Advice - My first network 7 replies

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Donavan

I am the only one who is actually cooler than AzH

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10th August 2004

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#1 12 years ago

I'm going to be buying a laptop this weekend to replace my PC. My housemate also has a PC upstairs in his room. If possible I'd like to network both computers together and share an Internet connection. Ideally I'd like to make the whole network wireless.

Firstly, what equipment would I need for this? Any recommendations on brands?

Secondly where do I start setting this up?

As you may have noticed I'm no technical whiz, so please try to explain things as simply as possible. Many thanks in advanced to those who help me. :)




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#2 12 years ago

If you're going for a WLan, you'll need either two wireless PCI/USB adaptors for each computer and a wireless router for Internet access, or just have two wireless adaptors and use one of the PCs as the Internet gateway. IMO the router option would be easier and more secure, but it's up to you.

If you're opting for a router, you'll need to install the wireless adaptors in each PC, and then temporarily hook one of the computers up to the router via a standard network cable in order to access the Router control panel. Once you're in, enter your ISP account details in order to establish an Internet connection, and then enable Wireless networking - the only part you should have to configure is the location of the router and WEP/WPA security. (Highly recommended - otherwise your connection could be easily accessed by any Joe User who happens to walk into the building with a wireless-enabled laptop.)

Once that's done and the settings applied, run the Windows Wireless Connection wizard on both computers, enter the WEP/WPA you specified and all being well they'll see the network, connect to it, and hey presto. Once this is done, you can unhook the network cable you used to set up the router, any further changes can be made remotely. (Might be an idea to keep the cable handy, though, in case something screws up.)

If you don't plan on using a router, you'll have to have one computer act as the Internet gateway, with a wired connection to the 'net. Also, to get your wireless network up and running you'll need to set up an Ad-Hoc (Peer-to-Peer) connection. This is fairly simple, and can be done from within the Windows Wireless Connection wizard.

Note that the router will cost around £60, but all computers are completely wireless and free to move around. Otherwise at least one has to stay put in order to access the Internet.

As for brands - don't go for anything cheap and nasty. (D-Link, for example.) I'd recommend Linksys or NetGear, they make pretty solid equipment.




Bs|Archaon

I would die without GF

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#3 12 years ago

If the internet connection is next to one of the computers, you can plug it straight into most wireless routers with a cable; so you'll only need one wireless PCI/USB adaptor.

LinkSys is what I use, but by no means are they the only good brand, but make sure you get the same brand for all the hardware. It should all work together anyway, but in my experience mixing brands can sometimes result in it being a little unreliable, ok for browsing but if it happens in game you'll get screwed pretty badly.

I have that problem using the built-in Intel wireless in my laptop, browsing and downloading are fine but games lag out and disconnect occasionally. Got a LinkSys USB adaptor on my main PC (same room as laptop, same desk as well) and it's rock solid regardless of what I'm doing.




Donavan

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#4 12 years ago

Great info guys, it helped me out a lot. You'll be happy to know that I've bought a router. I thought it would be a nightmare to install, but it was very easy.

I have one last question though, I'm buying a new laptop tomorrow and in the network connections description it says, Built-in Wireless LAN 802.11g. Does this mean the laptop should work with my router without any additional hardware? On the box I noticed 802.11g mentioned. I did buy one of those wireless cards, but I'd much prefer to use it without the card.




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#5 12 years ago

Chances are it'll work fine as it it - 802.11b and g are intercompatible anyway, the only time you would run into any trouble is if you were trying to get a .11a device to talk to a .11b/g device - they use different frequencies.




Smitty025

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#6 12 years ago
Rookie_42As for brands - don't go for anything cheap and nasty. (D-Link, for example.) I'd recommend Linksys or NetGear, they make pretty solid equipment.

What's wrong with D-Link? I've always had good experiences with their products. Actually the router I'm using now I got for free, it cost $10 and had a $10 rebate. It's been working fine for about a year and a half now.




Bs|Archaon

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#7 12 years ago

Not usually anything wrong with them, they're (usually) just not quite as good. You got yours free, but most people won't. So when it comes down to it, when we're suggesting that someone parts with their money, we suggest what we think is best; not second best.

Wiki, your laptop should be fine but if you have similar problems to what I described earlier (quoted below for ease), then you'll just have to use the card.

It should all work together anyway, but in my experience mixing brands can sometimes result in it being a little unreliable, ok for browsing but if it happens in game you'll get screwed pretty badly.

I have that problem using the built-in Intel wireless in my laptop, browsing and downloading are fine but games lag out and disconnect occasionally. Got a LinkSys USB adaptor on my main PC (same room as laptop, same desk as well) and it's rock solid regardless of what I'm doing.




deathwarder

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#8 12 years ago
Smitty025What's wrong with D-Link? I've always had good experiences with their products. Actually the router I'm using now I got for free, it cost $10 and had a $10 rebate. It's been working fine for about a year and a half now.

then you are the exception, they usually are of bad quality