Wireless Networking Info

This page has all the info I have collected on using various wireless ethernet/USB adaptors
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9/9/03 Wireless networking on the 6400: Tom wants to know if anyone has tried a Macwireless USB adaptor on the 6400? Also please send me any info you have on any wireless device that works on a 6400. Thanks.

[Hi -- I have enjoyed your site for some time. I have a fairly stock 6400 -- it has 80mb ram, a comm-slotII Ethernet-card, Keyspan USB card and an ATI video card.

I wonder if any of your readers has successfully been able to use the Macwireless USB adapter with a 6400. Basically, Macwireless makes a small USB device that communicates 802.11b signals compatible with Apple's airport. Macwireless (macwireless.com) claims that it will allow any USB Mac to connect to an Airport network.

I am now working at home on a G4 Powermac. My wife would like to share our cable modem with the 6400. Her desk is on the first floor, the G4 is on the upper floor, and running a cable would be a lot of work. I could get an airport PCI card for the 6400, but I would have to sacrifice either the ATI video card or the USB card. After reading the Macwireless website and reading good reviews of their USB adapter by independent sources (MacAddict for one) I ordered one of the units and tried to install it on the 6400.

Macwireless says that should work with the Keyspan USB card. Unfortunately I experienced nothing but trouble. The 6400 won't boot with the adapter plugged in. I did get it to boot one time -- the rest of the time it would freeze up right after the usual icon display and before displaying anything on the desktop. If I unplugged the unit the Mac would boot up fine but it would lockup within two minutes of plugging the adapter in.

I thought it might be an extension conflict. Since I had a partition with no system folder, I installed a brand new copy of OS 9.1 on the unused partition and made that my start up disk. This brand new install has no init files other than what is installed by Apple's 9.1 installer and the required Macwireless drivers. This new install made no improvement. Once again, I experienced constant lockups and freezes. Only one time did I see the access point -- and of course the machine locked up before I could connect.

Macwireless tech-support wasn't as helpful as I would have hoped. They claim it should work and that the adapter that I received might be defective. I have returned it and they are sending me a new one, but I'm concerned that this thing just doesn't like the 6400. I know the USB card works because I use it to drive my USB scanner that doesn't like OSX 10.2.6 which I am running on the G4. Other then being dog-slow, the 6400 perfectly when the Macwireless adapter is unplugged.

Has anyone found success with one of these adapters on a 6400? How about one of the PCI Airport devices? Macwireless also makes one of these and I have heard that Proxim also makes a Mac-compatible PCI 802.11b card. I hate to lose either the USB card or the ATI video card, but I really would like to get this beast networked to the G4.

Thanks for an interesting site -- long live the 6400!
-- Tom]

Here's a link to Belkins wireless USB solution. And here is a link to the drivers for that device. It says it requires OS 9.2 so you would need to use OS9Helper to upgrade from OS 9.1 to 9.2.2 on our Macs.

Here is some info sent in by another reader who says to try the Linksys Wireless Ethernet Bridge. Thanks. This may be the best solution.

[While not a PCI card (it's an external box), we use a Linksys WET11 Wireless Ethernet Bridge as it doesn't need any drivers and it fits *anything* with an ethernet port (we use it on a RevB iMac) so it has none of the USB bridge problems. Now a days it's superceded by the WET54G Wireless-G Ethernet Bridge.
Cheers,]

Basically you just plug in your ethernet cable from your computer into this device and then you become wireless for the rest of the connection to your network. This still requires the installation of an ethernet card though but this will work without worries of USB drivers. So this should work with any Mac OS that can access a TCP/IP network. Do I dare say that I bet even OS 7.5.3 will work with this device!

12/22/2003 Issues with Belkins wireless USB ethernet adaptor: John sends word that he was unable to get their wireless adaptor to work on his 6400. Thanks for the info John. Not sure which OS version he was running but Belkins web site says it requires 9.2.x.

[I was just reading your post on the 6400 zone re USB Wireless and the 6400. I had the same problem with a Belkin USB adapter and their OS9 drivers. My 6400 would hang just as the desktop was loading. Same song and dance with Belkin Tech support. Mostly clueless, then they offer to exchange the adapter as defective. I even tried a different USB interface card with no luck. Anyway, I was wondering if you were successful and if so, what trick did you use.

Thanks.
John]

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This page last updated 1/31/2004