Simple home network

  eddiejackr 19:10 07 Mar 06
Locked

I want my main PC and a laptop to have Internet access. I get broadband through Pipex and have a USB modem with no other ports. I am happy that the pc should be switched on for the laptop to access internet.

I am planning to get a wireless network adaptor for the both the pc and the laptop and set up a peer to peer network with pc as host so that laptop can take access through pc to printer/internet/dvd rw drive etc.

I have a number of questions:

1. Will my ISP have any restrictions on this? Will my ISP be able to even tell that my laptop is connecting and not my pc?

2.Would PC and laptop be able to get access to internet at the same time?

3. What would be the advantage of using an access point/gateway/router/ modem rather than the simple set up that I outlined above? Would it increase the range of the network?

4. I've read that you can have an access point with a pc wired to it and set up as host. Why do this at all and not just have a peer to peer set up?

5. Would my proposed peer to peer set up be less secure than if I had a router/gateway etc?

  howard63 19:50 07 Mar 06

an adsl router/modem has the advantage of a built in firewall - well worth having. Your isp should not be able to tell or be interested either way. Both will have full independent access.

  mgmcc 21:37 07 Mar 06

<<< 1. Will my ISP have any restrictions on this? Will my ISP be able to even tell that my laptop is connecting and not my pc? >>>

As far as the ISP is concerned, there is only one "computer" connected to the service and only one IP address allocated by them to you. This doesn't change whether you enable Windows "Internet Connection sharing" or install a router in order to provide internet access to additional computers.

<<< 2.Would PC and laptop be able to get access to internet at the same time? >>>

Yes provided, in the case of "Internet Connection Sharing", that the Host PC is online.

<<< 3. What would be the advantage of using an access point/gateway/router/ modem rather than the simple set up that I outlined above? Would it increase the range of the network? >>>

The primary advantage of using a router is that all computers connected to it have independent internet access without the need for a Host PC to be online. A router is more reliable than "Internet Connection Sharing", which can be problematical, and it provides a hardware firewall.

<<< 4. I've read that you can have an access point with a pc wired to it and set up as host. Why do this at all and not just have a peer to peer set up? >>>

You can plug a Wireless Access Point into a PC's ethernet port to create an "Infrastructure" network, rather than connecting two network adapters directly in an "Ad Hoc" (Peer to Peer) network. An Infrastructure network is generally more reliable than an Ad Hoc one and 802.11g adapters operate at 54Mbps in Infrastructure mode, whereas in Ad Hoc mode the 802.11g standard only requires that they connect at 11Mbps. This speed isn't generally significant for internet access but for file transfers between computers, the slow speed of 11Mbps is noticeable.

<<< 5. Would my proposed peer to peer set up be less secure than if I had a router/gateway etc? >>>

I wouldn't have thought so if you set up encryption.

  eddiejackr 22:02 07 Mar 06

Extremely helpful - thanks.

Only thing I'm not clear on is whether the access point gives me greater range than the router etc. I'm thinking of Linksys SRX because we have a long bungalow. Any difference in how the peer to peer and infrastructure networks operate in this respect?

Thanks again!

  Strawballs 07:38 08 Mar 06

You say that you have a long bungalo, I have a Linksys router in the backroom downstairs and my laptop will access it from my neibours hfront romm on the opposite side of the road.

  mgmcc 09:08 08 Mar 06

<<< Only thing I'm not clear on is whether the access point gives me greater range than the router etc >>>

A "Wireless Router" incorporates a "Wireless Access Point" - that is what makes it a *wireless* rather than *non-wireless* router. So there should be no difference in terms of range between the two.

<<< Any difference in how the peer to peer and infrastructure networks operate in this respect? >>>

I don't know the answer in terms of actual range. However, with an "Ad Hoc" network, the wireless adapters are normally plugged directly into the PC. With a Wireless Access Point, this can be connected to the PC by a long ethernet cable which might go some way towards improving signal strength in difficult situations. A router, on the other hand, needs to be located close to the broadband connection.

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