Can a Mac and PC ever learn to live together?
March 16, 2005 9:19 AM   Subscribe

I just bought a new PC and would like to set it up so I can wirelessly share a cable internet connection with an older mac.

Here's the specifics: brand new (two days old) pentium 4 PC running XP home, older Power Mac running OS 8.1, an XBox may be added to the mix later on if this works out.

I would like to do this in a way that causes little to no disruption to the mac user since it's their connection in the first place, and are really doing me a favor by letting me piggyback on it.

The computers don't need to share files, and the mac can even remain wired, the PC is on a different floor and would need to be wireless.

I will be setting this up myself, and what I know about Macs can balance on the head of a pin, so keep that in mind. I'm looking for general setup instructions, advice from people who have done something similar, and even brand recommendations for routers, hubs, etc.
posted by Kellydamnit to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Best answer: I'd recommend buying a Linksys WRT54G. Maybe fifty bucks or so, but, on the other hand, using one will make this very, very easy. Basically, you'll unplug the Mac from the cable modem, plug the router into the cable modem, then plug the Mac into the router. There are other options, of course, but buying a consumer-level wireless router is probably the simplest.
posted by box at 9:47 AM on March 16, 2005

Note: some cable modems lock onto the MAC address of the first device they were initialized to. If you plug in the wireless router and it doesn't pass traffic find the reset switch on the cable modem and allow it to reassociate with your router.

I spend several hours banging my head before realizing this on more than one occasion.

posted by roue at 9:57 AM on March 16, 2005

Most modern routers can learn the MAC address of the machine connected to the modem now too, so you probably won't have to reset the modem even. The Mac will probably have to remain hardwired due to its age, but both it and the XBox can be made wireless with a Linksys WET-11 or similar device (they're called wireless ethernet bridges - Netgear makes some too, as does D-Link). If you want the cheapest route possible you can usually get good deals on Netgear equipment from; otherwise the WRT54G recommended by box should be your first choice.
posted by mrg at 10:53 AM on March 16, 2005

Aother vote for Linksys WRT54G. Excellent consumer level WiFi.
posted by Dean Keaton at 11:41 AM on March 16, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for the help! I actually went with D-Link since they were the only one that promised to support a Mac running anything older than OS X.

That and the $20 price tag after sales and rebates.

But within an hour and a half of opening the boxes I was checking my email!
posted by Kellydamnit at 8:34 AM on March 17, 2005

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