9 Replies Latest reply: May 3, 2012 2:57 PM by nhmorris43
nhmorris43 Level 1 (0 points)

Is there a wiress usb adapter that can be used with a router for the iMac?

iMac, Mac OS 8.6 or Earlier
  • Allan Jones Level 7 (33,947 points)

    Depends on your iMac model and OS version. If you are really running OS 8.6 or earlier, we need to get your post moved to the forum fro  pre-2006 iMacs.


    Most wireless USB adaptors require a minimum Mac OS of 10.3.9. And most such adaptors on a store shelf won;t work on Macs because they lack proper drivers. You usually have to web-order to get the right device.


    If you clarify which iMac variant you have, we can offer more help. Doping "About this Mac from your Apple menu is a great place to find the Processor type and OS version.

  • nhmorris43 Level 1 (0 points)

    My iMac is OS 8.5.1.  thanks for your help

  • Tom Meade1 Level 2 (280 points)

    The wireless adapter would be an Airport Card. Your vintage

    iMac most likely has a slot for one. The card will relate

    to a wireless router such as Airport Express, or Airport

    Extreme. Once you update the OS to the latest version

    possible make sure you have the latest Airport software

    - this will help you set up the router more easily than

    non-Apple solutions.

    Sounds like a nice little vintage rig. All best, Tom

  • Allan Jones Level 7 (33,947 points)

    Tom, He may be out of luck. I dug though the specs in the MacTracker database before I posted and found  the first CRT iMac that had slots for Airport cards already had OS 8.6 installed from the factory. He has 8.5.1, suggesting his is the 1Gen G3 version with a tray-loading optical drive and no accommodation for an Airport card.


    If that's the case, his only wireless option requires three steps:


    • upgrade to Panther--not easy as proper disks are hard to find and expensive
    • add RAM to at least a total of 256MB to make Panther doable
    • get a Mac-compatible USB wireless adaptor.


    The total cost could be US$100-200 depending on what kind of deal he can get on the OS disks.

  • Tom Meade1 Level 2 (280 points)

    Hmmm. Good work Allan. And he asked for a USB adapter.

  • Tom Meade1 Level 2 (280 points)

    You may get help and support from the iMac group

    in Google Groups - they are into early iMacs.


    Try this link or "google it."



  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 (9,715 points)

    An alternative solution, albeit not USB, could be to use a wireless Ethernet bridge (sometimes called gaming adapter) connected to the Ethernet port of the computer. These devices (such as the WET610N from Linksys and the WNCE2001 from Netgear) do not require special driver software, and can thus be used under older operating systems.



  • Tom Meade1 Level 2 (280 points)

    I think I even have one - it could be used in the old days to hitchhike

    on the neighbor's internet connection (with permission, of course.)

  • nhmorris43 Level 1 (0 points)

    Did you have the older iMac (OS 8.5.1)?  If you no longer need this, are you interested in selling it?

    I tried the google iMac site, but didn't get any help.  Thanks so much for trying to help me.