10 Replies Latest reply: Dec 15, 2006 2:38 PM by bajoro
bajoro Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
I finally broke down and ordered DSL from AT&T. I didn't order the wireless modem option because my friend was going to give me a free Airport. Turns out she doesn't have one.

AT&T sent me a small DSL modem and I have no problems with it, but I want to go wireless.

What's the most cost-effective way to do it -- using Apple products or without? I don't want to spend $130+ on Airport hardware if I don't have to. Seems like there must be some generic hardware at Radio Shack or CompUSA or MacMall.

Thanks in advance for your ideas.

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • 1. Re: What's the least expensive way to go wireless?
    cnorgangrad Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)
    Hello! Welcome to the world of Broadband! You can purchase any wireless G router and hook it up to the DSL modem via Cat-5 cable. I actually purchased my router from Wal-Mart for about $60 or so. Just remember, when you go wireless, it's best to have WPA2 security enabled so you don't have any casual lurkers stealing your bandwidth. Good luck!
  • 2. Re: What's the least expensive way to go wireless?
    TroyAllen Level 2 Level 2 (280 points)
    Get a Linksys router. Seems like all of the others don't work right now with the MacBooks in the wireless mode
  • 3. Re: What's the least expensive way to go wireless?
    cnorgangrad Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)
    Are we talking about the new C2D with the pre-n card? If so, then you are probably right. However, I have a MacBook CD and I have a motorola wireless router running 802.11g with WPA2 and it connects just fine. I have also used our linksys router at church with no problem as well. I'm not sure of the C2D models with the supposed pre-n wireless card.
  • 4. Re: What's the least expensive way to go wireless?
    Eric Kracinski Level 6 Level 6 (15,925 points)
    Troy, the problems often mentioned on these boards mention Linksys as the problems and the others work fine. It seems that certain versions of the Linksys firmware do not play nice with Macs. Unfortunately you cannot tell what you are getting before the purchase is made since there is no mention of details on the box.

    I use Netgear at home and it gives me complete coverage throughout my ranch home. I have the WGR614 which is on sale this week for $40 at Best Buy. Nice price on a good router.

    I also regularly connect to a D-Link and Belkin router without problems. The only ones that give me issues are Linksys.

    Avoid the draft N stuff since the card in your Mac does not have the N capabilities unlocked with Apple drivers. The N standard is still a draft standard and it may change enough when ratified to render your equipment useless.

    A lot of people also think that the N networking will make their internet faster. It will not. Most ISPs in the States provide service at 4-8mbps and even standard G will work at 54mbps - much faster than your ISP is giving you.
  • 5. Re: What's the least expensive way to go wireless?
    James Brown3 Level 2 Level 2 (215 points)
    But if you do have any problems beware that Linksys Tech support does not support the Mac platform
  • 6. Re: What's the least expensive way to go wireless?
    Eric Kracinski Level 6 Level 6 (15,925 points)
    A lot of routers do not officially support Macs, but that doesn't mean their routers will nor work with Macs.

    Anyway, all the support you will probably need can be found right here.
  • 7. Re: What's the least expensive way to go wireless?
    Adam White Level 4 Level 4 (1,310 points)
    I would suggest for ease of use and connectivity, try your local online auction site. Some AirPort Extreme Base stations are going for low $$$. I am currently using a graphite 802.11b station for 3 Apple computers in my house and it works fine. The only draw back is the limit of ports on the Base Station. But those Graphite Stations could be had for less than $40 if that would serve your purpose.

    Note... Old Apple base stations are most WEP. For added security, try to get the newer models which are WPA encrypted.

    Good luck and you will love it once you go wireless.

    Adam
  • 8. Re: What's the least expensive way to go wireless?
    TroyAllen Level 2 Level 2 (280 points)
    Eric, I have the Linksys WRT300N linksys and it did not work both on my Macbook nor my Macpro until I downloaded the latest firmware. Firmware Version: v0.93.3 . Now it works fine.
  • 9. Re: What's the least expensive way to go wireless?
    Eric Kracinski Level 6 Level 6 (15,925 points)
    Glad to hear it is working for you now. Some people have not been so lucky and that is the only reason that if someone asks, I steer them to what I use myself and know for sure that works.

    Nothing meant by that other than a personal testimonial.
  • 10. Re: What's the least expensive way to go wireless?
    bajoro Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I wish there was a quick way to mark "all replies" as "helpful". Will try to solve this today -- thanks everyone.