Adding Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to hackintosh to enable Apple-specific features

When I started with my hackintosh I did not have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth support in it. I used Ethernet to connect to my home network and it worked fine, I had no need for Wi-Fi.

Later I wanted to use more “Apple-specific” features, so I started looking for how to make them work with my hackintosh.

Bluetooth

Adding Bluetooth support to a hackintosh is quite easy, you just need to buy any of these USB adapters:

All of them are natively supported in macOS, no extra drivers are needed.

GMYLE Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter

I bought the GMYLE Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter, found it on German Amazon.

Thanks to adding Bluetooth support I got:

  • Ability to use Bluetooth keyboards, speakers, headphones
  • SMS messages showing on macOS
  • incoming phone calls showing on macOS

The SMS relying feature was really nice, especially when needing to copy security codes sent by SMS by services that do not support 2FA via TOTP.

Justa s a side note, iMessage worked right from the start, Bluetooth is not needed for it.

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi required for some Apple-specific features

The one thing that I was missing was AirDrop. I started taking screenshots regularly on my iPhone during development and testing and there was no easy way to move them to the hackintosh without AirDrop.

To make AirDrop and additional features like Handoff work you need not only Bluetooth but also an internal Wi-Fi card.

Adding internal Wi-Fi to a hackintosh

Apple uses a few Wi-Fi + Bluetooth modules, like BCM943602CS or BCM94360, in their computers and the same modules can be directly bought. You can the buy a PCIe card to connect those modules to your motherboard.

There are a few companies that sell the PCIe card and a Wi-Fi + Bluetooth module as a complete product, sometimes you just need to search Amazon or AliExpress for “hackintosh”.

ABWB 802,11 AC WI-FI + Bluetooth 4.0 PCI-Express (PCI-E) BCM943602CS Combo Card

I bought ABWB 802,11 AC WI-FI + Bluetooth 4.0 PCI-Express (PCI-E) BCM943602CS Combo Card, found it on German Amazon.

On AliExpress you can find the FV-T919 PCIe card.

Installation

This product contains the mentioned BCM943602CS module. You need to connect it to a PCIe slot on your motherboard (works with x1 and x4) to get Wi-Fi to work.

To get the Bluetooth to work you need to connect the provided microUSB cable from the card to a USB header on the motherboard.

Alternatively you can use a classic microUSB cable to connect it to a working USB port on the motherboard, but I have not tried that.

Features

Using this PCIe card I got

  • everything that already work with just the Bluetooth adapter (that I now no longer need)
  • Wi-Fi - I can now connect to my Wi-Fi network, but I still prefer Ethernet
  • AirDrop - sending files between my hackintosh and iPhone
  • Handoff - if I open a website in Safari on iPhone the hackintosh offers to continue look at it in desktop Firefox
  • Watch unlock - my hackintosh unlocks automatically when I come close to it wearing my Apple Watch, no need to type the password
  • Apple Pay in Safari - I can use Apple Pay in Safari on the hackintosh and confirm the payment on my Apple Watch

Conclusion

If you use a hackintosh then adding Wi+Fi and Bluetooth support can enable you to use all the Apple-specific features. You just need to spend some time looking for the right hardware.

See also