Until recently, Mac users haven't been able to connect to AirPort access points with CardBus- and PCI-based third party wireless cards, but when Apple released its AirPort 3.1 drivers, support opened for some third-party cards based on Broadcomm technology. Now OrangeWare has expanded that support to include Atheros-based products as well.
OrangeWare took the Mac OS X wireless driver they created for 3Com's Atheros chip-based wireless cards and broadening the range of cards it works with. The new software solution works with a wide variety of Atheros chip-based third party wireless cards, including the ones released by D-Link, Netgear, IBM, Linksys, NEC, Samsung, Sony, and others.
Many of the cards supported by OrangeWare's drivers support 802.11b and g protocols. In addition, the driver allows Mac users to connect to PC-based 802.11a wireless access points, something that wasn't possible before. 802.11a is a wireless networking protocol that works at the same speed as the 802.11g protocol used by Apple's AirPort Extreme products -- up to 54Mbps -- but does not offer the same backward-compatibility with older, more prevalent 802.11b devices. 802.11a can be found in corporate networking environments and elsewhere that adopted the faster, earlier standard.
You can download a ten-minute evaluation of the driver from the OrangeWare Web site. A permanent license is US$15.
This story, "OrangeWare releases 3rd party wireless drivers" was originally published by PCWorld.