Is your Mac ready for wireless networking?

How to check if your Mac is ready for wireless networking

All recent Macs have WiFi built in. But older Macs will not. To check whether you Mac has the ability to connect to WiFi do the following:

  1. Go to about this Mac on the apple start menu
  2. Find Network in the Contents list
  3. Click the triangle to see elements within and look for Airport Card.
  4. Click on the Airport card.

Clicking on the Airport card will tell you what type of adapter you have. Airport extreme means you have 802.11n or g (good connection speeds), Airport means an older and slower wireless connection.

If you have an older computer without WiFi and it is running Mac OS X, Windows XP, a modern Linux installation, you should be able to plug in a USB WiFi adaptor. Modern WiFi gear is the same for Macs and PCs but do check the driver software and – for much older Macs – whether the system is compatible (check the adapters minimum requirements).

Even older computers, too old to support WiFi, can be connected to a wireless network once they have a WiFi bridge device added to their Ethernet cable; items such as the Apple Airport Express, or Belkin’s Wireless G gaming adapter will get you on the wireless network. Check eBay for wireless adapters for older Macs – but do check the compatibility with your Apple Mac.

Check the mac gear section for reviews of the best wireless routers for macs.

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