Thursday, October 30, 2008

RokAir, Alfa, and Kismac

As you may know, we sell a lot of Mac compatible wireless USB adapters, including our popular RokAir adapter and the Alfa AWUS036H 500mw adapter. Recently we have been getting more questions about compatibility with Kismac.

With the newest versions of Kismac (starting with Kismac trunk r309), the chipset in the RokAir and AWUS036H is now compatible with Kismac.

However, as explained in the Kismac documentation, any time you are using a supported USB adapter in Kismac, whether it be a Ralink or Realtek chipset device, the Ralink or Realtek drivers cannot be installed on the Macinstosh. This means if you are buying the RokAir or Alfa AWUS036H adapter for use in Kismac (which both have Realtek chipsets), you cannot install the Mac drivers for the device. This of course means you will not be able to connect to the Internet with the adapter. To connect to the Internet, you must install the Realtek drivers for the adapter and follow the configuration instructions. Once you do this, the device will work as an Internet device, but will no longer work in Kismac. To be able to use the device in Kismac again, you will need to uninstall the Realtek drivers using the uninstall command on the included CD.

If you only plan on using Kismac once in a while, or you already have another way to get on the Internet on your Mac (such as with an Airport card), this should be no issue for you. If you plan to constantly go back and forth between Kismac and the Internet, this would be quite an inconvenience. In this latter case, what we would recommend is buying the RokAir exclusively for use with Kismac, and never installing the Mac drivers for it. Then get our RokIt adapter, which has a different chipset that is not Kismac compatible. This way you can use the RokIt for Internet access, and connect the RokAir when you need to use Kismac. Then you don't have to worry about constantly installing and uninstalling drivers!

Is there one USB adapter that can work in both Kismac and as a wireless Internet adapter on the Mac at the same time? Not at the time of this writing.

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