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Wireless Internet (cable) How?


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My brother just bought my dear old mom (77 yrs) a new IMac. I agreed to hook her up with high speed internet. She used to have dial-up. It appears that phone companys don't serve her area with DSL, but cable does. Mom doesn't want the cable Co to put holes through her walls/floors (like they seem to always do now)., so I'm thinking of a wireless internet connection for the modem. Does that sound OK? How does it work and what would I need. I belived this is a new IMac model.

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Go buy a Linksys Wireless 4 port Cable/DSL router.

Plug the WAN port into the cable modem with an Ethernet cable and turn it on.

On the iMac, click the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen and when the menu rolls out, roll your cursor down to the Location option and another list will roll out. Make sure the Automatic option is checked in that list.

Now click the Apple icon again and select System Preferences when the list rolls out. When that box opens up, click the icon titled "Network". When that window opens, click the second select box down with the word "Show" next to it and select the option called Airport. Now click the configure button near the bottom of the dialog box.

On the next screen that appears, use the select box that says "By default, join" right next to it and select the "Preferred networks" option. In the list that appears below that select "linksys" from the list.

Now make sure that the checkbox near the bottom of the bottom of the dialog box that says "Show Airport status in menu bar" is checked.

Last thing to do is to click the "Apply Now" button in the lower right corner of the Networking box.

At this point a new icon should have appeared at the top right of the screen in the menu bar that looks like an inverted triangle with lines in it. If you click this icon, you should get a list of WiFi networks in your area along with configuration options. In the middle of this list is where the list of networks is and there should now be an item called "linksys" in the list. If it has a checkmark next to it you are good to go, if not, click on it and a checkmark should appear next to the next time you look there.

When you release this list, the triangle icon should now have black lines in it's bars. This is the signal strength meter and if it shows black lines, then you are connected to the Wifi router.

Open a web browser (Safari) try a google search or something similar to see if you are up and running.

This leaves you with an open/unencrypted network. To add security, open a web browser and type 192.168.1.1 into the address bar and hit return. Thiis will access the Linksys router control panel.

The password dialog will need the word "admin" put into the password box and nothing entered into the username box. After authenticating you will get the router setup screen.

Click the "Wireless" tab and then click the Wireless Security tab when the wireless config screen opens. Now select WEP in the Security Mode, check the 1 radio button, enter a passphrase you will remember in the "Passphrase" box and then click the "Generate" button to create a password hash. Now write down one of the 4 keys in the boxes under the Passphrase. This will be the WEP password you enter after security is turned on.

Now click the "Save Settings" button at the bottom of the screen. You will now need to re-select the linksys network in the Airport menu icon again. You will need to enter the passphrase hash you copied down earlier this time. Make sure to check the box to remember the password. This should put you back on the network, but now with security on.

If you have any issues crop up, PM me with the details and I will help sort it out for you.

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Doh! A' Yupp! That is affirmative. They run about $59 typically but can be found for as little as $39 on sale. CompUSA is a good source for having them in stock by the hundreds.

The model I prefer is the WRT54G

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OK. Sounds good. Are they fast enough for old mom (she likes to go fast), and trouble free? I'd hate to see old mom frustrated by complicated internet connection/reconfiguration problems.

Sounds cheaper than the straight Apple options which I've just started reading about.

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Yes, I recommend the Linksys for ease of use and cost effectivness compared to the Apple options. The Apple base stations have the advantage of USB printer ports, built-in modems for sharing dialup and porting music wirelessly over what they call AirTunes. If you need these options, the Apple Wifi solution is great. If you don't, it's overpriced and more complicated than is needed.

The speed issue is a non-issue. Any Wifi connection from 10mbs 802.11b to 54mbs 802.11g is many times faster than even the fastest cable ISP connection speed of 3-4mbs. Truly not a worry.

BTW, PM me and I might be able to point you at a Linksys Wifi router that is NIB for about $30

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Only buy a linksys WRT54G if it is a version 1, 2, 3. Anything beyond that is problemmatic, I just bought 40 version 5's for my work and sent them all back becasue they are a huge POS. I would recommend the D-Link DGL-4300 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16833127158

I bought these and they are great, they are more money but have great range and loads of features.

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Only buy a linksys WRT54G if it is a version 1, 2, 3. Anything beyond that is problemmatic, I just bought 40 version 5's for my work and sent them all back becasue they are a huge POS. I would recommend the D-Link DGL-4300 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16833127158

I bought these and they are great, they are more money but have great range and loads of features.

I've put in a couple of those as well. The gigabit network ports rock. Probably not something Mom needs, but it's cool.

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I beg to differ on the Linksys negs as I have no problem with later versions compared to earlier versions. I have however had several in a row of a specific version be bad outadabox and found that going to a store somewhere else and getting a a member of a different batch of the same model/revision would stop the issues.

IMHO, it really is a batch issue, not a model/revision issue and getting 50 from one batch that have a high incidence of flakiness says something else to me. I also believe the later revisions are more prone to needing the firmware refreshed/upgraded right outadabox compared to the earlier ones.

I have almost always made Linksys routers of any ilk/type/model come alive with an update to the latest firmware. This is best/easiest done from a PC via an Ethernet connection to the router using the latest version of firmware from the Linksys website.

I have however had as many problems with D-Link routers as I have with the Linksys ones and even the Netgear line too! The worst of all these little beasties are the Belkins. Belkin stuff is total crap compared to the other three brands which themselves are only "Just OK" consumer level products (Linksys, D-Link & Netgear).

None of these products are magically better than any other one and the incidences of problems are there for any brand if you search it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I got the Linksys (thanks George) and have left it at Mom's along with your instructions George. It looks like it will all work and fit the need well and dear old Mom is exited. :)

Just waiting for the cable guys now.

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  • 1 month later...
Well I got the Linksys (thanks George) and have left it at Mom's along with your instructions George. It looks like it will all work and fit the need well and dear old Mom is exited. :)

Just waiting for the cable guys now.

I hooked it all up and it worked! :)

Thanks for those instructions George.

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