As part of my network examples I thought I would show you how to install a USB Wireless Network Adaptor. In this example the Sumvision SVW322U model, which works great on a Windows computer as well as an Apple Mac computer. You might need a USB Wireless Network Adaptor when using a computer (laptop or desktop) that has no built-in, working, wireless connectivity; especially when travelling with that computer whereby the wireless internet connection (network) you want to connect to, with your usb wireless network adaptor, is not your wireless internet connection (network) - May be it's your friend's wireless internet connection (network) for example.
NOTE WELL - A USB Wireless Network Adaptor is not the same as a USB Dongle. A USB Wireless Network Adaptor is used to connect to a wireless broadband internet connection (network) whereas a Dongle has a built-in modem for connecting to a mobile phone provider's network (internet connection) such as the 3, o2, Virgin or VodaPhone network/internet connection.
The Sumvision SVW322U USB Wireless Network Adaptor comes with the installation files for Windows and MacOS, but only on a mini installation disc; which is not good for the type of cd/dvd drive built-in to an apple mac computer. You will therefore need to copy the relevant installation (.dmg) file from that mini cd onto a usb flash drive for example before attempting installation.
In the case of the MacOS you will need to copy the dmg (disc image) file called RTUSB D2870-22.214.171.124 UI-126.96.36.199_2012_09_28.dmg from the Macintosh folder of the mini cd. Alternatively, you can download it from the Ralink website or elsewhere on the internet. Either way, once you have the installation file double click on it to continue. In this example I have downloaded it from the Ralink website into my DOWNLOADS folder. See the Installation categories for more detailed help on software drivers and installation in general.
Fig 1.0 Double click on the RTUSB D2870-188.8.131.52 UI-184.108.40.206_2012_09_28.dmg file to continue
In the above example I have double clicked on the RTUSB D2870-220.127.116.11 UI-18.104.22.168_2012_09_28.dmg file in order for it to mount (create) a disk volume (logical disc drive) called RTUSB_Ralink_V5_Installer (below). This mounted disc volume (logical disc drive) will act as a flash drive or hard drive in its own right. Ignoring these technicals! Just double click on the newly created (mounted) disc drive called RTUSB_Ralink_V5_Installer in order to view the Installation Wizard (FIG 1.2 below).
Fig 1.1 Double click on the newly created (mounted) disc drive to continue
When you double click on the newly created (mounted) disc drive (above) it reveals its content (below), just like a standard flash drive or hard drive, which in this example contains both the Installation (USBWireless-Install.pkg) File and the Uninstaller (USBWireless-Uninstall.pkg) File. The Installation File basically contains the setup (Installation Wizard) files and drivers needed for the MacOS operating system and Sumvision SVW322U USB Wireless Network Adaptor to communicate with each other.
A .pkg (package) file is the equivalent of a Windows .zip file (compressed folder) but at the same time acts like an .exe (executable) file with installer script.
Again, ignore the technicals! Just double click on the USBWireless-Install.pkg file to launch its Installation Wizard, which will guide you through the installation (setup) process, step-by-step, and also install the necessary driver files (the files that communicate with the hardware - network adaptor).
Fig 1.2 Double click on the USBWireless-Install.pkg file to launch its Installation Wizard
This is now the point where the actual installation wizard begins. As with many installation wizards its first step is to show you its Welcome screen whereby you should, if you are really bored, read the information on it before clicking on its CONTINUE button.
Fig 1.3 Click on the CONTINUE button after reading the Welcome screen information
With the Welcome Screen out of the way the next step normally asks you which Destination Device (i.e. hard drive or standard folder) you would like to use for the installation software, depending on your operating system version and version of the Ralink software. If the Destination option is available to you simply select the destination (i.e. hard drive) where you would like the installation wizard to install the Ralink software and then click on the CONTINUE button to proceed. In this example I only have the option to select INSTALL FOR ALL USERS OF THIS COMPUTER, which means the Ralink software will be installed on my Machintosh HD drive.
Fig 1.4 Select a destination folder, or option, for the installation wizard before clicking on the CONTINUE button.
After clicking on the CONTINUE button, with your destination folder or option selected, the next step is a simple case of clicking on the INSTALL button. This will then install all the necessary software to get your usb network adaptor recognised as a hardware device on your apple mac computer. You will need to authorise this installation of software first though by entering your user account's password (Fig 1.6 below) and confirming you are happy to install the software (Fig 1.7), but these are just standard requirements of OS X (Mountain Lion).
