Wireless Networking And The Internet

  Harper Boy 20:24 13 Jun 03

I have a laptop and desktop, both running Win XP (Home). They are not currently linked in any way, and I would like to build a wireless network which will work whatever room in the house the laptop is in. Would a single Wireless adapter at each machine do the trick? I can guarantee that I will never want to add a third PC.

My desktop has a broadband connection to the Internet using a modem (Alcatel) attached to a USB port. My ISP is BT Openworld. Once the network is installed I want to be able to access the Internet from the laptop using this existing desktop (broadband) connection. According to Microsoft advice, (click here fe n-gb%2fnetsharing.asp), I can do this with a simple peer-to-peer network, because Win XP allows me to set up my desktop as a host and my laptop as a client. (I realise the desktop would have to be switched on whenever I wanted to do this, but that's acceptable). However, some of my other reading suggests I need to have a router and/or a wireless access point ? but after trying to research this issue I'm still not clear what these components do, or whether I really need them. So I need basic advice before I can make a sensible purchase.

  jazzypop 20:37 13 Jun 03

A simple peer-to-peer network, consisting of a wireless network card in each PC, will get the two PCs connected. Enabling Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) will allow them both to access the Web, provided your desktop is switched on. Running XP's Network Wizard will do it all for you quite painlessly.

See click here and click here for more info.

  Harper Boy 09:08 14 Jun 03

Thanks, Jazzypop, that's really encouraging. I still don't know what routers and WAPs are for, but it sounds as though I don't really need that information! One thought, though - if I had a Wireless Access Point as well, and mounted it high in my 3 storey house, would that give me a better range of cover for the laptop? Or would it just complicate matters?

  Forum Editor 09:39 14 Jun 03

would distribute the broadband connection to any computer, anywhere in range. That means that you would be able to have more than one machine sharing the connection if that's what you wanted.

The distribution range will be affected by intervening walls and staircases, and it isn't possible to give any hard and fast guidelines. My own home wireless network uses a Linksys WAP 11 2.4GHz 802.11b wireless access point, and it provides coverage throughout the house and into the garden. There are reception anomalies however, and I can't access the broadband connection in the kitchen - not a big deal, that!

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