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Setting up a home wireless network

I would like to set up a wireless Internet access at home.

I am pretty new to this, so I was wondering if some readers can give me tips on the right approach.

I have a broadband ADSL connection. My computers include a PC (without a wireless card) and a notebook (with a wireless card).

The PC, at the moment, is physically linked to the ADSL modem.

For reasons of economy, I would like to only be able to access the Internet wirelessly from the notebook. I would like the PC to remained hooked up physically to the Internet - I do not want to spend money on getting a wireless card for the PC.

In essense, all I want is wireless access to the Internet from the notebook, and everything else will stay the same. At this stage I do not what to share files between the PC and the notebook nor do I want to access the printer wirelessly.

What would be the best way to set the above up - I am a technophobe. I went to the local computer store and was overwhelmed by the choices, of routers, wireless access, boosters.

I dare not ask the sales people as they tend to pile on the most expensive stuff.

wifi
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

get a wireless router w/ 4 port switch built-in.  then plug uplink of router to your dsl modem, plug your computer into the switch.  set everything to DHCP and you should be good to go.

the wireless router/switch shouldn't be more than $100.

nathan
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

If you simply want to leave your computer physically hooked up near your DSL modem and have your notebook on wireless, I suggest getting a combination router/wireless access point.  This is a good one:

http://www.netgear.com/products/prod_details.asp?prodID=151&view=hm

Linksys also makes one that is pretty popular, but I had that one and had lots of problems with it.

Mike McNertney
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

I did this about a year ago.  You need to get yourself one of these:

[ http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=33&scid=35&prid=544 ]

You can get it for $60 on Amazon. 

[ http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00005ARK3/104-1194805-8681530?v=glance ]

Network topography will look like this:

ISP -> ADSL router -> Linksys base station -> Desktop computer.

Alyosha`
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Mike: I have a linksys ... I've only noticed problems with it when the temperature gets up above 85, it has a tendency to overheat and lock up.  Otherwise it works great for me.

Alyosha`
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Im using a D-Link DI-614+ (router/access point) and D-Link DWL-650+ Cardbus Adaptor...specs say 22 Mbps...works in all areas of the house, upstairs, downstairs, even outside on the deck...  should be able to get the pair for about $120US

apw
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Check http;//www.tigerdirect.com for better prices.

Prakash S
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Have a look at http://www.extremetech.com - they're running a series of articles on setting up wireless home networks.

SteveM
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

A couple of hints from doing this in my home.

- They must figure range by using a football field. Not only will yours vary, it will almost always be less. 
- I put the WAP in the middle of the house, closer to where I will use it. 
- Upstairs is better.
- Minimize the number of Wall/floors between it and where you will connect.  Also, count plumbing and lots of wiring in a wall, as another wall. 
  - 2.4 Ghz phones can be a problem.  But most are not.

- Learn about your router. 
  -- Figure out how to make it silent and stupid.  You don't want it responding to pings, or even claiming to exist. (Closing unused ports is a good second step)
  -- You want it to always provide the same MAC address your ISP is looking for
  -- You want it to support the security your ISP uses. (This will allow the router to sign in without you needing to each time)
  -- You do want to encrypt.  WEP is not the greatest but it will stop your neighbor from using your connection to download porn, RIAA hate files, your tax records, etc.

I like to choose a single vendor and use all their pieces.  While it should not be necessary, I like one tech support call, where they cannot tell me to remove the "other guy's" equipment and try it.  I have linksys but I hear belkin and netgear are also good.

Consider 802.11g, if you can afford the extra $$$.  But if you never think you will need the speed, save it.  Prices are dropping fast.

- Cheers!

MSHack
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

I know a lot of people have the linksys and it works fine for them, but all I can go with is personal experience.  And my experience with the linksys was pretty bad, while I have nothing bad to say about the netgear so far.

The netgear also has some nifty features that I don't think the linksys had, such as the ability to automatically update your IP at dyndns.com, which can come in handy if you don't have a static IP

Mike McNertney
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Avoid as many walls as possible is a good rule to live by. 

Also recognize the angle that the signal cuts through a wall.  A 6-8" wall may appear several feet thick to a signal that isn't perpendicular to the wall.

apw
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

As you noticed, you have gotten varying degrees of satisfaction here.

I also purchased  a bunch of wireless stuff last year, and I ended up returning it two days later.

Fact is, in some houses/environments you get very poor reception.  I found for my needs the wireless system was useless.  Since a lot of rooms have stone fire places (5 of the rooms do), then I think that may have something to do with such poor results. At any rate, I could maybe get some use between one wall. Any diagonals (would be more then one wall), then the whole things was not useable. (very disappointing).

Basically, anywhere were it was going to be a pain to run wires was also the same place where the wireless did not work! I wound up dumping the linksys box and running cat5 cables.

The moral of the above is that when you purchase memory, a hard disk etc, you can use any old SUPER CHEAP mail order type company. However, unless you have prior experiences with the wireless equipment IN YOUR situation, then you MUST purchase from a place WITH A VERY GOOD RETURN policy. I was glad I did, as returning $600 worth of stuff (most of which had the boxes been opened by me) was taken back with no questions.

So, be prepared for possible disappointments. If it works great, then so be it.

However, YOU MUST plan for disappointments with this stuff.

The fact of several people here mentioned that it did not work good is a COMMON occurrence. As mention, since it is NOT a given that it will work for you, then you must plan for return of the equipment, and this can thus effect where/who you purchase the equipment from.

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. kallal
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

I got a returned Dlink wireless router from Best buy at  discount of course. The salesman told me I should not buy it. No trouble with it. I bought the wireless cards and the one on my laptop worked fine. But I had some trouble getting the wireless to work on an old computer with Win98 but I did get it working. I have upgraded to the G series and the G wireless cards just stop some of my boxes (old motherboards) from booting but work on others so I'd recommend you have a fairly new motherboard (I have some from 5-6 years ago :)

Me
Thursday, October 02, 2003

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