instead of dealing with all those expensive hokey wifi solutions, another way for a MAC to go WIFI is to re-flash a LinkSys WRT54g router with DD-WRT

Just flash the router and setup it up as a wireless bridge!

Then all you do is plug the wireless router into the ethernet port on your mac and your up and running. (works on any OS and no drivers, no hokey configurations. Really simple)

Buy a Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router - WRT54G
(BUY.com has them for $31.29 if you use Google Checkout & free shipping )


The router you get from BUY.com will be a V.6 (can only load ddwrt micro)


Here's a link to the how-to:
http://www.bitsum.com/openwiking/owb...sp?WRT54G5_CFE

Here's the link to flash file:
http://www.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv2/down....ads/dd-wrt.v23 SP1/&download=dd-wrt.v23 sp1 micro.zip


A very cool WiFI project for $30 bucks.
post #13 of 14
whatever you do, do not buy a d-link wireless dongle >.<
post #14 of 14
I have used this:
http://afterthemac.com on a PCI graphics G4 (no AirPort slot) and for a couple of ailing G3 iBooks with dead AirPort slots. You have to install their driver but it works just fine.

In general, you can use any wireless router that can bridge to a basestation wireless router. The Express can be used as long as it can see the main basestation, which doesn't have to be an Apple Extreme basestation. The Express ethernet port can be used as a WAN or a LAN port, but not both at the same time. It can receive its signal from a basestation and deliver its LAN connection to the ethernet port of your iMac.

Similarly, reinarson is correct, the Linksys will also bridge to any basestation it can see. The only trick is to find two routers that will bridge to each other. Do that research first to avoid hours of frustration!
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