Why are there no USB based WiFi adapters that work with Mac OS X?

I bought a Mac Mini earlier this year, much to the surprise of my PC loving friends. I needed it for a contract I was working on, porting Gigajam’s music tutition software to the Mac.

When I bought it I opted to get the version without built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, a decision I now regret. I now want to use it in out living room to play video files on the TV (thanks to it’s almost silent operation it is perfect for this).

I don’t want to run Ethernet cables as it would involve drilling through the wall into the garage. So I thought I would WiFi enable the Mac.

I thought it would be easy, a quick trip down to PC World (I know, I know, but on a Sunday afternoon it is the only place open) for a USB WiFi adapter. But no, I couldn’t find any USB WiFi adapters that claimed to support Mac OS X.

After some searching on the net I finally found one that supposedly works with Mac OS X. It is the DLink DWL-122, though you have to download the drivers from the chipset manufacturer’s website. Some comments on the MacOSXHints site are people having problems getting these drivers to work.

I was about to buy one when I realised that it was only a 802.11b device, which for streaming video over SMB isn’t going to cut it. I really need a 54G device :(

So I guess I’ll either have to get an Ethernet-WiFi bridge or run a cable (or get an internal AirPort card fitted, but I think that would be the expensive option).