General Question

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

If I got a MacBook, is it compatable with the Wifi and printer in my house?

Asked by toomuchcoffee911 (6928points) April 3rd, 2009

I’m thinking of getting one, but right now all the computers in my house are PC. Will it work out with the Wifi and remote printer?

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23 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Wifi doesnt depend on OS. Macs support wifi.
Your printer will also work but you will need to install a Mac driver for that printer.

Ivan's avatar

Yes, it will just need drivers. It might not work right out of the box, but you can get it working.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Macs almost always work right out of the box…

eambos's avatar

You’ll have to search around online to find the printer drivers, but once you have them, everything should run smooth. Just make sure that you turn “Printer Sharing” on on your Windows machine =)

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

Thanks everyone! Great advice !

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@toomuchcoffee911 Let me know how it goes with the MacBook. I might be buying one too.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

Sure; it might be a while, though. But everyone I’ve talked to has said they’re great.

StellarAirman's avatar

Most likely you’ll just plugin the printer and it will work right off the bat, without installing anything. There are hundreds of printer drivers already installed on Macs when you buy them so that almost anything you plugin will just work.

jrpowell's avatar

When I was installing 10.6 it searched for an attached printer and asked what printer drivers I wanted to install. All of the drivers were 2.2 Gigs. I took out all the foreign languages too. The install took under five minutes with all that stuff turned off. I was installing from a firewire drive though.

wilhel1812's avatar

It will probably work right out of the box.
There’s usually no need for drivers and such

anthelios77's avatar

I’ve run into problems with older macbooks not being able to connect to wifi because they didn’t support the same protocol the router needed. I doubt there will be a problem with a new model but if I was you I would make sure first by checking the specifications for the macbook and what the printer and router needs.

StellarAirman's avatar

Every Macbook has supported 802.11b/g which is what almost every commercial router ever made supports. The only thing the older ones didn’t support is 802.11n, but those routers aren’t very popular yet, and they are backwards compatible with b and g anyway.

anthelios77's avatar

@StellarAirman Actually some older macbooks don’t support 802.11g (or maybe it was b..). I think the computer I’m thinking of was bought 2005 or 2006. It don’t matter though, if it’s a new model it will likely work just fine.

squirbel's avatar

@anthelios77 : All Macbooks support 802.11g, at a minimum. The Macbook’s predecessor, the Powerbook, supports 802.11b [some support the g band].

All of that doesn’t matter – as any wireless G router will support the B band. So they will always connect.

StellarAirman's avatar

@anthelios77 Here’s the specs on the first MacBook, supports a/b/g: and obviously they wouldn’t remove it in later models. As squirbel said you’d have to go back pretty far into the Powerbook/iBook line to find one that only supports b, and even then any router will be backwards compatible.

anthelios77's avatar

Maybe it was a Powerbook then. But we couldn’t get it to connect to the router no matter what we tried. I don’t remember what model the router was but it worked well with the windows computers. I think another problem we had was the Mac not supporting the security measures we wanted to use, but even without those it would not connect.

The computer is still being used so I’ll look into it. Would be great to know how it could have been resolved.

squirbel's avatar

Your router was most likely only emitting the G band. There is a setting for it to emit both the G and B bands.

My powerbook connects just fine with my routers [I’ve had a succession of B, G, and N] as long as I have the B band always emitting.

anthelios77's avatar

Yes I know but B is super slow. :) A router needs more than one antenna to emit two different bands at the same time right?

The router was owned by one person and the mac by another and they no longer share apartment so I don’t think I’m going to get to the bottom of this anyway.

squirbel's avatar

No, one antenna, many bands. Think AM/FM radio…

The way to get to the bottom of this is to post the make and model of your router, and someone can find a how-to for you. Nothing cannot be connected to a Mac [double negative ftw!]. Well, except some legacy device [SCSI RAID for instance].

anthelios77's avatar

So a router with one antenna can broadcast to different bands and handle two different protocols at the same time? So I could have setup the PC to use G and the Mac to use B?

It wasn’t my router, nor mac. I was trying to help some friends. And yes, double negations ftw. :)

squirbel's avatar

Yes, you can set routers to emit B, G, and N [if you have a newer router] at the same time – so that a PC can read G, and the Mac can read B. Search the documentation on your router, or post the model number here.

StellarAirman's avatar

Yes, you can connect a b and g to the same router, however, connecting a 802.11b device to a 802.11g wireless network will slow the entire network down to 802.11b speeds or even slower.

Here’s info on that:

Only things like Apple’s newest Airport Extreme that broadcasts 802.11n at the 5ghz spectrum and 802.11b/g at the 2.4ghz spectrum in basically two networks will allow you to connect 802.11n devices without them being slowed down by the slower devices.

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