Fig 1.5 Click on the INSTALL button to continue
Fig 1.6 Authorise this software installation by entering your user account's password
Fig 1.7 Click on the CONTINUE INSTALLATION button to proceed
Fig 1.8 The network adaptor's software, including drivers, is currently being installed.
Fig 1.9 Software installed - Click on the RESTART button to continue
When the software has been installed you will be asked to restart the computer, by clicking on the RESTART button (above), in order for the hardware side of the installation to complete too. Upon restart the usb network adaptor's green light will start to flash/flicker, but this does not mean the installation is complete and it does not mean you are connected to a network either. All it means is that the drivers, ralink network connection software and so on has been installed. You will still need to setup (configure) the actual usb network adaptor along with an associated (connected) broadband internet network.
When your apple mac computer has restarted plug in the Sumvision SVW322U USB Wireless Network Adaptor, go to SYSTEM PREFERENCES and click on the NETWORK icon. After a few seconds you should see a WLAN device listed as Connected (as in Fig 2.1 below). This means OS X (Mountain Lion) was able to detect the usb network adaptor and more importantly its Ethernet Port (Fig 2.1). You may of thought the usb network adaptor would of been classified as an Airport Device, but as you can see it is classified as an Ethernet Device.
Fig 2.0 Plug in the usb network adaptor, go to SYSTEM PREFERENCES and click on the NETWORK icon.
Fig 2.1 The usb network adaptor has been detected as a connected WLAN - Ethernet Device
Now that the usb network adaptor has been detected and found to be working (connected), the next step is to connect to a Wireless Network; in the same way you would if you had a, working, built-in Wireless Network Adaptor inside your laptop for example. At this point the Ralink network utility should of appeared, listing available wireless networks (Fig 2.3). Upon opening it might display a blank window with no wireless networks listed, which is quite normal, but after a few seconds should list available wireless networks. If it doesn't, for whatever reason(s), simply click on its RESCAN button.
Fig 2.2 Click on the RESCAN button, if need be, in order to find available wireless networks (if any).
Once your wireless network has been found and listed select its name from the list and then click on the CONNECT button. You will then be asked for that wireless network's password (Fig 2.4) before being connected (Fig 2.5). At this point you can ignore any status reports stating you are connected to a wireless network, such as the one in this example: Connected <--> BTWiFi. Selecting your own wireless network and clicking on the CONNECT button will rectify this current status.
Fig 2.3 Click on your wireless network's name and then on the CONNECT button to continue
Fig 2.4 Enter your wireless network's password and then click on the OK button to continue
Fig 2.5 The apple mac is now connected to the wireless network called Yoingco via the USB Wireless NW Adaptor
At this point I would recommend creating a profile for your network so that Ralink automatically connects to your wireless network whenever you switch on your apple mac. Simply click on the ADD PROFILE button (Fig 2.5 above), give your profile a new name (i.e. YoingcoNW) or keep the existing one (i.e. PROF1) and then click on the OK button (Fig 2.6 below).
NOTE - Either before or after giving the profile a name, but before clicking on the OK button, I would recommend clicking on the AUTHENTICATION & SECURITY Tab (button) just to make sure the wireless network password is still in place. Meaning, sometimes the profiler deletes the password when creating a new profile.
Fig 2.6 Click on the OK button once you have created a new profile
After clicking the OK button you then need to click on the ACTIVATE button (below) in order to add the profile and activate (register) it with the Ralink utility as a wireless network to automatically connect to upon startup of the apple mac for example.
Fig 2.7 Click on the ACTIVATE button to add this new profile and register it with the Ralink utility
With your new profile activated, as said above, the Ralink utility should now automatically connect to your activated profile (wireless network) whenever your apple mac is re-started or whenever you re-connect the usb network adaptor to your apple mac.
Fig 2.8 The usb network adaptor is streaming broadband to the apple mac via the YoingcoNW wireless network
You can buy the Sumvision SVW322U wireless network adaptor on E-Bay or Amazon, but I bought mine for £10 at a computer market in London (UK). One good point about this usb wireless network adaptor is that it can connect to wireless networks that use WPA2-PSK security. Meaning: the apple Airport Card fitted inside old PowerBook G4 (OS X Tiger) laptops can only connect to wireless networks using the WPA-PSK and WEP security protocols - WPA2-PSK is more secure than WPA-PSK. So if you have an old Powerbook G4 for example you might want to invest in one of these usb wireless network adaptors.