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OT : Wireless home network


tarsia

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I know we have some I.T. peop's crusin' the forum,

& I'm looking for some insight to a wireless network in my home ~ I'm having Broadband cable internet installed on Monday & plan on networking the other three P.C's in the house with a wireless network. This is a new thing for me & hopng for some help ! All P.C.'s are WinXP & one is a laptop, any recommendations to hardware etc..

for this application would be appreciated.

 

Thanks !

 

:)

I'm Todbass62 on MySpace
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Two ways you can go. You can get a wireless router, which has a combination of regular ethernet ports and wireless. I'd suggest an 802.11G setup.

 

Or you could go with a regular non-wireless router and add a wireless access point. Essentially the same thing, but you have some flexibility of antenna placement.

 

I have a really spread out house that needs multiple access points for cover...if you need advice in that vein, feel free to PM me.

 

If your desktop PCs are in the proximity of the cable modem, then go with wired ethernet on those, and just get a wireless card for the laptop (your laptop may already have wireless access built in). If the computers are distributed among bedrooms, multiple floors, etc, then go with wireless on the desktops also. I have a nifty set of junction boxes that use the houses electrical wiring as ethernet conduits. Again, if you need that sort of advice, PM me.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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The only problem with going wireless is that you loose about half or more of the bandwidth of a wired connection.

At my home, I use my laptop wirelessly using a Linksys WRT54GS router and 54GS laptop adapter. It's Wireless G w/Speedbooster. I does great for surfing the web, but when it comes to gaming, it's a little slow. My main machine has a wired connection.

But wireless is extremely easy to setup and you don't have to worry about pulling cable throughout the house.

That being said, if you do go wireless, I'd recommend a Linksys setup. Easy and realible. Pretty much plug and play. But do yourself a favor and encrypt your wireless network to keep other people in you neighborhood from stealing your bandwidth or doing illegal things behind your back...

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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I echo Tenstrum's endorsement of Linksys. It wasn't always my favorite brand, but since it was bought by Cisco (the biggest network comms manufacturer), they're the "horse to bet on".

 

The networking into your house is probably rated at 3-4Mbs. 802.11G wireless is generally faster than that (thus not a bottleneck) - UNLESS you have interference. With interference, you can have terrible (to no) throughput.

 

Carefully:

* Read the manual (as regards placement of devices and channels).

* Avoid "heavy metal" (fridges, dumpsters, etc.) between the wireless unit and any PCs.

* Try different channels - like your cordless phone, some channels GOOD. :) Some channels BAD. :(

* Try to "centrally locate" your wireless device so it is as close as possible to other devices

 

I actually have a wired network at home (had to replace 2 #$%^&*( cables last night...), but I "helped" my neighbor install his (he watched...) and ran into all of the above.

 

Note: When installing wireless Linksys cards into my neighbor's Dells (8300, as I recall), about 1/2 of the cards had problems "seating" - bad connection. Had to "reseat" boards several times, and switch to other slots to get it to work in some cases. This is likely unusual, but was really annoying. Linksys/India will be no help...

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Get someone familiar with computers to help you. Often a computer-savvy person's idea of "easy" is vastly different from the general public's. I've spent more time than I'd like to admit on the phone with my girlfriend just trying to teach her how to email an mp3...
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Network speed is only a factor inside your network.

 

Wireless Standards per IEEE 802:

802.11 B = 11 Mbps

802.11 G = 54 Mbps

 

Wired network = 10/100/1000 Mbps (with the standard these days being 100 Mbps).

 

Cable modem = 4-5 Mbps on a good day.

 

The bottleneck is going to be on your service provider's speed, not your internal speed.

 

That being said:

 

Go with Linksys and get a Wireless G router . The desktop machines that are near the router, hook up with network cables. The ones that are farther away, get PCI or USB wireless adapters for. Get the "G" adapters and get whatever is cheapest.

 

For the laptop, get a wireless G notebook adapter unless you have built in wireless.

 

If one of your computers is pretty far away from the cable modem/router combo, get a Wireless G Range Expander .

 

I have 2 laptops. My personal laptop has a linksys card in it, my company laptop has built in wireless. My girlfriend's desktop machine is wired to the network, but I also have a PCI wireless adapter (Buffalo brand) installed in it.

 

When you do get your wireless set up, be sure to secure it with WEP or WPA. Take the time to learn how to do it correctly, if not your neighbors will enjoy free internet at your expense.

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I also echo what the others have said. I have the wireless G router and the wireless card listed below. It works very well. The main computer is in the basement and the wirless is 2 floors up, no problem with spped or connectivity. I would add this wireless network card, http://www.linksys.com/Products/product.asp?grid=22&prid=435 rather then a wired one. It is attached by USB, no wiring required and you can move the antenna around for the best reception, not have the card buried in the back of your tower.

