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Wireless Networking

 
 
George
 
Reply Fri 19 Nov, 2004 03:43 pm
I have three PCs at home and I am thinking about putting in a wireless network. There seems to be a ton of sites with information, but I'd like to hear from folks who have actually done it.

For the record: PCs are running Windows 2000. I have a broadband cable modem. All the PCs already have ethernet cards.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 925 • Replies: 10
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Nov, 2004 03:59 pm
It fairly straight forward. You need a central wireless access point (usually this is a wireless router) that would be installed near your cable modem. One PC will probably need to be "hard wired" to that (You can't enter the setup screens on most routers from a wireless connection).

Then you need some sort of wireless interface for your other 2 PCs. If you are using a laptop it's usually easiest to get a Wireless PC Card. For a desktop you can either get a wireless NIC or you can get a wireless interface that is hard wired to your existing NIC.

Pick whichever standard you want to use and but all the components that match that spec. The older 802.11b runs at 10MB/s max and is the cheapest. 802.11g runs at 54 MB/s and is backward compatible with 802.11b. There are some "802.11g Enhanced" systems out there too. These often claim to double the speed to 108 MB/s but they are propriatary technology so you could be stuck with something that is left in the dust down the road. It's up to you to decide if you want to take the risk.

I use an 802.11g setup from Linksys and I haven't had any problems to speak of.
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Aurora Dark
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Nov, 2004 07:41 pm
Wireless networks are awesome... but be advised, they're not very stable, in my experience with one.

The signal strength (and Connected status altogether) repeatedly goes down--and when it's down, it's down for hours at times. It's a hassle having to call the provider (after trying to reset the computers and modem a few times) to work for a while trying to get it back up. Often, you -do- just have to wait for it to come back.

A friend of mine also used a wireless; had the same problem. But on the other hand, I know someone that's never complained about hers. So... just be prepared.

Most frustrating.

But if you don't mind that sometimes, it's a great deal. For laptops I definately recommend it >_>
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Nov, 2004 07:58 pm
.:Aurora Dark:. wrote:

The signal strength (and Connected status altogether) repeatedly goes down--and when it's down, it's down for hours at times.


This sounds like an issue with the actual ISP connection.

As long as the hardware is functioning correctly and the puter is within range the wireless conection itself should not ever go down.

Quote:
Often, you -do- just have to wait for it to come back.


I've seen this, but this was always a problem with the actual ISP connection to tyhe wireless router, not from the wirelessrouter to the computer, meaning the problem would exist regardless of whether teh computer was connected wirelessly to the net or through a cable.
0 Replies
 
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Nov, 2004 09:38 pm
We have a term in the international business community for WiFi. It's called "Internet by driving around".
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Nov, 2004 09:41 pm
I have an Airport -- we have connection problems but we had connection problems before we got the Airport, too, and it's pretty much been narrowed down to a phone wiring problem. When it's working, it's just great -- what it's best for is that we have our eMac connected all the time, and then my hubby brings home his work laptop (Powerbook) and can use it for email/ internet anywhere in the house.
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Aurora Dark
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Nov, 2004 10:12 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
.:Aurora Dark:. wrote:
Often, you -do- just have to wait for it to come back.


I've seen this, but this was always a problem with the actual ISP connection to tyhe wireless router, not from the wirelessrouter to the computer, meaning the problem would exist regardless of whether teh computer was connected wirelessly to the net or through a cable.

oooo, thanks for the information.

Hadn't considered that before >_> And that definately explains why some people have near flawless connections, while others have frequent problems (me, sadly u_u).
Thanks again ^^
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Nov, 2004 11:00 pm
I'm pretty comfortable my my mixed wired/wireless rig ... sometimes range gets in my way, or I'll get myself someplace somethin' radio-opaque is between me and my access-point'santennas, but that's not a system flaw. Wireless security is somethin' ya really gotta pay attention to, though, specially if you're in an urban/suburban area. An unsecured WiFi setup is an open invitation to folks ranging from the merely curious through the mischievious to the downright nefarious.

BTW ... I've had pretty good luck with WiFi hardware from 3Com, Linksys, and Netropia ... less so with D-Link and Belkin stuff ... but that's prolly just me.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2004 08:40 am
Thanks, all. Was looking at Linksys gear this weekend and may go with them. I'll probably wire the first floor PC to the router since it is so close, then by a wireless card for the PC downstairs in the family room.

We have a another PC down there that I keep at windows 3.11, so I doubt there's any way to bring that one into the network.
0 Replies
 
Snowlock
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2004 04:43 pm
Wireless networks aren't something I would get involved with...

Most individuals use or setup a wireless network at home so as not to have to be bothered with the hassel of the cables; however, they fail to realize that in order to set-up a wireless network properly, it takes more work than wired networks.

Not to mention, a wireless transmission is susceptible to interference (bandwidth stealing or plain signal troubles) and not guarranteed to function optimally. A wired network can guarantee this, as long as you know not to run the wire over fluorescent lights or next to non-shielded romex.

Third, wireless may be fine for regular broadband, but I value the 100 mbps and 1000 mbps from wired networks more when I need it.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2004 12:22 am
Craven de Kere wrote:
.:Aurora Dark:. wrote:

The signal strength (and Connected status altogether) repeatedly goes down--and when it's down, it's down for hours at times.


This sounds like an issue with the actual ISP connection.

As long as the hardware is functioning correctly and the puter is within range the wireless conection itself should not ever go down.

Quote:
Often, you -do- just have to wait for it to come back.


I've seen this, but this was always a problem with the actual ISP connection to tyhe wireless router, not from the wirelessrouter to the computer, meaning the problem would exist regardless of whether teh computer was connected wirelessly to the net or through a cable.


I had a customer with wireless that would fade out on and off throughout the day. Turned out the microwave was between him and the access point. Set the access point to always use channel one and the problem went away.

My boss has DSL at home. DSL would work throughout the day and then would slow to a crawl from 5:30 until 10 p.m. or so. Turned out to be the HALOGEN LAMP in his house. The dimmer on the lamp apparently creates interference through the electrical wires. (Used an extension cord to the neighbors to verify that it was where the lamp plugged in rather than the location of the lamp.) Solution - don't dim the lamp.
0 Replies
 
 

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