Do iMacs Have Wi-Fi Capability?

By Dan Wonder

Since Apple Inc. released the iMac in 1998, the all-in-one desktop computer has always had some form of networking capability. Throughout its production run, its networking capabilities have expanded to accommodate the growing expectations of business owners. Although most iMacs have Wi-Fi capability, business professionals should take note of specifications and availability depending on model.

iMac G3

The iMac debuted on August 15, 1998. Later known as the iMac G3 -- the suffix comes from its PowerPC G3 processor -- the first model had the monitor and computer system combined in a single enclosure. Although the debut model does not have Wi-Fi capability, it has an integrated 56k modem for wired networking.

iMac G4

Released on January 7, 2002, the next iMac model was called the iMac G4. This was when the original model, still in production, was officially called the iMac G3. Rather than the egg-shaped design of the original, the iMac G4 has a flat-panel LCD monitor perched on a dome-shaped system unit. It was the first iMac to possess Wi-Fi capability. It uses a built-in AirPort card that is compliant with the IEEE 802.11b wireless standard.

iMac G5

With the iMac G5, which was released on August 31, 2004, Apple integrated all the system components behind the LCD monitor. Although the AirPort Extreme card, which is IEEE 802.11b/g compliant, was initially optional on the G5, it became standard after a 2005 revision.

Intel-Based iMacs

After the G5, Apple began making the iMac based on Intel processor technology, rather than the PowerPC. Released on January 10, 2006, Apple initially installed an AirPort Extreme card with IEEE 802.11a/b/g compliance. Apple expanded the set of standards to 802.11a/b/g/n with models made after 2007.

Current iMac Model

As of May 2013, the current iMac model is the one Apple introduced in October 2012. Apple touts this model as the thinnest iMac yet with an LED-backlit monitor that measures 5 millimeters in depth. Like the models that have been produced within the last six years, the newest iMac uses the IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n set of standards for its Wi-Fi capabilities.