Also, make sure you encrypt the link so others can't get on your connection.

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Thanks Guys, alot of great info. & advice !

I've heard good things about Linksys gear & plan on using it. my house layout is pretty compact,

I would guess that the farthest P.C. from the

router/wired P.C. would be less than 50ft. line of sight, walls in between etc... so I think I'll be o.k. - I should be all set up by mid next week & I'll let ya' all know how it goes, If I run into any problems I may be asking for more Help !

Thanks again ~~~

Tod

:thu:

I'm Todbass62 on MySpace
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My downstairs neighbor wants internet service at home. Sales people have convinced her to buy a wireless card for her laptop to go off somebody's system in the neighborhood. This has happened twice now, although she can't seem to find a decent connection. So yeah, definitely encript it.

 

I'm trying to convince her to go half with me and I'll get DSL and set up wireless. $15/month is what she's balking at. :rolleyes:

 

ATM

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I'll echo what others have already said.

 

For your wireless solution, go with 802.11G. If your laptop is ~2 years old or newer, it'll likely have a wireless card built into it.

 

For all the desktop systems where it's possible, hard wire them with cat-5. A standard 10/100 NIC can be purchased for about $15 now; a PCI wireless card is considerably more expensive.

 

You will absolutely want to set up encryption for your network. If you don't, nefarious types can steal access from you and, even worse, they can eaves drop on all your communication. Its remarkably easy to eaves drop on an unsecured wireless network and get all kinds of interesting information from people; like their personal information, bank transaction information (like your PIN and logon), etc

 

BenLoy's recommendation of finding a friend that knows about computers to help you is very good advice. Someone who knows what they are doing could have this entire network setup and secured for you in less than 30 minutes. In my line of work, I see way too many problems that could have been avoided if someone would have just asked for help *before* they decided to shoot themselves in the foot.

 

If you need anything or have any specific questions, feel free to PM me.

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Originally posted by ATM:

My downstairs neighbor wants internet service at home. Sales people have convinced her to buy a wireless card for her laptop to go off somebody's system in the neighborhood.

For anyone out there who reads this and thinks, "boy, that sounds like a good idea!! free internet!!".

 

Don't give in to the temptation.

 

Some of the nefarious types that I was talking about in my last post on this thread wil setup unsecured wireless networks hoping that suckers do exactly this. It's even easier to eaves drop on all your communication when you're the one hosting the unsecured wireless network.

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the glory of Wardriving, indeed. Another vote for the Linksys stuff - I have two wired desktops and two wireless laptops, all sharing the same cable highspeed. I can sit outside in the hammock with a laptop (~75 feet) and it's great. As others have said - SECURITY, SECURITY, SECURITY.
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Why wasn't this thread about a few weeks back when I suffered the pain of going wireless?

 

Whilst I'm here, can anyone help me out on two things:

 

1. The simple one: how do I switch my network to being encrypted, and will it be compatible with the further encryption that my laptop applies when it's connecting up to my VPN'd work network?

 

2. Why do my computers refuse to acknowlege each other's presence? They both talk to the internet perfectly well but neither can see the other. All I want to do is to get the laptop to print using the desktop as a print server and to occasionally transfer files between the two.

 

Any help appreciated!

 

Alex

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Originally posted by C. Alexander Claber:

1. The simple one: how do I switch my network to being encrypted, and will it be compatible with the further encryption that my laptop applies when it's connecting up to my VPN'd work network?

It'll be an option in your wireless router/hub's configuration settings. Turning it on and setting up the logon/password information is usually a pretty simple task. PM me with your hardware information and I'll try to sort it for you.

 

Originally posted by C. Alexander Claber:

2. Why do my computers refuse to acknowlege each other's presence? They both talk to the internet perfectly well but neither can see the other. All I want to do is to get the laptop to print using the desktop as a print server and to occasionally transfer files between the two.

Again, fixing this is going to depend on how you have your network setup. There are too many variables without knowing your configuration.
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Alex,

 

To encrypt your network, you need to go into your router's configuration and setup WEP (wireless encryption protocol).

 

Read through the manual, it should point you in the right direction.

 

As for your VPN, WEP will not alter the functioning of that. Your firewall will however. You want to turn your firewall on, but you'll have to go in and be sure to open up the ports that your VPN is using.

 

Good luck!

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i have a question

 

a little off topic, but anyone replying to this thread would probably be able to help.

 

i have a NetGear five port Switch at home becuase i have two computers and an Xbox which i like to play online with.

 

When i first got it i could only have one of the three connected at one time. so i figured, ok, well, i guess a switch only switches between sources.

