Networking -wireless/wired




i currently have a wired network based upstairs. A PC connected to a hub and my mate/mates bring their laptops round we plug them into my hub and play games over the network. However I am about to purchase a new PC and place my current one in another room. I am also at the point to buy broadband.

My question is...If i buy a wireless broadband router and access point with 4 ports will i be able to:

connect it to my new pc via its onboard lan (not wireless) and my mates laptops plug in to it so we can all game as usual and share my broadband internet connection (so this is wired)

and using a PCI card in my other PC (wireless 54Mbs) be able to connect to my access point. So in other words...

Wireless broadband router/access point connected to a laptop or 2 and a pc with a usual wired connection


connect it to another PC wirelessly and they will are communicate happily allowing gaming through them all and all to share my broadband connection?

Thanks In advance
Be aware that a 54Mb wireless LAN performs like sludge .. it took me 2 hours this afternoon to copy a 2Gb file, ie. 1Gb/hour, my wired 100Mb LAN would have taken somewhat less that that.
Depending on usage, most people would find 54mbps more than acceptable (11mbps is more than sufficient for browsing but as said above 54mbps is going to be slower than 100mbps......obviously!!!) If its that important, you can go to 108 wireless but that will bring inherent problems with the hardware (its a made up marketing ploy for home users and will only work with specific Wireless cards etc)

Think about your usage, you can do everything you want to do with 11, 54 or 108 just depends how long you want to wait for it ;)

Stace :D
Great thanks! Glad i got it all right. Well since one PC is only connected wirelessly then 11Mbs would be ample but i think 54 will be more suited .

I have been looking at my local retailer at a broadband router/access point (wireless) made by U-Nex

The link is above. Its cheap at only £45. Does it matter whether i choose a big brand or go for something cheaper and less well known. Any product reccomendations including PCI cards for the PC which needs to be connected wirelessly. Thanks for all your help!
Originally posted by Stace
but as said above 54mbps is going to be slower than 100mbps......obviously!!!
Yes .. but explain how a file-to-file copy which is going to throttle on disk transfer speed in theory takes a lot longer on the wireless link. Even at 54Mb it would be expected that the limiting factor wiuld be disk speed and the disk light on the receiving PC would be pretty constantly lit, whereas in practice it just 'blips' .. replace the link by a wire and it flashes considerably faster.

You're right, for browsing it's okay, but even for DVD playback it doesn't work .. leastwise, my Netgear .G wifi lan doesn't
Unfortunately depending on range AND placement although your router and pc may show 54mb, there is a chance that you are not getting those transfer speeds.

Also as mentioned before, DDDave needs to decide on his usage to determine his required speeds, I don't think you can successfully stream any media to its potential over a 54mb link, in my experience, certainly not DVD or DivX.

Stace :D
OK. Erm. Thats a slight problem. I think for firsts then a 54mb connection would suffice for net browsing, file sharing and gaming but thanks for the useful info. I will bear it in mind. So what products (brands) are easy to setup and not too over-priced. I don't want to spend years trying to get a wired perfectly working network trying to talk with a wireless one!

As Stace says, solid walls etc can dramatically worsen the performance of your wireless network. It's also worth remembering that the 54Mb is fot the total network, so if there is other network traffic going on it will also affect it.
Originally posted by DDDavo
So what products (brands) are easy to setup and not too over-priced.
The Netgear router/NICs I got were very easy to get up and running, actually as one who's battle iwth network cards and Windows for some years I was quite impressed. :D The only other brand I have experience of is Linksys but I didn't install from scratch so can't say for sure but there wired routers are easy to set up so can't see their wifi products would be any harder.
Originally posted by Stace
I don't think you can successfully stream any media to its potential over a 54mb link, in my experience, certainly not DVD or DivX.
See, that's the bit I don't understand. 54Mb is 1/2 100Mb and a 100mb wired lan streams without a problem. IMX the wireless lan didn't just glitch from time to time, it was on its' knees it couldn't play more than a second or so without stalling .. that's on DVD playback from a hard-disk image via wireless .. swap over to a wired lan and playback's as smooth as a baby's, well you get the picture. :)
There have also been reports of things interfering with wireless networks. I'm sure I read in a magazine very recently that someone had tracked his problem down to his car alarm causing havoc with his network. I can't remember if it was a Vauxhall or an Audi he'd got, as the problem seemed to be specific to a brand of car !
There's a big protocol overhead too - so while 54megbits are physically being transmitted, a lot of this can be accounted for by the wireless transmission protocol (error correction, encryption, TCP stuff, etc etc). In reality 54megbits is probably nearer 35megabits in terms of the speed you actually see, even if the connection is very good

And don't forget we're talking megaBITS here. Divide it by 8 to get megaBYTES and you're looking at 4 meg per second for 54g connections. Wired ethernet has a much smaller overhead, so a 100megabit connection will give you up to 12 megabytes per second. I've never used 11megabit wireless, but I'd expect it to scale similarly, so you're looking in the region of 1 megabyte per second, which is on the crummy side of acceptable, IMO.

