how does wireless networking work?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ted Lee, Apr 8, 2002.

  1. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hi all -

    btw - thanks to all who have helped me with my recent rash of pc questions.

    next question: wireless networking.

    i'm currently renting a cable-modem from att broadband. can't remember the brand.

    so, if i want to go wireless, is this what i need?

    1. my own wireless router

    2. some sort of "receiving" card for each pc that i want connected

    3. network adaptor (?) - not sure about this one - saw it listed on the netgear box i was looking at.

    then i wire the cable to the router, then send the signal to each of my pc's?

    pricing: seems like the modem is about 150 bucks and each card is about 100? so it appears i'm looking about a 350 investment for two pc's?

    the brands i've looked at so far are netgear, linksys and (i think) d-link.

    also, i was slightly worried about security issues. i read in pc world about some guy who drove around a neighborhood in pasadena with a laptop and was able to get into many wireless networks.

    so...

    1. do i have the configuration correct in my head

    2. how hard is this to configure? i've networked my pcs the "old way" with no problem

    3. any security issues

    4. are the costs i'm looking at correct

    thanks again!

    ted
     
  2. Rachmat Hartono

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    Hi Ted,

    You will need the following:

    1. wireless router to give you sets of additional IPs. Check out SMC 7004AWBR or DLink wireless router. I assume you want 802.11b wireless(11 Mbps max). Plug the network cable from your att cable model into the wireless router. The wireless router is around $150 or less.

    2. wireless network card (can be in form of PC card,external USB, or PCI card) for each PC you want to network too. For laptops, PC card works best. For desktops, you can get external USB which can be unplugged and plugged to different machines. They ran anywhere from 70-150 dollars each I believe.

    Configuration is not that hard. Most of the routers are smart enough to automatically detect your network settings. In case of security, you need to turn on WEP encryption. Most people dont bother turning this on, which makes them easy target for hackers. Also, you should install a firewall software such as Zone Alarm or BlackIce Defender. Do not share your important folders and change the WEP password periodically. These should keep 99% of hackers away from your network. Good luck...
     
  3. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    Hey again, Ted. (No, I'm not stalking you)

    I have a wireless network in my house. Most wireless networks use the 802.11b standard. There is another standard called HomeRF 2.0 which is just as fast and (in)secure, but of course incompatible. I have a HomeRF 2.0 system from Proxim. If this standard remains more obscure, then it may be more secure just because there won't be anybody trolling around for available connections.

    AFAIK there are no wireless modems. You will need to hook up your modem to a wireless router. You don't necessarily need your own modem, but you do want to have an ethernet modem. The most versatile modems have ethernet ports which you plug into a NIC (aka "network interface card" or "network adaptor") in your PC. My original DSL modem was a PCI card. They also have USB DSL modems. Neither of these is suitable for setting up a network unless you want to leave that PC on 24/7. All those routers (wired and wireless) that you see advertised in sales flyers are ethernet routers and require ethernet modems.
     
  4. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hey denward - go away before i call the cops! [​IMG]
    seriously though...thanks to rachmat (thanks for the info on firewall softare) and yourself for the info. i'll have to edit my post...i meant to say wireless router.
    it looks like i'll probably go the most popular standard, just for "insurance".
    denward - you mention that your pc had to be on all the time? i assume that doesn't apply when i'm using an external stand-alone wireless router? then i can just turn on the pc as needed, correct?
    it's nice to know most of the routers are self-configuring. i'm pretty comfortable with nic's, ip addressing, dhcp, tcp/ip etc. after all, i am a "paper-mcse"... [​IMG]
     
  5. Rachmat Hartono

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    If you have wireless router, then you dont need to turn on the pc all 24/7. SMC wireless router also has a print server, which you can attach a printer to and have any computer print there instead of attaching the printer to a PC.
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    ha! i didn't even think about a printer server. very cool...thanks!
     
  7. David_Stein

    David_Stein Second Unit

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    i think if you look at the wireless pc cards you can buy, they come in 3.3V and 5.0V varieties. if im not mistaken, the 5V ones have better range, which is pretty important to a wireless network.
    www.practicallynetworked.com
    ^i think thats the right URL, its a great place for that sort of info
     
  8. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hey all -

    one clarification question.

    do i still require a cable-modem or does the wireless router take it's place? right now i'm renting the cable-modem from the company...it's like 10 bucks a month or so.

    in my head, the wire-less router takes the place of the modem, but i'm not sure...

    thanks again for all the help!
     
  9. Ron Snaider

    Ron Snaider Auditioning

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    Ted,

    You will still need the cable modem. The router (wireless or not), only acts as a hardware firewall and the conduit to connect to multiple clients.

    Ron
     
  10. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    thanks ron!
    so it looks like i'll need
    1. cable modem
    2. wireless router
    3. wireless card for each pc
    boy, this is suddenly getting expensive! [​IMG]
     
  11. Rachmat Hartono

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    I think it's well worth it though [​IMG]
    No more messy cable, and if you have laptop, you can surf the web from anywhere... The only thing we need next is wireless power [​IMG]
     
  12. Michael Mathius

    Michael Mathius Supporting Actor

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    Thanks to you guys I went out and got the Linksys wireless hub and card last night. So I now have my first network in my home.
    I'm just waiting for the new ethernet modem from BS and I should be able to watch HDTV downstairs and surf the HTF sitting on my couch at the same time.
    Now it's time for me to cancel AOL and that second line I've been paying for all these years for dialup.
    Did I just die and went to haven[​IMG] [​IMG]
    Again thank you all[​IMG]
     

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