Wireless Area Networks

  ThisNameIsMine 12:28 01 Jun 03

I have a desktop PC running Windows XP Professional SP1 and a Laptop running Windows XP Professional. I want to use the laptop in the garden or another room without having to strech a phone cable for broadband. I want to use a wireless area network (WAN) and I am unsure of what I need. The desktop PC has an Alcatel SpeedTouch USB ADSL Modem and I was wanting to be able to share the internet conection between the two PCs. Can someone please tell me what equipment I need to acomplish this or suggest a better way of getting around my problem?

  rct 12:35 01 Jun 03

click here and look at the Combined ADSL Modem/Router/Wireless Access Point reviews at the top. They will replace your Alcatel and avoid the need to have one machine on for the other to share also allowing for expandability ;)

  Forum Editor 12:40 01 Jun 03

and to accomplish it I have set up a wireless network using the following items:

1. A Linksys WAP11 2.4GHz 802.11b wireless access point

2. A Linksys PCMCIA wireless network adapter card for the laptop.

3. A Linksys USB wireless network adapter for the main PC

4. An 8 port dual speed hub

The hub is used because I have other machines connected to the network by conventional Ethernet cabling, so I have a mixed wireless and cable network. It all works perfectly, and I can edit the forum from the peace and quiet of my garden chair.

Wireless networks are sometimes fussy about distances. On occasion I've used the network 30 metres away in the garden with no problem, and then had difficulty connecting the laptop two rooms away - it depends on walls/stairs/trees etc. Over a period I've learned axactly where to be to get the best reception.

  ThisNameIsMine 12:42 01 Jun 03

If I am not planning on using a wired network I take it I wont need the 8 port hub?

  fitshase 12:53 01 Jun 03

You are right in assuming you won't need a hub if you are not planning to use a wired network.

I am running a wireless network similar to the F.E's but use the following:-

1. A Netgear FM114P router

2. An Adaptec 802.11b wireless PCMCIA card for the laptop

3. A normal network card for the desktop.

I only have 2 machines and one of them is next to the cable broadband modem. The router has a built in wireless access point and 4 port switch enabling me to connect up to 4 computers with a network cable and up to 256 computers wirelessly.

I have the desktop connected to the router via a cable and I also have a cable running through to my room for the laptop to plug into to transfer large files across the network (wired network is 100Mbps whereas the wireless network is only 11Mbps). When not transfering large files I use the wireless card in the laptop (I'm typing this from the garden).

I would go with 'rct's" advice and get an all in one router/modem/access point as it will save a lot of hassle in setting up.

Also, the router I have got has a built in print server so I can print from the garden without the desktop machine being switched on. This has a big advantage as you don't need to do anything else when printing, like switching the desktop machine on, sharing the printer, etc. (just press print and it works).

Whatever you go for, there are plenty of people who are here to help should you run into any setup problems.



  ThisNameIsMine 12:58 01 Jun 03

Belkin Wireless Network Access Point @ £69.02
Belkin Wireless PC Card Network Adapter @ £33.95,
Belkin Wireless USB Network Adapter @ £43.42,

Total: £146.39.

Am I being ripped off?

  ThisNameIsMine 12:59 01 Jun 03

They include VAT & Delivery

  fitshase 13:00 01 Jun 03

Where are you buying from?


  ThisNameIsMine 13:01 01 Jun 03

E-Buyer (click here)

  ThisNameIsMine 13:20 01 Jun 03

Am I being ripped off tho? I would like to know before I order it.

  fitshase 16:35 01 Jun 03

It looks OK to me - make sure the PC Card is a PCMCIA card and not an adaptor.

However, one thing you should note. If your ADSL modem is next to your desktop computer, you would be better off getting a wireless router/modem and a separate PC Card (for the laptop) and a cheap network card for your desktop. This way you can run a cable from your desktop to your router and do away with the hassle of setting up another wireless station.

It is a bit more expensive but you would have a router and modem in one nice neat unit and the laptop with PC card would be able to use the internet without the desktop machine being switched on.



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