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Wireless Home Networks
Old 12-26-2006, 12:50 PM   #1
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Wireless Home Networks

I have both a Mac and a Dell computer. Is it possible to set up a wireless home network that could connect both to my cable connection? I have not found a router that works with both the Mac and the Dell. Thanks for any suggestions.
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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 12-26-2006, 12:59 PM   #2
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

Jake,

I have a generic PC running Windows and a Mac laptop both on the home network. I am using a Linksys router ($49 at Best Buy). The PC is connected directly to the router and the Mac connects via the Airport card (wireless). I had to input the MAC address of the laptop into the security software of the router. I am able to connect from the laptop to the PC hard drive and access files there. The only thing I haven't been able to figure out is how to print from the laptop to the printer that is connected to the PC.

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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 12-26-2006, 01:24 PM   #3
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

Grumpy,
Thanks. I'll give this a try.
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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 12-26-2006, 03:18 PM   #4
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

I have a Mac desktop and an Apple Airport Express wireless router. I also have Toshiba laptop running Windows XP. Both the Mac and the laptop connect wirelessly to the Airport Express. Everything works fine together (although I haven't tried printing directly from the laptop -- but if it doesn't work, I could always email myself and print from the Mac).
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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 12-26-2006, 03:43 PM   #5
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

We have an Apple Airport wireless router for my Mac Powerbook and my wife's Dell laptop. It wll works fine as does our wireless shared HP printer.
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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 12-26-2006, 10:11 PM   #6
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake46
I have not found a router that works with both the Mac and the Dell.
Can you be more specific - I'm not sure what it is about a router that would NOT work with either?

Wireless networks work on open standards - I'm not aware of anything mac or windows specific about them.

Now, the wireless cards that connect to the computer need drivers, and that can be an issue. But, if each of your computers has a working wireless card or adapter in it, and it can get on a wireless netowrk - you should be good-to-go with any wireless router, AFAIK.

I guess you do need to check which standards each computer supports, and choose a router that supports both if there is no overlap - but this stuff is pretty generic these days.

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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 12-27-2006, 08:11 AM   #7
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

I'm embarrassed to say that after reviwing these great suggestions, I found out that my I-Mac does not have an Airport Card. Something I'll remedy quickly.
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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 12-27-2006, 08:20 AM   #8
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

which model imac do you have? Some take an older airport card that is a bit hard to find now, but there are other options.

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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 12-27-2006, 08:29 AM   #9
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

I'd suggest you get a router and cards that support WPA-PSK, and make sure you use it. No point letting your neighbours watch you surf and/or use your connection.

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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 12-27-2006, 09:30 AM   #10
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy
The only thing I haven't been able to figure out is how to print from the laptop to the printer that is connected to the PC. - Grumpy
Grumpy go here to solve your printer networking problems for as little as $39.99 plus s&h.
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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 12-27-2006, 09:52 AM   #11
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

ERD50
I have the first generation iMac. 1.25Ghz PowerPC G4.
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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 12-28-2006, 02:55 PM   #12
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredbop
Grumpy go here to solve your printer networking problems for as little as $39.99 plus s&h.
Since the "here" listed above is tigerdirect.com, I have to offer a strong warning to stay away.

They have a history of complaints with the state attorney general's office and the Better Bussines Bureau for not paying for rebates and for other shenanigans.

I bought an item early this year that had a rebate. I submitted everything for the rebate and although the online status (OnRebate - owned by same parent as tiger) said the rebate was submitted correctly, they never issued the payment.

I must have called or emailed them 20 times and each time got the "the problem is due to a computer glitch, it will be fixed within a week". At one point they agreed to issue a credit on my credit card for the rebate amount, but it never showed up. I filed a complaint with AG, BBB and FTC, but after reading several other online complaints about them, I'm not hopeful about getting the $70.

My advice is to stay away from TigerDirect.com, especially if rebates are involved.

Jim



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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 12-28-2006, 03:43 PM   #13
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake46
ERD50
I have the first generation iMac. 1.25Ghz PowerPC G4.
Well, the first gen iMac was introduced in 1998 with a 233 MHz G3. So, I don't think you have a first gen iMac.


I assume this is what you have: http://support.apple.com/specs/imac/iMac_USB_2_0.html

It accepts an Airport Extreme Card - $49 from Apple. (save $10 and get the refurb if they have it in stock for $39).

Go to http://store.apple.com and type "airport extreme card" into the search box and you should find it. This is 802.11g compatible ( all 802.11g work with 802.11b also). Should work with any router, I would think. I use a D-link, my son has this card in his iBook laptop and never had a problem getting on any network at school or friends.


