Wireless Question (what do I need?)

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  #1  
Old 11-16-06, 05:02 AM
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Wireless Question (what do I need?)

I have four computers in an office environment. The whole building has wireless internet access.

Instead of buying a PCI or USB internet adapter for each computer, is there a device that will pick-up the wireless signal and then act as a router to send that signal to all four computers?
Thanks,
Phil
 
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  #2  
Old 11-16-06, 06:46 AM
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I believe you need a bridge. They make routers that have built in bridges, which is probably what you need. It will pick up the wireless signal and convert it to a wired signal.
 
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Old 11-16-06, 07:23 PM
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I don't know why you would want to complicate things - get the wireless USB (or PCI for a laptop) for each computer and you will be better off.
 
  #4  
Old 11-17-06, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by tribe_fan
I don't know why you would want to complicate things - get the wireless USB (or PCI for a laptop) for each computer and you will be better off.
tribe_fan,
Initially, I thought about doing that (wireless USB or PCI adapter card for each PC) but I thought it might be easier and more cost effective to run all four computers in a wired network environment since they already have Ethernet cards in them.

Aren't USB and/or PCI wireless adapters in the $30 range? That would be a total of $120. I thought for a few more bucks I might be able to find a device similar to a router that would also pick up the available wireless signal in the office.

If such an animal doesn't exist, then yes....I will undoubtedly go with individual wireless adapters for each PC!
Thanks,
Phil
 
  #5  
Old 11-17-06, 10:17 AM
wgc
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cheap wireless router

A mixed network like you are trying can be the best option for performance, reliability, value, etc without sacrificing convenience. I have a cheap wireless router that I think I paid $39 for that can act as a bridge, although not all can and you probably won't see that capability advertised on the box. Of course I haven't actually tried that configuration since I have the opposite setup: DSL connection, servers, TiVos are all on the wired network (so I'm not limited by wireless bandwidth) but I have wireless for convenience throughout the house.
 
  #6  
Old 11-17-06, 02:17 PM
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I suggest you contact Tech Support.. IT Managers NO NOT like people adding their own hardware to a system.. It causes problems, and can be an opening to the security of the system..

One wireless AP will only be so fast.. Probably 54meg.. Adding a bunch of wired computers to that will only slow them all down..
Spend $20-30 per wireless card and do it right..
 
  #7  
Old 11-18-06, 10:32 AM
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I disagree

I agree with the first guy and disagree, I think, with the rest. It is more secure for you to get a wireless bridge router which can isolate your office network from the whole building network.

A regular broadband router connects to cable/dsl and then isolates/protects the internal network using something call NAT - it distributes IP address to the internal network and allows only what traffic to the outside that you want (Internet) and prevents anyone from the internet side from getting into your network, file sharing, printers, NAS drives, etc.

A wireless bridge router does the same thing, only it attaches your secure internal wired network to an existing wireless network and isolates it.

In other words, if you currently have your computers networked with ethernet, putting them all on the building's wireless network will expose them to EVERYONE on that network.

Sorry if this is too confusing. Ask more if you like, and I will explain further.
 
  #8  
Old 11-18-06, 11:20 AM
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Smile more to add

It seems the "all in one" bridge + NAT router devices are still pretty pricey. An alternative is one of the inexpensive wireless bridges feeding into a broadband gateway/router/switch which then connects your inner office network all together (you probably already have a router/switch if the computers are currently networked with ethernet).

The more I think about this, though, the more I think it's a bad idea to tie your office into this semi-public network at all. Everything your office sends/receives from the internet could be captured by anyone else on the network and, if the network has no encryption, ANYONE nearby with a laptop in scan mode.

I don't know what business you're in, but basic DSL is a lot more secure for any business. And I maintain, hooking all your computers to the wireless network is the very least secure way of doing things.

And, a clarification for what you want to do, it is technically called "Client mode" - which is similar to bridge mode, but essentially, you want a device which will connect to the building's wireless network just like any computer would, but then acts as a "traffic cop" to route internet traffic to/from all your office computers and protect them from any hackers trying to get in through that internet connection.
 

Last edited by MacToeKnee; 11-18-06 at 11:31 AM.
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