Setting up Wireless Network


Old 11-25-05, 04:50 PM
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Exclamation Setting up Wireless Network

Looking for some advice on what to buy to establish a wireless network in my house (in adjancent rooms). Would be a total of three computers (one hard wired), I use a cable modem. All three computers are relatively new and run XP for an OS. All three computers are Hp Pavilions with Pent 4 processors, 512 MB SDRAM and 250 gb harddrives. Hoping for recommendation on router and network cards for the two PC going wireless. Speed and reliability are my two priorities but I don't want to spend a fortune on them.

Also, how difficult is it to set up a network? I haven't done much work on PCs (other than inititial set up) but figure I can work through instructions as good as anyone. I've heard getting multiple computers set up to run internet simultaneously and getting proper security on your network can be tricky. Is that true or is someone just trying to sell my a $100 visit to my house to do 15 minutes of pretty straightforward stuff? How long should it take a guy without much experience in computer maintenance to set one up? After all, I'd rather spend the hundred bucks rather than spend six hours playing around with the system setup.

Finally, is it true that your wirless phone can mess up your network signal? I use a 2.4 gHz phone.
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Old 11-25-05, 05:54 PM
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Many different brands are good for your application. Linksys, D-link, etc. For simplicity, I would recommend buying the wireless cards and wireless router from the same vendor, same brand. The instructions that come with this equipment are quite straighforward. Once set up and working, establishing security with WPA for all the computers and wireless router will provide security for your system.
Old 11-25-05, 07:12 PM
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"Will my phone mess with the wireless network" Depends - if you have a 2.4 Ghz, wireless network, and you have a 2.4 Ghz cordless phone your phone may pick up interferance. Use 5.8 or 900Mhz, I think most newer 2.4 are desgned to work fine with wireless networks, theres a term to look for on 2.4 but i cant remember what it is, something like 2.4 compatiable or something
Old 11-27-05, 06:09 AM
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Don't go cheap...

You'll undoubtably find a super deal on Netgear products, but my advice to you would be to avoid netgear and get Linksys, which is more expensive but much more reliable.

You'll require the router and two wireless NIC cards to plug into the two computers that don't have the hardwired NIC (which you will also need). Make sure that your router and NIC's support the "g" standard, as in 802.11g, which supports half duplex 54Mbps and 104Mbps full duplex. I wouldn't be overly concerned about interference from your phone(s). Routers usually have many frequency channels you can pick from so if you experience problems on one, just change the channel that's being used by the router and all of the wireless NICs.

Enable the "DHCP" function on your router (refer to manufacturers manual), then set up the wireless attributes on the router, including :

1) Security encryption tecnique : WEP or WPA (I recommend WPA because it is both easier to set up and is supposedly more hack proof).
2) Access lists : Get the "MAC Address" for each of your NICs by doing the following on each of your 'puters :
a) Click "START", then "RUN" and type "COMMAND" into the run box, then ENTER, this should bring up a black "DOS" box.
b) Type "ipconfig /all" into the DOS box and press ENTER, this will give you a bunch of data, including the "MAC ADDRESS" or "Physical Address" for your NIC (note that my Netgear router requires the MAC of the computer, and not of the wireless NIC itself - this may depend on the router though).
Enter the "MAC ADDRESS" for each NIC into the access table on your router.

Now, in each computer, right click on the "My Computer" icon on your desktop and select "properties". From the dialog box that results, select the "Computer Name" tab, and make sure that all three computers have the same exact value under "Workgroup", I think its case sensitive and I would avoid non-alphanumeric characters. You need to have administrator rights to do this, and I recommend rebooting each computer after you have made the change.

Lastly, double click on the "My Computer" icon on the desktop, and then right click on the "Shared Documents" folder that you see in the top of the resulting window box and select "Sharing and Security". From the new dialog box that pops up, make sure that you enable "Share this folder on the network" (just make sure you don't have any sensitive documents in this folder first). Windows requires at least one "Share" on a networked computer before it can become part of the network.

Now power everything down, including the router, the computers, and your DSL/Cable modem. Power everything back up and wait a couple of minutes. You should have a working network (you may have to "add network places" but you should be able to at least see the other computers in your workgroup name).

Good luck.
Old 11-28-05, 07:28 PM
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Great help. I'm going to tackle right after Christmas and will report how it goes.
Old 11-29-05, 03:38 PM
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IMO, if they are in the next room, just hardwire them.
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