Wireless networking question...any opinions?

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Old 10-19-03, 02:40 PM
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Wireless networking question...any opinions?

I am considering buying the Linksys wireless-g router and the USB adapter for my laptop. I'd buy a new card for the laptop, but it's not mine and I don't want to open the case----work computer.


Here's a link to the adapter:
http://www.buy.com/retail/product.a...c=&PageFormat=1

Here's a link to the router:
http://www.buy.com/retail/product.a...0336386&loc=219



Call me cheap. Well, that would be true. Anyway, I just have a hard time spending $175 on these items when I am not sure how good they will work. I would place the router in my basement and plug my desktop into it. My laptop would float upstairs within me and would stay within 150' of the router.

I here that "wireless G" is the way to go. It's supposed to be 5 times as fast as "wireless b." It's the 802.11b vs. 802.11g.

So, does anyone have experience with these items?

Thanks,
Curt B. Shumaker
 
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Old 10-19-03, 03:15 PM
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Well, my first question would be, are you just planning to use this laptop to surf the internet? Or, will you be transferring files around your internal network?

If you are just using the router for high-speed internet access and the laptop is just your browsing/e-mail client computer, and you do not plan to do much network transferring, etc., then the G-series is probably overkill.

The B-series is rated up to 11Mbps - which is plenty for high-speed internet.

The G-series may be rated 5X faster (54Mbps), but if your internet travels at less than 1Mbps (and unless you're on a T1, it more than likely does), then there is no reason to use the G-series.

Bigger and Faster is not always better - the internet is full of bottlenecks, there's no logical reason to use high-speed wireless networking with it.

Take a look over at <a href="http://www.tigerdirect.com/index.asp?id=3174">TigerDirect.com</a> at their Clearance items. I guarantee you can find a good deal on some cheap B-series routers and cards.

You can also take a look at <a href="http://www.techbargains.com">TechBargains.com</a> to get the best deal - they have a search for the best price.

Also, <a href="http://www.newegg.com">NewEgg.com</a> - they have really good pricing and support - quick shipping also.

Or, try a search at Ebay.

BTW, you don't have to take the laptop apart to install a PCMCIA Network Card - you should have a couple of slots that they will pop into. But, of course, the USB will work too (even if it's USB 1.0 - it's still rated up to 11Mbps, faster than broadband.)

Good luck!
 
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Old 10-19-03, 03:29 PM
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I would not go wireless, I would go strictly wired, mainly for security reasons.

If you do go wireless, then please take the necessary steps to make your network as secure as possible, and remember that anyone driving down the street and your neighbors with an appropriate computer, will be able to browse your network and look at your files.
 
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Old 10-19-03, 03:29 PM
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Thanks for the reply! You hit the nail on the head; I won't be using the laptop for anything but surfing, downloading music, etc. I will not be performing file sharing at all. Sounds like the 802.11b is fine then, correct? If that's the case, I can save a LOT of $$.

I do have slots open in my laptop; unfortunately, I can't tell if they are activated or not. I am not really interested in messing with the preferences on my work computer. Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Curt B. Shumaker
 
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Old 10-19-03, 03:34 PM
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If you go Linksys, it will be basically Plug-n-Play. You shouldn't have any problems - if you do, ask here, we'll help you out.

The wireless PC Cards are very simple to install. If you have WinXP or 2k, you will definitely have no problems.

If you do go wireless, then please take the necessary steps to make your network as secure as possible, and remember that anyone driving down the street and your neighbors with an appropriate computer, will be able to browse your network and look at your files.
Simply not true. As this can be accomplished, there are precautions that can be taken - including 128 bit encryption.

I've run a wireless network for well over 6 months now (in an apartment building in Atlanta, GA of all places) and I have had absolutely no problems.

If you do not use WEP, it is possible to browse your network (I know, I've done it before on other's networks - it can be done.) But, this should not be a concern.
 
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Old 10-19-03, 03:47 PM
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How can I check to see that the ports are open to accept an internal card on my laptop? I do have Win2k on an IBM t30. Computer is about 6 months old.

Thanks!
Curt B. Shumaker
 
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Old 10-19-03, 04:04 PM
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Sorry it is true.

If you take necessary precautions then you can eliminate most of the snooping that can happen. However, someone bound and determined to break into your network could do so. I could do so probably within a few minutes.

The problem is that most people do not take the necessary steps and their networks are out there begging to be examined.
 
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Old 10-19-03, 04:45 PM
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Usually the modem card will plug into one of the PCMCIA slots in the laptop. As was mentioned, it is plug and play so the computer should recognize it in its usual fashion. You won't need to look for an open port, plug and play should handle it for you.

Another option to helping secure your network is to filter by MAC address at the router. This is supposed to allow connections only by those with matching MAC addresses. The MAC address is hard-coded into the Network Interface Card. Although it is possible to spoof it, you would have to know what it was to start with.

Whether or not you intend to share files, keeping someone from stealing your bandwidth is worth some degree of security. There are other illicit uses of your connection that you might not want others to perform.

Security should always be a consideration, especially with wireless.

Hope this helps.
 
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