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Going Wireless with One PC

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by hunkiemunkey, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. hunkiemunkey

    hunkiemunkey
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    Hi

    I was wondering whether it is possible to make just one computer wireless? I've only got 1 PC in the house, and would like to get rid of a rather unsightly long wire (the one that connects the DSL Modem to the phone line) that goes across the landing into the Study. There isn't a phone line in the study, and the nearest is in my room (approx 10m away).

    Am I correctin thinking I need a Router+ADSL Modem (One box) and then a USB/PCI wireless adaptor for my PC?

    Any suggestions will be much appreciated!
     
  2. rdhir

    rdhir
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    yes you are correct.

    I would suggest you buy a card or USB with and external antenna that you can place away from your PC, as if you get a PCI card with an antenna at the back, it tends to get stuck under the desk and have abysmal performance.

    Get 802.11g equipment, but avoid the speed booster (108mbps described differently by every manufacturer as it doesn't really work).

    Also I personally never recommend it in a block of flats as you'll find too many other WiFi setups, but your mileage may vary.

    Cheers

    Rajiv
     
  3. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    So the router/modem doesn't need to be attached to a computer and jujst needs to be attached to the phone line.

    For example, I have the phone line downstairs and a computer upstairs. I could attach the router to the phone line downstairs and wireless card/adapter upstairs. Then another computer could be added with a second card/adapter.

    I don't need a network connection and want just wireless internet. Will this work with one computer with XP and one with Win98?
     
  4. rdhir

    rdhir
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    Yes it will work, and you actually do have a network. Its easier to use and dafer than Internet Connection Sharing. Just follow the same recommendations as above.

    Everyone has their favourite flavour of equipment. I like Netgear, DLink, Buffalo and in general eBuyer which is just a little less friendly to configure.

    I do have strong recommendations on how you configure vis-a-vis security though.


    98 and XP seeing the Internet is no problem, its usually sharing files that breaks because MS changed a few things.

    Cheers

    Rajiv
     
  5. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    My Father set up a network and shared internet. The two machines are both XP. He put the router on one machine via ethernet connection and put the wireless card in the other.

    Is connecting the router to one machine only required to share files?

    Is it also possible to just install internet sharing and not file sharing?
     
  6. rdhir

    rdhir
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    A router shares an Internet Connection. It does not enable or do anything with Microsoft File Sharing. In fact a properly configured router should block Microsoft File Sharing to the outside world (Internet). Microsoft File Sharing is installed when you install a network card, which is in fact what you do when you install a dial up modem and use it for internet access.

    You can remove Microsoft File Sharing if you wish, but it doesn't make a lot of difference.

    There is no difference in protocols or abilities in using a wired or wireless. Its just a difference in speed and sometimes connection quality. Connection quality is not an issue for internet sharing as this is designed to be robust over bad connections but is sometimes a problem for Microsoft File Sharing as it is not designed to be robust over bad connections.
     
  7. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    I am still learning about about wireless.

    If what is you say is true, how does my Father share files wirelessly between the computer (and share the printer)?
     
  8. rdhir

    rdhir
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    He does so because he has file and printer sharing enabled. If you like his router is also a wireless access point and a switch. Its these bits that are linking the two computers together at a physical level and the Microsoft File and Printer Sharing which is link the computers at a software level.

    A Wireless Access Point is the Wireless equivalent of a "Hub" or "Switch".
    A "Hub" Or "Switch is basically the bit the connects all the wires together so the computers can share signals.

    The Router is basically something which automatically looks at all the traffic and decides if its internal or external and "routes" it accordingly. It is the only bit that sees the modem, whether the modem is built in or not.

    This isn't the best analogy, but think of it like an amplifier. The amplifier makes sure the right inputs and outputs are connected and is thus the "hub" of your system. Think of the "router" as the recording function. It understands the tape loop and sends signals there if required and takes them back if required.
     
  9. jon stallard

    jon stallard
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  10. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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  11. rdhir

    rdhir
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    Unfortunately WEP is next to useless. It was part of the original standard and so could not be changed, but can be cracked in about 8 hours on a laptop. There is a how to on Toms Networking. WPA is the new bit with 802.11g which is better.

    However, there are lots of steps which can help and I can understand your caution. Could you PM me a list of the equipment you have and I'll take a look. If there are public recommendations I'll post them on the forum. If there are private recommendations I'll PM them back. I'm quite busy for a couple of days so forgive me if I don't get back to you straight away.


    Cheers


    Rajiv
     
  12. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Aside from WEP or WPA encryption you can help secure your wireless network by
    Disabling SSID broadcast
    The SSID is what your network is called and is usually broadcast by default. If you cancel this then you need to actually look for the exact network title to connect to it. A program called Netstumbler will view all available networks but it's a good start.

    Localising Access
    You can also limit access to the router by allowing only your wireless adaptors to access it - do this by allowing the MAC addresses which are unique to the adaptor.
    It's also worth preventing the router from connecting to any computers beyond your own by disallowing the allocation of IP addresses beyond those that you need for yourself.

    Information on all of the above should be in your manuals but it's a good place to start. :)
     
  13. rdhir

    rdhir
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    Totally agree! These two are a must!

    But don't forget that when you add or change a piece of equipment you need to disable the second item (Known MAC addresses) or you'll be tearing your hair out wondering why its not working.

    You should also change the default admin password to something only you know. Write it down on the bottom of the router if your worried about forgetting it. Your trying to stop an external war driver, not a burglar.

    Also you should need to check whether there are any facilities for configuration open to the internet, rather than just you local LAN. Check reviews for this info. Good reviewers give equipment a black mark if it does not come reasonably locked down on arrival.

    Cheers

    Rajiv
     

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