9 Replies Latest reply: Jan 21, 2013 8:57 PM by John Galt
DavidMac Level 2 Level 2 (385 points)

I have just ordered a new 21.5" 2012 iMac                                                                                                                                                    

(with these being back-ordered by many suppliers, hopefully it will arrive in my lifetime ...)

 

 

 

The question I have is, I know it comes with some sort of built-in "Airport" wireless support, but wanted to know a little more in detail:

 

 

 

1.  Will I need a separate Apple "Extreme" base, besides the built-in iMac capable wireless .... if I want to use iPone, iPod Touch, iPad, etc. in he house?

 

2.  Is the built-in iMac "Airport", enough to act as a decent base router for house use?

 

3.  If the built-in "Airport" does work as a wireless "base" (of sorts), does the iMac need to be on all the time for it to transmit?

 

 

 

Any info on the workings of the built-in wireless capabilities of the new 2012 iMac will be appreciated. Thanks


  • BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)

    You will need a wireless router for the iMac to communicate with. That could be an Apple extreme base station or another brand of wireless router. The iMac wireless support is a receiver, not a transmitter.

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (39,915 points)

    1: Not necessarily. The iMac can connect to any wireless access point or router. I recommend genuine Apple AirPort base stations though, especially if you want to use the AirPrint capability of your iOS devices in the future, if you want to be certain Airplay streaming will work flawlessly, and if you want support from this website. Third party routers introduce an element of uncertainty should you have problems with them. It has also been my experience that Apple's routers work better in a mixed Windows / Mac environment than others.

     

    2 & 3: Though the strict answer is yes, the iMac can act as an access point of sorts, in that it can share a network connection obtained through some port other than WiFi. This is not convenient though, and yes the iMac would need to be "on" if you were to do that.

     

    Other than that the new iMacs use the latest wireless technology in common use today.

  • DavidMac Level 2 Level 2 (385 points)

    BGreg:

     

    " ... receiver, not a transmitter."

     

     

     

    That's what I thought ... but needed to know.

    Thanks

  • DavidMac Level 2 Level 2 (385 points)

    John:

     

    What I would have, is the iMac directly ethernet hard-wired (with Roadrunner / although the Roadrunner brand name is being discontinued by TimeWarner), and wanted to know if the iMac would then be able to "transmit" (as a base station), to other wireless devices (ie: iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, etc.).

     

     

    From what I now understand, it can't .... it can only receive, the iMac can't transmit (as an Apple Extreme can).

     

    I will have to look into getting a new Apple Extreme base as well.

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (39,915 points)

    DavidMac wrote:

     

    .... it can only receive, the iMac can't transmit

     

    Of course it can. Macs have been able to do this since the Classic era.

     

    Here is how you set up Internet Sharing in OS X:

    Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 10.46.06 PM.png

    Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 10.45.56 PM.png

     

     

    Client devices will recognize "John's iMac" just like they would any other wireless network.

     

    OS X Lion: Share your Internet connection

  • DavidMac Level 2 Level 2 (385 points)

    John:

     

    John wrote:

    "... Macs have been able to do this since the Classic era."

     

    Good follow-up.

     

    ___________________________________________________________

     

    Just not sure about "the Classic era"

     

    Here's a screen grab from one of my older computers,

    running an older OSX version. Notice no internet sharing

    available.

     

    Screen Grab.jpg

     

     

    A final few questions or observations:

     

     

    1.  So, you're saying that the iMac, with "Internet Sharing" selected (in the system

         preferences), will then enable the iMac to act as a base wireless transmitter to

         all wi-fi devices in a set distance around the iMac (iPhones, iPod Touch, iPad, etc.)?

     

    2.  Do you know what the approximate transmitting distance is for this iMac

         "Internet Sharing" is (in feet)?

     

    3.  For the iMac "Internet Sharing" to be available, the iMac has to obviously

         be turned on, to transmit?

     

    3.  Is this iMac "Internet Sharing" somewhat equivalent to the performance of

         the Apple Extreme Base Station (obviously probably not)?

     

    4.  Why would iMac users really need the Airport Extreme (other than to have

         full internet access without needing to have their iMac's running all the time,

         or for farther transmitting range)?

  • DavidMac Level 2 Level 2 (385 points)

    This is Apple's statement:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/PH3853

     

    ________________________________________________________________________________ _______

     

    OS X Lion: Share your Internet connection

    If your computer is connected to the Internet, you can share its Internet connection with other computers on your local network.

    For example, if your computer is connected to the Internet using a DSL modem and has an AirPort Card installed, you can share the DSL connection with other AirPort-equipped computers.

    On Windows computers, sharing your Internet connection is sometimes referred to as a “network bridge” or “bridging your network.”

    1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences and click Sharing.
    2. Select Internet Sharing and click the checkbox if it isn’t checked.
    3. Choose the Internet connection you want to share from the “Share your connection from” pop-up menu. For example, if you’re connected to the Internet over Ethernet, choose Ethernet.
    4. Select how you want to share your Internet connection in the “To computers using” list. For example, if you want to share your Internet connection over AirPort, select AirPort.If you share your Internet connection using AirPort, click AirPort Options and give your network a name and password.

    If your Internet connection and your local network use the same port (Ethernet, for example), investigate possible side effects before you turn on Internet sharing. In some cases (if you use a cable modem, for example) you might unintentionally affect the network settings of other ISP customers, and your ISP might terminate your service to prevent you from disrupting its network.

    ________________________________________________________________________________ _______

     

    Does the implication of: "... you can share it's (your iMac's) internet connection with other computers on your LOCAL network", imply that "other computers" (those using Apple Airport), could also be referred to as "devices" ... such as iPods, iPhones, iPads, etc.?

  • DavidMac Level 2 Level 2 (385 points)

    I forgot to add this in the thread earlier, referring to the comment of Macs having

    been able to do this since the "Classic era"

     

     

    In Older OSX System Preferences > Sharing > the Sharing "Internet" tab only

    showed either of two options to computers using:

     

    Built-in Ethernet

    Built-in Firewire

    • BUT NO "Wi-Fi" setting selection

     

     

    Screen Grab 2.jpg

     

    Obviously that's the difference ... having that "Wi-Fi" option under the

    System Preference / Sharing / Menu Selections.

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (39,915 points)

    Boot OS 9 a/k/a "Classic" and enable Software Base Station.

     

    Archived - AirPort Software Base Station (Mac OS 9): Sharing an Internet Connection over Ethernet

     

    OS X 10.1 did not include Software Base Station but it was reintroduced with a later version.

     

    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Yes
    4. Unknown. I do not know how many clients a Mac can serve, for instance. The Extreme is designed to serve 50 but I understand this is not an actual limit.
    5. Because it's stupid to have a Mac running all the time simply to perform the function of a hardware router?

     

    Does the implication of: "... you can share it's (your iMac's) internet connection with other computers on your LOCAL network", imply that "other computers" (those using Apple Airport), could also be referred to as "devices" ... such as iPods, iPhones, iPads, etc.?

     

    The KB article states

    If your computer is connected to the Internet, you can share its Internet connection with other computers on your local network.

     

    I have only verified Internet sharing works with other Macs, but it should work with iOS devices.