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Intel Macs support 802.11a WiFi

updated 04:15 pm EST, Fri January 13, 2006

Intel-Macs have 802.11a

The new iMacs are shipping with 802.11a WiFi standard, despite . Devices based on the 802.11a standard operate in the 5GHz frequency range, creating a wireless zone about 300 feet in radius in which users can exchange files and data at 55mbps -- about five times faster than 802.11b Wi-Fi networks. The 802.11a specification differs from others in that it provides 12 non-overlapping channels-- 8 for indoor use- that enable more access points to cover the same physical location without interfering with one another. Owners of new iMacs and MacBook Pros will be able to connect to and browse third party access points using 802.11a as well as 802.11b and 802.11g. The new Mac Book Pros with 802.11a WiFi will not ship until later next month.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. Drakino

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Very nice

    Apple is one reason I didn't invest in 802.11a. But with so many devices running in the 2.4ghz band (802.11g from neighbors, microwaves, many portable phones, wireless speakers), it might be nice to change my network over to a hybrid g/a network this year to get better performance on my new MacBook.

  1. inkhead

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Intel Chip

    This is because the new Mac Book Pro and iMac use the "Intel Wireless Pro" Chipset which is actually very good. It's a huge improvement over the broadcom cards that Apple has been using. Especially on the notebook computers, it has excellent power consumtion.

    It's important to note that future mac laptops, coming in june, will have the next revision of "Inte Wireless Pro" which also includes, 802.11n, WiMax, and EV-DO, EDGE connect for cellphones. It's very impressive.

  1. gscarich

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    g vs. a

    How does 802.11g compare to 802.11a?

    And how well does 802.11a connect to a 802.11g hotspot?

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re:g vs. a

    They are competing standards to replace the b standard. The g standard came out before the a standard but the latter does have the advantage of not having overlap of frequencies with other devices in the 2.4Ghz range like cordless phones and microwaves.

    Apparently, this wireless chipset supports a,b and g standard hotspots but a and g are not compatible with each other.

  1. Drakino

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    g vs a

    802.11a operates in the 5.8ghz range, so it has the benefit of being in a less used part of the airwaves. However, being higher frequency, equipment typically had a shorter range.

    A pure 802.11a card can only connect to 802.11a basestations. However, since the new Macs support A and G, you could use A at home to avoid interference, then G when at a Starbucks. There isn't any manual changing, you just would click the Airport menu and select a wireless network.

  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Does Suport mean...

    ..that they can access 802.11a networkds right out of the box?

  1. alpa

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    MacBook Pro uses Atheros

    Went to play with the MacBook Pro at the Apple store tonight. I examined the Airport driver extensions and can confirm that the MacBook Pro uses an Atheros 5424 PCI Express wireless card. This card is capable of supporting a and b/g and is used in somd IBM ThinkPad. However, I cannot find anywhere where you can select 802.11a.

  1. calvarez

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I'm using it right now

    I am connected to a Linksys 802.11a router right now, so I can say with certainty that it does work.

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