Wireless Network + PC + Mac = Possible

  dave_and_confused 13:35 03 May 2005

I have a Windows XP PC connected to a Telewest Cable Broadband modem.

My step-daughter told me last week she was getting a Laptop from work so she can do more work at home. We discussed the options and wireless seemed to be the best way.

However.... when the laptop came home it was a Mac. According to NetGear who provide the wireless kit for Telewest Macs are not supported for wireless broadband on Telewest (fortunately we didn't buy the kit yet).

Is this true and is there a way round it? (ie can we have a PC and a Mac connected to the same broadband connection?)

  mgmcc 14:58 03 May 2005

Although I have no experience of Macs, I'm quite sure it is possible to connect wirelessly to a router with one and therefore to Telewest. Mac-compatible hardware must conform to the industry standard protocols for wireless networking, 802.11b and 802.11g, and use the same TCP/IP protocols for interent access.

It is possible that Telewest don't offer technical support to set it up, but that doesn't mean that it cannot be done. I recently bought a Buffalo Air Station G54 wireless router (under £50) which I am using with Telewest cable, connecting with Windows ("wirelessly" and "wired") and with SuSE Linux ("wired").

You can probably pick up a suitable wireless router more cheaply yourself than getting one from Telewest - just be sure to get one that DOESN'T have a built-in ADSL modem as those are only suitable for use with ADSL connections.

  dave_and_confused 15:16 03 May 2005

So if i got a Buffalo Air Station G54 wireless router and got a wireless card or USB thingy for the Mac I can connect the cable modem to the router and then run a cable to the PC and connect the Mac using the USB thingy.

(and a second USB thingy would enable my other PC to connect too?)

Aer these routers easy to setup and administer (esp securing it?)

  dave_and_confused 15:28 03 May 2005

if i had a router do i still need a software firewall?

  dave_and_confused 15:35 03 May 2005

if i had a router do i still need a software firewall?

  mgmcc 16:02 03 May 2005

This particular router was very easy to set up, including the "wireless" configuration. It supports WEP and WAP encryption to secure the wireless network and there is a filter to allow only selected wireless adapters to access the LAN and/or Internet.

The router connects to the cable modem's ethernet port and there is no software installation required for the modem (unlike USB connections) or for the router, which is set up via a web browser.

Your problem might be to get a PCMCIA or USB wireless network adapter with Mac drivers, as most seem to have only Windows software supplied.

  mgmcc 16:05 03 May 2005

<<<if i had a router do i still need a software firewall?>>>

It isn't essential but I still use Zone Alarm in all networked PCs. A software firewall lets you control the programs in the PC that can access the internet. The router doesn't restrict OUTGOING traffic.

  powerless 23:49 03 May 2005

You say a Mac Laptop, errmmm would that be an iBook or a Powerbook?

If a recent model then they have the wireless bit already built into them.

  dave_and_confused 08:28 04 May 2005

Thank you.

Yes its a Powerbook running OS X apparently and i did find it has something called "Air Port" which is switche on but there is no network so i presume this is the wireless adapater?

If i get the router and two USB adapter (for my two PCs) that should be it? Will the Mac detect the network and prompt me from there or is it more conplicated that that?

  dave_and_confused 08:30 04 May 2005

Can you tell me where you got this for under £50 as i can only find over £80.

Also can you confim the exact model please?

  mgmcc 09:07 04 May 2005

This model from PC World - click here

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