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Using a Macintosh to Share Wireless Internet

Oct 24th, 2008 by Atelier | 0

My wireless router was faulty and it was the middle of the month. Pay day was still two weeks away. Instead of buying a new airport base station, I decided to use an iBook G3 clamshell to share the internet connection.

Almost all new macs come with an airport card. Even older hardware like G3 iBooks and iMacs are able to accept the original 802.11b airport card with a transfer speed of 11 mbps. Most broadband connections today average 2 mbps to 12 mbps. There are providers offering up to 100mbps but home users will never fully utilise it.

I tried to do a clean install of OS X Panther 10.3 but the CD-Rom drive was a little fussy and refused to read the disk properly. Not willing to give up, I decided to push on. The iBook G3 I had was the non firewire model. Thus it was impossible to reinstall the OS from another mac.  I took the iBook apart to extract the hard drive. A copy of OS X Tiger 10.4 was installed and the hard drive replaced.

After putting everything back together, the iBook booted up with that familiar sounding chime. In system preferences, there is an icon for sharing. Once in that preference pane, select share my connection from ethernet to airport. Click on the options to create a name for the wireless network and set a password. Next, start the interet sharing service and you will be surfing online from all the other computers around the house or office.

The iBook may be old but it is still serving a useful purpose acting as a wireless base station.

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