Adding wireless to existing ethernet network

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Rob Gillespie, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    I run a Netgear DG814 DSL modem/4-port router which currently provides networking and DSL access to my three PCs.

    I want to add wireless capability to connect another (potential) PC elsewhere in my home. I know very little about wireless (well, less than that really) so I need a few pointers.

    Am I right in thinking I need to add a Wireless Access Point device? I guess this connects to one of the ports on the router and then other machines can connect via wireless - is this right?

    In simple terms I want to expand the current network to include a wireless device or two.
     
  2. Mike Sogge

    Mike Sogge Stunt Coordinator

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    All you will need is a wireless access point. Since you already have a router, you won't need a WAP that includes a built-in router.

    Something such as the D-Link DWL-2100AP (802.11g) or DWL-900AP+ (802.11b) should work fine for your situation.
     
  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Just a quick suggestion. While the 802.11g standard may seem unnecessary since the 11Mbps provided by 802.11b is enough for most people, you should still go with 802.11g. It has many more security features and is more likely to have a flash upgrade for future security standards. Be sure to implement security such as WEP, MAC address filtering, or WPA when you set your system up.

    Oh, and your plan should work fine. Just buy a regular access point and plug it up to the router and you should be good to go.
     
  4. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Yep. It actually often works out better to have a seperate AP from a router, as you can position the AP away from the router and closer to the center of your network.

    MAC address filtering is always your best bet, it allows you to deny all traffic except from adapters specifically known.
     
  5. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Do the WAPs allow more than one machine or are they single-use only?
     
  6. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    The WAP will allow multiple machines as long as it's plugged into the router.



    MAC address filtering is good, but if you info is not encrypted someone could easily see every MAC on the system and simply spoof one of them. It would take no more than 1/2 an hour if there is no encryption used.
     
  7. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    I'm glad to have found this thread.

    I have a wired home network, and a new laptop with wireless capability. On the second floor of my home, my laptop "finds" a number of wireless networks to connect to (my neighbors', I assume). This is precisely why I have resisted adding a wireless access point to my network; don't want people hopping on for the ride.

    How do you prevent this?
     
  8. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Well, there is no 100% sure way to prevent it. But if you use encryption (WEP or WPA) and/or MAC address filtering you will keep 99% of neighbors out. Now if your neighbors include computer nerd teenagers (used to be one myself) then you might have good reason to stay away from wireless for awhile.

    When you buy an access point the manual/setup will walk you through setting up encryption and MAC address filtering. It is very straight-forward and doesn't take long at all.
     
  9. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    So with my four port router, I could have the existing three machines hanging off the normal ethernet connections, then the WAP hanging off the last one with say, 2 or 3 more machines via wireless?
     
  10. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Yep, that'll work. You should be able to get up to (and over) 50 wireless devices if ever necessary.
     
  11. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    OK, I'm just not clear though on how that will work. Does the WAP also serve as a DHCP server? If not then all the devices hanging off the WAP will come in with the IP of that one ethernet connection.
     
  12. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    If I'm not mistaken the AP is giving out IP's from the router. The router can in most cases give out 255 IP addresses.
     
  13. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    The WAP acts as a bridge device, so it does not handle DHCP, it relays DHCP calls from a router on your network [​IMG]
     
  14. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Along with WEP and MAC filtering set the number of available IP addresses to the number of PC's you have. This likely won't help much unless you leave your PC's running all the time but there's no sense maving hundreds of IPs available if you don't need to.

    With regard to the access point purchase you might find out that you can buy a new wireless router for less then the access point will cost esp. with all the rebates on them these days
     
  15. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Good call on limiting the IP's Andrew. Hadn't thought to mention that. Another possibility is to not even use DHCP and assign static IP's to everything, but this could require more setup time.

    Andrew's recommendation about a wireless router is true, but I personally would not recommend that. I like to keep things separated as much as possible, for instance you wouldn't catch me buying a combo TV/DVD or combo DVD/VCR. Buying a separate WAP allows you to upgrade as necessay. There are still some new standards for wireless in the near future that you may want to upgrade to at some point. Buying only the WAP would make upgrades easier, but buying a combo unit would likely make initial setup easier.
     
  16. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    But I don't want the network to be entirely wireless.
     
  17. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    A wireless router will not make the entire network wireless. It acts as a WAP and also has 4 or 5 "wired" ports on the back like a normal home router. It also provides DHCP functions and all the other features of a standard router.
     
  18. PhillJones

    PhillJones Second Unit

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    I have a question.

    I've heard that wireless routers can slow your connection down for thing like online gaming. Is there any thruth to that or is that no longer an issue with the new 802.11g system.
     
  19. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Well, if you are connecting wireless you will probably have slower ping times so that could give the appearance of slower performance in online gaming. The bandwidth is not going to be limiting as 11Mbps is much faster than most internet connections. But yeah, I haven't done any tests, but just from the nature of wireless I would assume that the ping times would be slower than a wired connection.
     
  20. PhillJones

    PhillJones Second Unit

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    Thanks. That sounds about right.
     

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