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Adding a iMac to a Wireless PC network

I have a wireless network set-up using windows XP and a netgear wireless router. I just bought my daughter an iMac and want to add it to my wireless network. What else do I need to buy? I have a netgear USB adapter, but it seems to only have OC drivers.


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Need details

In reply to: Adding a iMac to a Wireless PC network

A brand new, Intel iMac will be able to join any WiFi network should you enable the AirPort card (Apple's WiFi card) to do so. You should not need to buy anything for that. As for the USB adapter, if it is not specifically geared towards the Mac, it may not work.

Now if this is a used Mac, you will need to tell us what model it is. We need to know what type of iMac this is. There are iMac G3s, G4s, G5s, and then the Intel models. Take a look at this. Which one is it? List the specifications and what operating system you are using as well. Click on "About This Mac" on the Apple logo (at the top-left of the screen) to check that. For more details, you can click on "More Info" and System Profiler will open with all of your system's specs listed inside. If it is an older iMac, it may not necessarily have an AirPort card. The later iMac G4s and their successors all use the current AirPort Extreme card, which retails for $50 at the Apple Store. Before that, you had to use a regular AirPort card which uses 802.11b instead of the faster options of "g" or "n". To find one of these slower cards, check eBay or other online retailers.

Let us know how you get on.


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More details....

In reply to: Need details

My machine PCU type is PowerPC G4 (2.1). If I have an airport card -- how do I enable it?

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I need some more information to work with

In reply to: More details....

Okay, so it is an iMac G4 (with the moveable screen), correct? Go to "About This Mac" and tell us what the processor's clock speed is. That way, we can identify what specific iMac it is and what capabilities it may or may not have. Certain iMac G4s use the older, discontinued AirPort cards while the later models used the AirPort Extreme card. You don't want to mix them up. Also, tell us what the screen size is. Apple used to make 15-inch, 17-inch, and 20-inch iMac G4s.

To determine if you already have a wireless card installed, go to System Preferences, click on Network. You should see a list of available network connection types. If AirPort is listed, you have a card installed and you just need to turn it on. You may want to select the option to place AirPort in the menu bar to allow easy access.
You can also go to System Profiler (accessible through "About This Mac" or the Utilities folder) and you can click on "AirPort Card" under the Network branch. That should tell you what is in the AirPort slot.

Let us know the full specifications so we can figure out which iMac G4 this is.


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Ok.... I think I got it now!

In reply to: I need some more information to work with

Here is the hardware overview:

Machine Name: iMac
Machine Model: PowerMac4,2
CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (2.1)
Number Of CPUs: 1
CPU Speed: 700 MHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 256 KB
Memory: 768 MB
Bus Speed: 100 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 4.4.1f1

System Software Overview:

System Version: Mac OS X 10.4.11 (8S165)
Kernel Version: Darwin 8.11.0

When I click on Network: AirPort Card. I get ""No information found."

I think I need to buy a AirPort Card like this one:

But I was wondering if instead if taking apart my computer, I could just get a USB adapter like this:

Thanks! so very much for all your help!

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Airport Cards

In reply to: Ok.... I think I got it now!

he iMac G4 does not need to be taken apart to install the airport card. Just 4 screws. Apple regards it as a user replaceable/installable part.

You will find details on how to do it, Here

This method is more expensive than the USB arrangement, so the choice is yours.


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Your iMac is one of the older variety

In reply to: Ok.... I think I got it now!

and as such, you will need the original AirPort Card. Your iMac does not have one, so you will have to buy one somewhere online. The site you linked to may be adequate. Keep in mind that AirPort Cards are usually sold for a premium price over the now common AirPort Extreme Cards. The originals are somewhat harder to find.

To install one of these is very simple. You turn off the iMac, unplug it, and unscrew the base. You will find a memory slot and an AirPort Card slot under it. The card naturally goes in the latter. It's quite simple. You could try using an external USB adapter, but your results may vary. Also, should you install the original AirPort Card inside, it may slow down your network overall because it uses the older 802.11b WiFi protocol. But I doubt that you will experience any significant slowdowns. Good luck, and glad we could help.


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