Final decision before buy, need advice

  deaz 16:15 11 Apr 06
Locked

Hi everyone, I am new to networking and I want to set up my home wireless network. I have done some research today and I came to a few conclusions, I just need some advices on my decision.
I have a PC (XP) and a Laptop with an integrated wireless adoptor. The access to my phone line is downstair and just above it on the first floor is the PC I would like to install a PCI adapter (with an antenna) in.
What I am thinking to do is buy a Linksys WRT54G router and a Linksys PCI adapter.
I am on a 1Mb broadband that will become 8Mb pretty soon (is that Linksys Gear going to be able to handle that connection well?)
The thing is that I am afraid of drop outs and so on. I play online quite a lot and really need that connection to stay on and stable. I leave downloads all night also so I need the connection to stay on.
I know cables are better but the point here is to stop using my 8 meters phone extension that goes through my windows and floor and to have a simple home wireless network solution.
Please let me know your thoughts and experience on the subject.
One last question: Could I use my PC as an "emitting device" to send a connection to my laptop ?
Many thanks in advance.

  Aargh 16:54 11 Apr 06

Depends on what you want to spend!

Any decent ADSL modem/router and matching PCI adapter and laptop card should give you good signal strength in any normal house (unless you have lead coated wallpaper!)

I use a Belkin F5D7632-4 router and Netgear cards.

Netgear Rangemax kit is expensive but apparently good - DG834GT ADSL router/modem and the WPN511 card/WPN311 PCI adapter. If signal is still weak after all that, throw in the WPN802 access point to boost the signal!

Remember, the whole connection speed thing is limited by the ability of the phone line - not just the claimed wifi speeds

  deaz 17:06 11 Apr 06

Ok Thanks for your answer.
From what you are saying it sounds like I understood the basics (i.e. I only need an adapter and a Modem/router).
Is a PCI adapter better, compared to a USB one ?
I don't want to spend loads to be honest, about 110 pounds max.
My connection is already good enough for me at 1Mb with a phone cable so my phone line is fine.
The Access point you are talking about, is it like a boosting device that I would put, say in the PC's room, and it would then boost the signal ??
Is your Belkin better than the Linksys I mentionned ?
many thanks.

  ade.h 17:08 11 Apr 06

The problem with the WRT54G is that it is - almost uniquely - a router that is designed to work not just with a cable modem, but also with ADSL modems. This is unusual because cable modems use an Ethernet interface and ADSL modems (external ones anyway) use a USB interface. Cable customers are supposed to use a router, so that's fine, but ADSL customers are really supposed to use a modem/router.

I have heard moans from desperate people who try to get the WRT54G to work with a USB ADSL modem, and it often does not want to do so in the slightest! What works in theory does not necessarily work in practice.

Do yourself a favour and get a decent modem/router - Belkin (which I use) 3Com (which I have had good feedback about) or D-Link. If you go for a Belkin, be careful which model and variant you choose; I use the same as the above poster and have chosen this model on a few occasions for other people's networks, as I believe in staying with what you know.

  ade.h 17:11 11 Apr 06

Re: leaving downloads running all night. Most routers get hot and there is some evidence to suggest that they benefit from at least occasional rebooting. Mine is off most nights beacuse Belkins run very hot; it has never failed me in nearly six months of use. Perhaps a cooler equivalent would be better suited to you.

  ade.h 17:12 11 Apr 06

"Can I use my PC as an emitting device?"

No.

That's what the router is for.

  Aargh 17:20 11 Apr 06

If you have chosen your ADSL Router/Modem on price, then it makes sense to look for kit that is compaible with it - although any adapter on the same wifi standard (b/g/super g etc) should work with it.

PCI will give you better durability than USB (they can fall out!) and better signal reliability. Seems like the limiting factor is the wireless adapter/chip in your laptop - it will have to be comapatible with the other kit you buy - ie dont buy a router if your laptop is not capable of working on the same wireless standard. Most recent kit is dual band and backwards compatible from g to b.

The access point is a signal booster (works like a relay station) to spread your wifi signal further from the router. I'd be surprised if you need one unless you have a really big house with thick walls!

As for Belkin - I've had no problems with mine.Linksys is well known kit, but I've never used Linksys. Type the model you are thinking about buying into the search box on this forum and see if there are any horror stories.

  deaz 17:25 11 Apr 06

Thanks for the answers, I am now looking at reviews and that NetGear DG834GT + WG311T card look good to me.
Sorry for that silly question coming up:
What is ASL+2 ??
Like I said I am getting 8 Mb broadband soon, is it ADSL+2 ?

  ade.h 17:41 11 Apr 06

8Mbits per sec is not ADSL2+ (not +2). ADSL2+ is an emerging development with very limited availability that offers speeds of up to 24Mbits per sec.

  deaz 17:42 11 Apr 06

Ok thanks for all your answers, I will now hold my breath and go for it.

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