Router Intallation

Old 10-06-06, 04:17 AM
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Smile Router Intallation

I'm a residential electrician who (apparently) can operate a computer, but my knowledge is limited as to how they work and interface with other components.
As a example...yesterday I had a customer of mine ask me to re-locate her router from the kitchen to a closet.
There are 2 components. One with a cable (RJ6) input and a CAT5 cable out to the other component (with antennas). The component with antennas has four output jacks for CAT 5 cables, one of which I ran back to the existing kitchen location.
I moved the components, ran a new RJ6 TV cable from her cable service point and attached it to one of the components, ran Cat5 between the two and then ran Cat5 cable from her now re-located router to her old location in the kitchen. I re-connected everything just as I had taken it apart, turned it on and it worked.
I have no idea how it does what it does, and I don't like that feeling.
The customer was led to believe (not by me) that there wouldn't be any cables run back to her kitchen. That the system would be entirely wireless.
Can someone give a brief explanation as to how a router works?
All response appreciated.
Old 10-06-06, 04:36 AM
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Okay here's a semi-clear idea. All a router does is act as an intersection, if you will, between the incoming broadband signal and two or more computers (or other devices; more on that in a minute). But it's more than just a junction, it's a SMART junction so it knows which computer asked for what data and where it goes. The incoming signal goes to a cable or dsl modem from there if you only have one computer/device, it goes directly to that. For multiple users the next stop is the router. The output side of the router is where the components are connected via the cat 5 cables. In addition to computers, if for instance you three computers and only one printer, you can a attach a print server which is about the size of a pack of smokes. You then connect the printer to the print server. Now when you want to print from any of the computers the job is sent via the cat 5 to the router then to the print server and on to the printer. We do this with our desktop and the laptop in daughter's room.
Some routers are "wired" only and others can do both. A wireless router also has jacks, as you noticed, for wired networking. Your customer would only have wireless capability if her computer has the proper hardware. If it is a laptop that can be either built in internally or via a plug in card. If it's a desktop, she would need an expansion card with antenna. I don't think (someone help me out) that there are preinstalled on-board wireless on any desktop system. She would also probably have to run a setup of some type to configure for the wireless AND have the wireless function turned on through some type of router control panel (software).

And OBTW, tell her you knew she wanted the absolute best connection speed and that would be via wired, not wireless.
Old 10-06-06, 04:36 AM
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The device with the RG6 and Cat 5 connections is a cable modem. It's job is to convert the signal on the cable tv line into a traditional Cat 5 Ethernet signal.

The second device is a wireless router. A router's job is to route signals either between networks or on the same network.

In the setup you are describing, the two networks are the Internet and the homeowners local network. In actuality, the ISP side has many many networks, but you and the homeowner don't need to worry about them. The ISP side of the router is the cat 5 line connected to the cable modem. The local network side is the four RJ45 ports and the wireless signal.

If the homeowners computer has a wireless interface then you did not need to run the cable from the router to the computer. However, if the computer does not have a wireless interface then one would have needed to be purchased and installed.

Regardless, the best connection for any computer (as far as reliability and security are concerned) is a hardwired connection. Wireless connetions can be made secure, to a point, but they are always less secure than a hardwired connection. Hardwired connections are also faster and you don't have to worry about being positional with the antenna or computer.

One final comment. Unless the homeowner or someone else has altered the router settings, this setup is insecure. I get the impression that you did nothing except relocate the equipment. It also sounds like the homeowner is not knowledgeable on this.

I sure hope for the homeowneers sake that no financial information or other sensitive data is stored on that computer.

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