 

however, recently i read that a switch can run multiple internets at the same time? just like a hub or router?

 

sadly, i haven't been able to run any internet source at the same time as another, instead, i get a box saying "Error, the Line is Busy"??????

 

Whats up?

 

thanks to anyone who can answer me about this, since i know it's way off topic.

-BGO

 

5 words you should live by...

 

Music is its own reward

 

---------------

My Band: www.Myspace.com/audreyisanarcissist

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Originally posted by Bass_god_offspring:

i have a question

 

a little off topic, but anyone replying to this thread would probably be able to help.

 

i have a NetGear five port Switch at home becuase i have two computers and an Xbox which i like to play online with.

 

When i first got it i could only have one of the three connected at one time. so i figured, ok, well, i guess a switch only switches between sources.

 

however, recently i read that a switch can run multiple internets at the same time? just like a hub or router?

 

sadly, i haven't been able to run any internet source at the same time as another, instead, i get a box saying "Error, the Line is Busy"??????

 

Whats up?

 

thanks to anyone who can answer me about this, since i know it's way off topic.

Assuming you use the internet in your drive to make the world a better world for bass...

...you need a "router" to take the single IP address you get from your Cable/DSL company, and make it "look like" multiple IP addresses for all the computers in your house. This is generally done via Network Address Translation (NAT). A switch/hub cannot do this. The router generally had "DHCP" too, which automagically gives each computer on your network it's own IP address.

 

Most "Cable/DSL routers" you buy are actually combined router/switch (or router/hub) boxes, thus they provide NAT.

 

For more than you could ever want to know about this stuff, go to dslreports.com.

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Originally posted by C. Alexander Claber:

Why wasn't this thread about a few weeks back when I suffered the pain of going wireless?

 

Whilst I'm here, can anyone help me out on two things:

 

1. The simple one: how do I switch my network to being encrypted, and will it be compatible with the further encryption that my laptop applies when it's connecting up to my VPN'd work network?

 

2. Why do my computers refuse to acknowlege each other's presence? They both talk to the internet perfectly well but neither can see the other. All I want to do is to get the laptop to print using the desktop as a print server and to occasionally transfer files between the two.

 

Any help appreciated!

 

Alex

1. Your router should have an option to enable WEP in its configuration somewhere.

2. I'm guessing you have a firewall turned on one or both of your computers.

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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Originally posted by Bass_god_offspring:

oh well.

off to buy a router...

Repeat after me: Linksys good. Fire bad!

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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Gather 'round the campfire youn'ins, and ATM will tell you a story. Now this story is from a long, long time ago. Way back then, a late night television show called Saturday Night Live was still pretty funny. Back then, they knew when to end a joke and the meaning of beating a dead horse.

 

Anyway, way back then, three of the Not Ready For Prime-Time Players (as they were referred to) had a skit about Frankenstien's Monster, Tonto, and Tarzan. Phil Hartman played Frankenstien, John Lovitz played Tonto, and Kevin Nealon played Tarzan.

 

The premise behind the skit is that none of these characters were well known for their gift of public speaking. This theme resurfaced several times and included the trio setting up a bread company. Frankenstien liked bread. He made sure you knew that by repeating, "Bread good!"

 

Frankenstien is also known to not be afraid of much, but one thing that he does fear is fire. Frankenstien made us aware of his feelings by repeating, "Fire bad!"

 

With his feelings such, Frankenstien came up with the company slogan, "Bread good! Fire bad!" Let's just say that much merriment and mirth were brought about by these skits. And now children, you know the story and why silly Mr. Tenstrum makes a funny referrence when saying, "Linksys good. Fire bad!" ;)

 

ATM

 

(no disrespect or singling out were intended here, just good plain fun :D )

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Well I'm connected Via Broadband & after a lengthy discussion with the LinkSys helpdesk

I'm wireless to three other P.C.'s in the house.

But I had a problem with the wireless notebook adapter & when the 1st dude I talked to had me change all my orignal setups, this caused the other 2 P.C.'s to not receive (originally everything worked great except the laptop) - GRRR.....

anyway after digging in alot deeper into "ipconfig" areas I never knew existed

we were able to get everything to talk, what a headache ! I really applaud the Help & support from LinkSys ~ !

edit:

Oh Yeah , I made sure the encryption settings were on & active...

I'm Todbass62 on MySpace
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Great!!!

 

BGO, I suggest you try to obtain some old SNL episodes with Tonto, Tarzan, and Frankenstein. Extremely funny! Especially the one where they tried to sing "The Little Drummer Boy". I laughed till I cried the first time I saw that!

It should be easy to get those with a broadband connection and certain pieces of software that allow you to "share" stuff... (*not an endorsment*)

"Sharing good, Stealing bad!"

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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