Released October 24, 2011 / 2.2, 2.4, or 2.5 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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Airport card upgrade, better range and faster?

Hello,

I have a late 2011 Macbook pro pro. I love to upgrade everything that is possible. I want to know if it is possible to upgrade my Airport card so it can receive my internet connection better and faster.

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On other forums there has been an ongoing discussion about 802.11 ac upgrading on a MacBook Pro 15" late 2011 using some customized adaptor and replaced (soldered) connectors but I have not found any final solution. Anybody out there having successfully tried?

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Don't know what you heard, there is no adapter required for the newer AC board. It uses the same connection to the system. The issue is not the that, its the limits of the antennas the system has. Think of it this way, putting a race car engine into your car doesn't change the fact you're still limited by the road you are driving on. To really gain the performance you'll need to install new antennas which is just not possible.

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There are a few external 802.11n USB devices that have a removable antenna that you could use with a larger external antenna if the distance to the AP is a little to far.

A better option is to setup a second 802.11n AirPort router as an extender AP to your other AP.

If you are thinking of replacing the internal Airport card to a newer version the jury is still out if the new 802.11ac board will work or not in the older Macs. iFixIt just did a teardown on the new 13" Air and noted the card is a different size and the antenna connections are located in a different location so the cables may not reach.

In truth most people don't really need that much speed. Yes, it's nice to have but at what cost?

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No - it's not possible most of the cards have not changed, and the 'new" 802.11ac is completely redesigned so it wont fit a third party card (should you find one that fit) would not have drivers and you have update/EFI problems.

You might be able to use a USB dongle - if the manufacturer provides drivers and support.

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