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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 12-28-2006, 06:41 PM   #14
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

ERD 50
Thank you so much. I'm going to give this a whirl.
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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 01-02-2007, 08:51 AM   #15
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

Jake and Grumpy

We have a US Robotic Router (model 5461) with a built-in print server - cost was $10 after rebate - all 5 computers in the house can now print to the main printer attached to the router - Other routers have print servers and often are on sale so just watch the ads.

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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 01-02-2007, 10:06 AM   #16
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake46
I have not found a router that works with both the Mac and the Dell.
Coming late to this thread, but I was asked the same question by a friend yesterday. And as other posters have noted, all wireless routers work just fine with Macs, PCs, i-phones, anything that complies with 802.11 and has the necessary hardware and drivers.

But, and I think this is where the confusion comes in, most wireless routers come with setup software that *is* OS dependent. For example, the Linksys setup package works with Windows.

But once the router is installed and set up, it will work with any wireless device as noted above.

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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 01-02-2007, 06:22 PM   #17
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter

But, and I think this is where the confusion comes in, most wireless routers come with setup software that *is* OS dependent. For example, the Linksys setup package works with Windows.
hmmm. I don't think the installation software is really needed. My DLink router came with a setup disk but I left it in the box.

I plugged in the router, plugged in my laptop to a LAN port on the router, pointed my web browser at it, created a password, and configured the wireless stuff. It took all of 2 minutes.

Depending on what type of wireless encryption you use, passing around the encryption key to other computers can be a pain, but usually you can cut and paste it into a text file and move the text file around to configure the clients (a flash drive can be handy for this). The newer WPA-2 security option with auto key exchange eliminates all that hassle if your clients can support it.

Jim

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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 01-02-2007, 07:33 PM   #18
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
But, and I think this is where the confusion comes in, most wireless routers come with setup software that *is* OS dependent. For example, the Linksys setup package works with Windows.

Peter
Like magellan said - setup can be done by any computer with a browser, same with my D-Link.

From Linksys website (same instructions regardless of OS):

http://tinyurl.com/yfr84t

Quote:
STEP 4: Configure the Router
Follow these steps to configure your Linksys Router.

1. On the computer that is connected to the Linksys Router, open a web browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape.
2. Type http://192.168.1.1 into your browser’s Address or Location bar and click Go or press the [Enter] key on your keyboard. The IP address 192.168.1.1 is the default IP address of Linksys Routers.

3. A user name and password prompt will appear. Leave the user name field blank (empty), and type in admin (lowercase) for the password. The password admin is the default password of Linksys Routers.

NOTE: The following username/password prompt screen will vary by operating system.
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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 01-02-2007, 08:00 PM   #19
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
Like magellan said - setup can be done by any computer with a browser
Good point.

But the average user isn't going to know this, and will probably want to use the setup CD. I believe that's where the idea that routers are OS sensitive comes from.

And the Linksys data sheets do say that a PC is required. See the bottom of the second page of the data sheet linked at at http://tinyurl.com/fgj39.

Can't imagine why they do this ... but there it is!

Peter
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Re: Wireless Home Networks
Old 01-02-2007, 10:18 PM   #20
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Re: Wireless Home Networks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
And the Linksys data sheets do say that a PC is required. See the bottom of the second page of the data sheet linked at at http://tinyurl.com/fgj39.

Can't imagine why they do this ... but there it is!

Peter
It is somewhat needlessly confusing (and linksys is not alone on this). On the first page, it states:
Quote:
And even with all this power, set up is a snap with the web browser-based configuration utility.
and then, on the datasheet you point out, it does say:
Quote:
• Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, or XP
but, above that, it says:

Quote:
• Internet Explorer 5.5 or Firefox 1.0 or
Higher for Web-based configuration

I'm guessing that the CD version is a bit more of a 'wizard' kind of walk through thing. But, in my experience, the web-based set up is a 'snap' as they say. I can't imagine why these companies wouldn't do everything they can through a web based app - it is so much less support work. Everybody has a browser these days (or they wouldn't need this thing!), why not take advantage of all the power that gives you? And, have far fewer worries about OS types and compatibility/upgrade issues. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

And, yep, someone sees a CD in the package, they figure they need to use it. My MIL was the same when she got a digital camera - she thought she had to load all their programs, and I just said - you've already got iPhoto on your computer. Plug in your camera and you are 'good-to-go'.

-ERD50
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