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Question on routing a Broadband connection

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by halfacandan, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. halfacandan

    halfacandan
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    Hi. I'm trying to setup a home network to share my broadband connection between 4 PCs. Three of them are in the same room and there is a laptop in a study downstairs. I currently have a USB ADSL modem. I'd like to setup the PCs so that they are networked for file-sharing and so that any of them can connect to the internet, via broadband, without a designated server so that I don't have to leave a PC on all the time.

    I've had a quick check on the internet and I'm pretty confused how best to proceed. My initial plan was to connect the three desktops to a hub and connect to the laptop through the powerlines (with a network adapter) because I'm a little wary of wireless networking.

    It appears that the simplest solution for me is to get a wireless router hub with a built in modem, connecting the 3 desktops with wires and the laptop wirelessly. I'd like to keep the whole thing low cost but I do want a high-speed network.

    If anyone could advise me on my options, alleviate my worries over wireless security and interference issues or point me in the direction of any good products, I'd be very grateful.

    Thanks
    Dan
     
  2. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    I think that a wireless router is exactly what you're after. I use Belkin hardware (ADSL router and PCI card) and have had no trouble at all with it plus it's a doddle to set up.

    The wireless network can be as secure as you need it to be. Basic things that I would suggest are:
    Disabling SSID Broadcast
    Which means that casual browsers in the area can't connect to your network unless they actually look for the exact name.

    Limiting Available Computers
    You can do this by only allowing the router to connect to specific MAC Addresses which are specific to each network adaptor. I have also limited the IP range so that the router cannot allocate any more after the computers within my house.

    Encryption
    You can also encrypt the wireless broadcast so that you need a numerical key on the client machine to access the network.

    A suitable combination of those measures will keep your network nice and secure. :)
     
  3. halfacandan

    halfacandan
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    Excellent. I've heard that wireless networks are limited to 3 frequencies though so if my neighbours have similar setups, I'm screwed. Not sure if this info is out of date. Also, any links to guides to help me do the tweaks that you suggested?

    Thanks
    Dan
     
  4. halfacandan

    halfacandan
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    Right. Had a quick scoot about the internet and I reckon I'm going to get a "BELKIN ADSL MODEM WITH BUILT-IN WIRELESS ROUTER" and a PCMIA wireless card. Any suggestions for the wireless card (brand or price)?

    Thanks
    Dan
     
  5. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Sounds like the model I have - quick and easy to setup and highly recommended. If you go for a Belkin router you're probably best getting a Belkin wireless card - PC World do them (as do most online retailers).

    A word of caution though - whilst the wired side of things works perfectly (three Ethernet devices can all access the internet) the wireless side can be a little unreliable. I use a laptop with a wireless card when in the garden. Sometimes the connection with the remote PC is 'excellent', sometimes it is weak and unreliable. I'm almost always sitting in exactly the same position. I live in an old building with thick stone walls so this may be unique to my situation.
     
  6. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    If you do go for the Belkin make sure that you set the "Idle Time" to zero otherwise it will disconnect from the interweb after only 5 minutes of inactivity. What a daft default setting that is. :suicide:

    There are usually about 10 different frequencies available (and it's quite possible to have several networks running on the same frequency - just make sure that yours is secure as outlined above). Perhaps you should try a different channel Rasczak.
     
  7. halfacandan

    halfacandan
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    Well. My house has some nice thick stone walls but I can get the hub second hand for about £30 so it's no great loss if the connection is a little dodgy.

    Thanks
    Dan
     

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