So that's why 54g network speed is the limiting factor in big file transfers and media streaming. Although, in terms of data through-put, 54g should be (just) enough for video streaming. I've never tried it tho, so I might be talking out of my bum.

Anyway, despite all this nay-saying, I've got a 54g network and it's ace. I use it for surfing, LAN gaming, internet gaming, Xbox Live, and even big file transfers. And it's top. You just have to be a bit patient.
Yep i do realise it is Megabits. I'll have a look at netgear products. Thanks for your help
Unless windows file sharing has changed dramatically recently, then the transfer speed when pushing a file will be significantly slower than when pulling a file.

It is far easier for a machine to serve file data to the network in a dumb fashion while the copy task is run on the receiving machine, which writes the packets to disk than the other way round.

Upshot is, always copy large files by copying them from a remote machine to your local machine.

HTH someone

With reference to the car that was causing havoc with a wireless network - it was a VW Passat
Oh thanks! I have been reading a bit about wireless networks and in an issue of a PC mag i just bought the products i was looking at were reviewed and reviewed reasonably highly
A quick question to all you wireless network wizards :)
Just set-up my new network with a 4 port adsl/modem router connecting 2 pc's and my x-box all ok. To goto onto the free port i have ordered a wireless access point and a pci wireless card for another pc down 1 flight of stairs.
The pci card came yesterday which i installed in preperation of the arrival of the access point (should be here in a couple of days)
and i got asked immediatley do i want to sign onto btvoyager service!!!
It seems one of my neighbours has a wireless setup and my card is picking this up?
Does this mean when i go wireless my neighbour could pick up on my system and look at my shared files and vice versa?
Excuse my ignorance on wireless networking :)

Thanks in advance for any advice.

General Panic
Look at the security setting for your network and restrict access.
General Panic it seems your Neighbour has not enabled secuirty. I suggest you do.

Most Wireless networks can be hacked quite easily but you should enable the security features on both ends.

Earlier discussions about 100Mbps Wired LANs vs 54Mbps Wireless LANs. Couple of points to mention. Wireless LANs are a shared (not switched) medium so you are sharing the 54Mbps between all Wireless devices.

Also 802.11a,b,g Wireless LANs are distance/signal path dependant. Maximum radius for 11b or g is 90m in open space. 802.11a is less. If you have walls, floors, ceilings, water tanks etc etc in the way this dramatically affects the distance covered. The 802.11 networks will step down the bit rate to devices further away or obstructed by the fabric of the building. So 54Mbps is theoretical. Once PC and one gateway within 10m or so should get near 54Mbps, more PC's and more distance will reduce the bit rate per connection.

The wireless protocol adds negligable overhead to the Ehternet packet and IP frame so that is not the issue. The other issue is how effective the driver is between your operating system and the Wireless card/dongle.

Powerpoint Engineer and Networking bloke.
Cheers guys. I'll look into security option when the access point arrives. Though from what Mr Jones says i might struggle by the sound of it for operational distance from access point to pci card.
Distance must be around 50-60 feet through one floor and 3 walls and i also went for the cheaper low range?? 802.11b option as game playing won't be an option just web browsing.
I might just as well run a cable from modem down the stairs to his room but this is what i was hoping to avoid :(

Panic, I use 802.11b from my loft conversion down to the kitchen. I have placed the Wireless access point near the top of the stairs out of the way so no one trips over. I get a reasonable signal down to an old laptop in the kitchen.

I know it sounds sad but surfing whilst dinner is cooking is always useful. Sometimes in front of the birds TV programs as well!

As it happens the 802.11b technology though not the latest still has the best distance capabilities. 802.11a runs at a much higher frequency (5Ghz) and is very distance limited. 11g runs at 2.4Ghz (same as 11b) but the drop off to lower bandwidths is similar to 11b. Because the 11b chipsets are now some years old the sensitivity of these products is more advanced than the new 11g products. You have bought the right. kit.

I have it connected to a broadband router in the loft and surfing performance is fine. The 1 or 2Mpbs I get is still way above my 512K ADSL link. It is way faster than a Modem.

Thanks again , fingers crossed then. ;)
If it even allows surfing at any speed i'll be happy.

Yep that info has come in useful for me. I just need to decide on a broadband router (which has a built in modem) access point now?

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