To airport or not to airport?


We have a TiBook, an LCD iMac, a Toshiba laptop (that can take a Toshiba wireless card) and a Windows XP Professional box.

The TiBook has an airport card.

Would Airport work well enough to share an ADSL connection coming in through either the iMac or direct into the base station?

Cost is also a factor, so what other methods of networking would be good? (Note: Cables really prove difficult to install in my place)

If you have that many computers and wiring is difficult in your place, then I'd say go for wireless. It's really great.

With that many machines, I'd say just get a dedicated ethernet-to-801.11b router, such as an AirPort base station, or another router like a Linksys.

Since "AirPort" uses the 801.11b standard, it can talk to any other device that uses that standard, so you're not limited to Apple hardware, which is a huge plus.

I'd say go with a wireless solution, shop around and see which is best for you. The AirPort Base Station may be a little pricey and there have been some issues with them dying after a while or bad reception with TiBooks. I've heard good things about the LinkSys brand, though, so that may be something to check out. And you'll be able to configure it on any machine through a browser.
go for it, ADSL connections can easily be handled by Airport for that amount of machines. Even the ping to servers (if you sometimes wanna play online games) is good! I have both an airport network wiring my brother's PC, my father's Mac, my TiBook and my Quicksilver as well as a ethernet wiring the Quicksilver to Fileserver, LAMP and - if needed - to the TiBook and it works great. Both my brother and my father nearly get the full bandwith of xDSL when nobody else uses's really good, I can only recommend it.
OK, so it looks like Airport should be the way to go ;)

In that case, do you reckon it's be better to connect the ADSL direct to the iLamp, and then the Base Station... Wait, does that even work, seeing as I only have one ethernet socket :confused: Ergh, $800 for a Base Station, $200 for an Airport card, probably the same for the Toshiba version then ANOTHER $200 for a card for Mum's PC :eek:

Ah well...
Get a basic networking hub with enough ports for all the hardwired items ($30-$50). That would inlclude the DSL modem, the Airport and any desktop PC's that are located "within wiring distance." Connect all those to the hub and configure the Airport to do DHCP and NAT. Configure all of the computers, both wired and wireless to use DHCP. The Airport will be the only router you need.

If you get one of the new Airport Base Stations, it has two ethernet ports, so you can connect one to the modem and the other to the hub. If you're hard-wiring less than two desktops, you won't even need the hub.

If I'm not wrong, the iMac can also serve as a base station, but I have no idea about compatibility and performance.

I currently use DSL but I've also used cable, both with an Airport. The connection is easy now that the Airport handles PPPoE.

Good luck,
Are you sure that the iMac can act as a base station? Because, if that's true, I'd definately link the TiBook, Toshiba and Hewlett-Packard to it! It would be very cheap too, in comparison. Plus it suits me better to connect my iMac direct to the Modem, because then I'd get the full speed, rather than the limited speed that my mum, dad and sister would get on theirs ;)
You can set up the iMac to act as a software basestation, but of course the iMac has to be turned on 24/7 in this case. Also, I don't know if there is any software out yet to makle the iMac a software basestation under OS X! Under OS 9, this option is built into the Airport software, but under OS X???

I'd go for the hardware you don't have to keep the iMac up and running all the time. Otherwise, whenever you have to reboot (due to updated, installations...anything), the connection to the other comps will be cut, downloads will halt etc. etc.

I am no fan of router boxex which also act as workstations...
Originally posted by Hypernate
$800 for a Base Station,

the base station only costs 299.- Dollars in the apple store, I bet you can get it for maybe 260 somewhere...

update - damn, realised too late that you don't mean US dollars...
Yup ;) Australian dollars ;) If it were US$800 NO ONE would buy it!

Hmm, I think software would work for a start. Plus my father probably would prefer to be able to shut off all connections when the iMac turns off.
Also, what about the OS X Airport software? Or is it built into the OS? If so, surely Apple could tell how to start it, even if it were some AppleScript or something.