Advice please: Wireless or Cabled LAN?

  AngeTheHippy 10:12 11 May 03

Hi all, I wanna network the desktop with the laptop. Laptop has onboard n/w card (10/100) built in wireless antenna (I know this because I'm reading the order conf. letter..), and I'm assured by supplier that the desktop also has n/w stuff as standard. I'm using XP on both, and quite like the idea of the wireless n/w systems u can get from, oh, most places really, Maplin,Argos,PCWorld etc.etc. I don't know exactly what I need though... Can someone pls point me in the right direction with this one? I see on one site that they can range in price from about £45 to well over £200 ...
Thanks all,

I have a broadband connection through a router and so wanted to share this as well as network the laptop and desktop.

I brought a Buffalo Wireless Router and cardbus and still cannot get the network up and running - unless i use cable when it is fine.

I have had noting but problems with this so far and I would really reccomend that yousearch for reviews as to the kit you intend to purchase as I have just found a load of them on the buffalo saying how bad it is to configue - Now they tell me!!

  AngeTheHippy 12:23 11 May 03

sorry to hear of your probs - must say, I hadn't heard of Buffalo (sheltered existance.. ;-) )but have read of Belkin and Zoom - both seem straight forward. I can't stand the thought of cables trailing through the house - which IS how it would be! I still suffer dial-up, I just would rather share files with d/t upstairs and laptop down, it would be easier than keep carrying the l/t upstairs... Anyone else who can help out me & Smiffy99 ???

  jazzypop 12:34 11 May 03

If you want a quick, simple and effective network, that 'just works', use cables.

If you don't mind wrestling the pesky little so-and-so's into submission, choose wireless.

I have setup countless domestic wired LANs, and many wireless ones. Not many of the wireless ones worked straight away :)

Eventually, of course, the wireless ones worked (I won't leave until they submit), but it is routinely a battle.

I have used Belkin, Netgear, Buffalo (and others) - my experience is that Netgear cards are less troublesome than the others, with Belkin close behind.

For a simple peer-to-peer network like yours, make sure the cards are setup as ad-hoc mode.

Note also that a wired network will be about 10 times faster (for file transfers) than a wireless one.

You may find it cheaper to pay an electrician to run your cables neatly (and hidden), considering the additional cost of wireless. You will end up with a few neat little network points on the skirting board (similar to phone outlets), and no trailing cables.

  AngeTheHippy 12:40 11 May 03

Thanks - this is exactly what I needed...experience from a 'pro' like yourself. I suppose I could drape the damn cable somewhat - just thought wireless would be cleaner/tidier/easier - not necessarily though, after reading yr reply. Oh sod it, I'll go for the cable then. Cost about £20 do you think?


  jazzypop 13:06 11 May 03

Me - an old pro?


Pre-made cable is about £1 per metre, or less. Remember that to connect 2 PCs directly, you need the cable to be a crossover, not straight-through one. You can buy a crossover adaptor at the same time that you buy the cable, if they only sell straight-through in the length you want.

The adaptor is a small device that changes the orientation of two pairs of wires inside the network cable.

See click here for an explanation of crossover and straight-through - the whole article is useful, this is the most relevant page.

Cat5 Ethernet is the magic phrase to look for / ask for when shopping.

Note that I am not saying that wireless won't work, just that it is far less likely to work 'out of the box' than wired. In my view, wireless is still more 'plug and pray', than 'plug and play', but it is improving rapidly.

Remembering your frustrations with your previous PC, I think you will do much better to go for a wired LAN :)

  AngeTheHippy 14:48 11 May 03

and u reminded them!! Ha, yeah, interesting though isn't it, that (not wanting to tempt fate here..) I've only really needed from E.T. about 3 times in the 6 months since the replacement arrived... as opposed to twice-a-day help with the rogue PC we all knew-and-loved...
Yep, I sort of knew about the crossover cable... but was hoping hoping I cld get away with wireless. Can't be bothered with devoting all that time trying to make something work, jazzypop, as was the norm before the replacement arrived... Will just get the crosovercable I think.
Enjoy yr Sunday,


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