Networking hardware choices for a newbie

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.lans.ethernet (More info?)

Hopefully I'm posting in the right group (there are so many "networking"
newsgroups around, and I'm new to this).

Anyway, I'm confused about what kind of hardware boxes/adapters etc. I
will need for my planned setup. Let me explain:

I have a 800/256 ADSL broadband connection. A Netopia-3351 ADSL modem
(router?) is lent me by the provider, but has to be returned to them
when I'm no longer a customer.
A PC (running Windows ME and Mandrake Linux) is connected to it via a
PCI networking card.

I'll be buying a Mac Powerbook G4
which has a built-in 802.11G wireless connection.
I want to use this to make it fully portable in my home.

I would also like to use the same USB scanner (Canon N-670u) and USB
printer (Canon S-500) that the PC uses now. Preferrably wireless if

I've also picked up on all this talk about "free" (well, nothing's
really free, is it?) or cheap telephone usage via the net. I really
don't know too much about this, but belive there are two main groups:
computer to computer communication where the computers at each end have
to use the same software (such as "Skype"), and IP-telephony where you
have a gateway to the normal phone-lines, so that you can call/receive
calls to/from anyone who has a regular phone.

I'm not ready to plunge into this and give up my regular phone line just
yet, but would like to try it out.

I believe that IP-telephony doesn't need a computer to run, but just
relies on some sort of interface between the (regular) telephone and the
broadband socket (or perhaps through the ADSL modem).

For any kind of telephony I would like to use a regular phone handset,
so would it be possible to set something up where I could connect my
regular phones (a cordless phone, and a corded one) for use with (a)
"Skype" and similar free services, (b) IP-telephony, and (c) regular
telephone use as I'm using now?

I guess (c) isn't that important, because if I decide to go with
IP-telephony I'll cancel my regular phone-landline anyway.

But I would absolutely like to share my regular phone between "Skype"
and other programs like it as well as IP-phoning. Or does Skype need an
independant headset (or mic/headphones) system, and IP-telephony use a
dedicated interface on its own?

So what kind of networking hardware would I need to make all this
possible? Let me summarize what I want to do:

1) Connect a PC to the Internet via ADSL (already done and working)
2) Connect a Mac Powerbook (laptop computer) wirelessly to the same ADSL
3) Let both computers use the same USB printer and USB scanner.
4) Use a regular phone for IP-telephony
5) Use the same phone for "Skype" type telephony

I really don't know much about this stuff, but I've been looking around
a bit and it seems like the Linksys WRT-54-GP2
( might be
able to do at least some of the things I want. Any opinions on this?

Anything else that will work?
I prefer "all-in-one" boxes over a rack of differently looking and
designed boxes of different brands (which you can be sure are made in
such a way that you can't stack them on top of each other), with loads
of cables running between them and half a dozen AC adaptors.

I wouldn't mind having an ADSL modem being built into this box either,
since I might need to buy a modem myself in case I change over to
another provider. Not sure if the above Linksys box has that, but I know
that I've seen boxes from Linksys that do have ADSL modems built in if I
haven't misunderstood completely.

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More about networking hardware choices newbie
  1. Archived from groups: comp.dcom.lans.ethernet (More info?)

    Hallvard Tangeraas wrote:

    > I wouldn't mind having an ADSL modem being built into this box either,
    > since I might need to buy a modem myself in case I change over to
    > another provider.

    I found that box: the Linksys WAG-54G which for some reason isn't shown
    on the Linksys website. But I found it somewhere else:

    .... but then again this box doesn't have the telephone connections....

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