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Increase Mac Mini’s ad-hoc WiFi range

Hello. I have an early 2009 Mac Mini at my cottage to play media through.

FYI - This is a strictly offline setup. No router, no ISP.

I often use the ad-how or “create network” option so I can stream to another Mac. The main issue I’ve encountered is Range. Using WiFi scan option on the airport utility iOS app, the RSSI of the ad-hoc network is -61. I’m only 6ft away with no obstructions. I know at -65 you can start dropping packets. I tested several channels including 5 GHz ones and there is no difference.

So is there a better solution? A better internal WiFi NIC? A nativity supported USB adapter (specifying native support because I’ve read they all use separate drivers and utilities to work.

I don’t care what it is as long as I can create a reliable WiFi ad-hoc network.

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Your systems WiFi support: 802.11a/b/g/n

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Sadly your system does not have a means to replace the BT/WiFi module as it was a custom unit made for Apple. All you can do is replace with the same part

I don’t see any direct options within your Mac Mini to do what you want. Instead I would look at a regular WiFi router which you then connect your Mini to via Ethernet. Using the older USB 2.1 connections your system has would be much slower 480 MBit/s! Whereas the newer USB 3.0 ports can offer 800 MBit/s both are slower than what the Ethernet connection can offer. While your system only offers a SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) drive interface its still able to pump data out faster than the USB connections can offer.

But before you go that way how about making sure the system is at the ideal placement within your home. Make sure its at least 4 ft off of the ground (~8 ft is better), make sure there is no metal objects or red bricks (iron oxide) which block the signals pathway.

You might be able to find an external antenna which could offer better performance. The problem you’ll find is getting one that will connect to the small coax ports on your AirPort board inside, and you would still need to get the coax connection routed to the external antenna. Something like: High Grade Laptop WIFI Antenna Booster 2.4G Long Range WIFI Antenna Alfa Network Antenna

I still think you can find a cheap router which offers ad-hoc services and that could offer better performance (802.11ax) besides distance.

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Thanks! I’ll try those adapters. I may test the mini without the lid to the mini first

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Rob Barling será eternamente grato(a).
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