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New iMac 2012 - Wireless Capabilities?

3306 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Jan 21, 2013 8:57 PM by John Galt RSS
DavidMac Level 2 Level 2 (385 points)
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Jan 18, 2013 7:24 PM

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)
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    Jan 18, 2013 7:39 PM (in response to DavidMac)

    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 7 Level 7 (33,090 points)
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    Jan 18, 2013 7:41 PM (in response to DavidMac)

    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.

    MacBooks  iMacs  iPads  AirPorts, OS X Mountain Lion,  28 years Apple!
  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,090 points)
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    Jan 18, 2013 8:00 PM (in response to DavidMac)

    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

    MacBooks  iMacs  iPads  AirPorts, OS X Mountain Lion,  28 years Apple!
  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,090 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 21, 2013 8:57 PM (in response to DavidMac)

    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.


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