Newbie advice on start up please

  willo500 23:45 22 Mar 06


I am on Nildram 2mb broadband and I currently have a usb adsl modem for this. I use a desktop pc which has usb2 ports and also a laptop from work which has wireless card inside it.

I am ignorant of what I need to set up a wireless system in my home. I believe I only need to buy
1.a router and plug it into my phone line and connect to an electrical point
2. A network adaptor and plug it into my pc usb port.

I understand that I do not need either the desktop or the laptop connected by cable to any of the network equipment and both will be fully independent of this gear.

I propose to buy a Netgear DG834PN router because it is fast and powerful and to go with this I propose to buy a Netgear WPN111 USB adaptor to plug into my desktop. I chose this because the mimo version doesn't seem to be available at the moment and anyway I suspect the price difference would not justify the difference in performance between the two.

Does the above sound sensible? I have tried to make sense of what I have read on here and other forums and would welcome all help in this matter.



  willo500 23:48 22 Mar 06

Sorry forgot to mention that I would prefer to buy this router also because I want to avoid having to connect my current usb modem to the phone line thus obviating the advantage of the wireless connection. I assume I am correct in thinking this router allows me to do that


  willo500 23:59 22 Mar 06

Oh yes and I also notice that some reports have been made suggesting that the Netgear is not good on 2Mb connections but is this particular to a specific router or the brand in general?

  Danoh 00:52 23 Mar 06

Does your ADSL Modem also have an Ethernet port, as it will be required if you want to continue to use it together with a wireless router.
There may be wireless routers which can connect via USB and not Ethernet but I don't know of one.
Alternatively, you can replace your ADSL modem with a combined ADSL and wireless modem.

If your existing modem has an Ethernet port, you need a wireless "cable router" which does not have ADSL integrated. It will be connected with an Ethernet cable into your existing ADSL Modem's Ethernet port.
This wireless router will also need power, obviously from a mains power point.

Buying a wireless adapter and connecting it to your PC will enable it to connect wirelessly to the wireless router, once you have set things up on the router and PC.

Your laptop's wireless configuration will also need to be setup for this new wireless network.

As to which make or model, thats the next part of the discussion.
Many have the view that all the major makes are fine; D-Link, Belkin, Netgear, Linksys, etc.

  willo500 16:12 23 Mar 06

Thanks for the advice Danoh. I took a trip to pc world today and the guy there said my pc probably had an ethernet card in it already and so I wouldn't need to buy a network adaptor. Having said that they are doing a deal which includes one so I wondered if I should just buy that instead. I had also not realised that there was no benefit in buying a network router which went particularly fast because I really only want it for internet, mainly using my desktop.

Anyway my question now is do I need anoter adaptor if my desktop ( a 4 year old Dell) has an ethernet card in it already? If I go ahead and fit this adaptor via USB will it interfere with the ethernet card?

You probably have guessed I don't really know much about this and to be frank don't really know what an ethernet card is. I am assuming it is some sort of internal network adaptor.

Anyway fellows, all advice appreciated


  Danoh 19:51 23 Mar 06

You already have a desktop PC, connected to an existing ADSL Broadband modem via USB2.

Do you want both your desktop PC and your laptop to connect wirelessly to your Nidram ADSL modem?

  willo500 22:10 23 Mar 06

I don't really mind whether I keep the existing modem or not. All I want is to get the desktop to connect to Nildram wirelessly. The laptop has a wireless card already fitted so I imagine it doesn't need any additional thing. I assume that the router with it's own internal ADSL modem would take care of both of them.

After I bought that I originally assumed that all I would need is either to rely on the ethernet card already in the desktop or buy a USB network adapter to fit onto the desktop. However having looked at my pc there is no mention of an ethernet adapter in the device manager so I am now assuming I need to use the additional network adapter I proposed buying above.

Sorry if this sounds complex its probably to do with the fact that I am a novice at these things


  ade.h 22:41 23 Mar 06

Danoh - don't forget that routers are highly susceptible to damage from surges, so the power brick and the incoming modem cable should always be connected to/via a surge protector.

Willo500 - Given the similarity in price, I think that you should opt for a modem/router. There are a couple of routers that claim to accept USB ADSL modems, but there is a good chance that you won't get it to work as intended.

Currently, of the big five manufacturers, 3Com is the one about which I hear and read the fewest complaints by far. I use a Belkin, with which I am very happy (and have installed a few of them for other people) but some folk have trouble with them, as they sometimes do with Netgears.

I do wonder how much of this is down to user error though!

(By the way; at 2Mbits, Netgears are absolutely fine. Some people occasionally have trouble with them on 8Mbit services, that's all.)

Two other points: Don't bother paying extra for a boosted or Pre-N setup, with it's attendant proprietary adapters; not worth it unless you stream large media content. And leave your desktop connected to the router by ethernet if at all possible.

  ade.h 22:42 23 Mar 06

For which you will need an Ethernet PCI card if you don't have native ethernet capability.

  Danoh 23:22 23 Mar 06

he wants both the desktop and the work laptop to connect wirelessly (something I needed to have clarified).
And he's happy to replace the existing ADSL modem with USB connectivity, and get just one box that handles it all.
{not sure the of the relevance of your surge protection comment, but useful info :-)

Agreed that he needs the ability to wire up to the router to change/do settings.
Although the laptop is bound to have ethernet capability, its work issue.

So his own desktop needs wired connectivity to set up the wireless aspects on a new router.
Which means a new Ethernet capability.

So, things to buy for standard 802.11g

a) An Ethernet PCI card
b) A wireless adapter (PCI preferably & if there's a spare-usable PCI slot, otherwise USB)

c) A new combined ADSL and Wireless modem-router

Nothing needed for the work laptop which has standard 802.11g capability, presumably.

{Taking boosted-G and pre-N out of the scope for now}

  ade.h 23:40 23 Mar 06

Surge protection is always relevant, Danoh! ;o)

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