Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Noob questions and choices.

Last response: in Wireless Networking
Share
December 4, 2005 11:05:11 AM

I still can't get straight what's the difference between an Access Point, and a Wi-fi Router. Is it, one is to enable conection directly to internet, and the other is to provide connection between PCs?

I just bought a notebook that comes with Wi-fi. Now, I want to connect it to my Desktop Computer. My net connection is through a DSL external router, but I wouldn't bother paying a little more for and all-in-one sollution (access point, router and DSL).

Ok, that said, I have the following choices and I want your opinnion on that: (which is best for my case, and why)
Router Belkin F5D92304 Wireless G
Router D-Link DI-634M

I've been through the MIMO Face Off tutorial on Tom Hardware's, so I know those two are kinda close. My choice would probably be Belkin's, for it's design and performance.

Router Linksys WRT54GS

To this one I won't have to wait much longer to buy. First two I won't be able to buy right now... lack of product availability.

Now, I read some of the threads on the Forum stating that Linksys is poor in range. But all I need is some... 30 meters range max. And it'd be nice to replace my DSL router... mine is too damn old.

I also have some other choices on Belkin, D-link, Linksys and Airlink. But since I suck on wireless stuff, couldn't tell the difference between technologies, objectives, characteristics and such.

If there's anyone out there with enough pacience to explain stuff to me, I won't bother reading it. :D 

More about : noob questions choices

December 5, 2005 12:45:31 PM

I'd go with the Linksys personally. They're all good but I do hear complaints on the range. You can buy kits to increase the range though, extra money though.

Wi-fi router normally has a switch built into it, plus it's a NAT router. A router will hand out IP addresses (DHCP), give you some extra protection, plus the wireless among the major differences.

The Access point is basically a device that you hook into your wired network to give yourself wireless abilities. It doesn't hand out DHCP or give you extra protection. It will normally sit beind a router or off a switch.
December 5, 2005 1:55:57 PM

There seems to be lots of complaints on Linksys PCMCIA cards (range issues)...
Not a problem to me though, since I'm buying a router that'll mostly be used at home, in a fixed position. Only problem would be if it's range can't reach my bedroom, which will be aprox 20 meters away from the Router.
Not looking for a wardriving device. XD

About the difference... so, all wi-fi routers acts as access points also? If that's the case, then I fully understand... it's somewhat like the difference between normal hubs and routers. You have extra hardware and software imbedded on the device for better traffic control, security, independency and stuff.

One more thing: I'm probably buying an USB to Wi-fi adapter too, just in case... like I go to a friends house, and his/her computer doesn't have wi-fi. Any special recommendations? The more portable the better. :D 

Thanks for the answer riser!
Related resources
December 6, 2005 1:50:34 PM

The Access Points have bridging capabilities with routers don't.. mainly that creates a wireless to wireless network.. that's about the biggest benefit I can see over a wireless router. So, if you put APs on either sides of your house, bridge them, you wouldn't need to run a network cable through the house. As far as I'm aware, APs currently don't bridge with wireless Routers (maybe if you use a different firmware, not sure).

If I remember, the Belkin USB adapter and Linksys ones both work good. I'd stick to the same brands if possible though just to elminate any odd problems that could pop up from 2 different brands.
December 6, 2005 3:22:28 PM

Wow, how fuzzier can those tecnical wireless terms get? XD
The only thing I really understood well, I ended up not using... the MIMO technology.

So, I ended up researching lots of stuff for nothing. Thing is, today I went up to the store where I was planing on buying the Wi-fi Router, and turns up that I had pretty limited choices.

One was Linksys' WRT54GS, and the other was Belkin's F5D7230-4.
Ended up buying Belkin's, but I still don't know if I did a good deal.
Paid some 7U$+.
Linksys's promisses a 35% gain with SpeedBooster. Belkin's promisses up to 5 times faster tham 802.11b

Some tricky stuff...

Hope I did the right thing.

Oh, also, I was doing some research on USB Wi-fi adapters... the one that really caught my attention was Linksys:
http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satellite?childpagename=...

USB Wi-fi and Wi-fi Finder! Great idea! :D 

That's it then... riser, thanks for you help!
December 6, 2005 4:33:47 PM

I still would say that Wireless is not really completely ready.

There is a lot of gray areas with it where people are mainly guessing or have a concept, but not really the full idea of what goes into it.

Right now, we're seeing fast improvements in the speed of wireless, so when that slows down, I think it'll become a little more clear. This is fairly new technology.

I avoid using wireless in most cases unless I'm in a hotel room or testing to get a connection. I have a cable running along my baseboards in my apartment instead of trying the wireless crap.

Almost a year ago I wanted to create a wireless bridge but I didn't want to spend $150 on APs when I had a cable long enough.

802.11n will be out within a year if IEEE gets their stuff together. Then the whole process will start over.

Kind of saw this happen when Cat6 came around. Everyone said you needed it.. when Cat5e was good enough.
December 6, 2005 5:32:07 PM

I agree! All those technical terms, supposedly innovative technologies, and stuff needs a pattern or something to set things straight.

I mean, if you browse the catalog of some major brand Wi-fi equipment names out there, sometimes it's hard even to tell what is what and which is better between products of the same brand name!

Became even worse with the MIMO, Pre-N and whatever name they give technologies to boost speed X much.... being X a unknown value.

The reason I bought the router is because I can't pass cable from the office to my room... so, necessary even knowing that things might change very soon in this scenario.

I was checking some reviews on both Routers I mentioned before... some websites says one is better, while others says the opposite. Probably because there are so many differences, so many ifs, that it really is kinda hard to tell which one is best.

Still, I have the feeling it would've been better if I had bought Linksys... after reading the reviews.

Meh, doesn't really matter. It's not like I need top-edge performance anyways...
December 7, 2005 7:01:54 PM

Figure that there's a good chance the router has a 10mbit WAN connection.. doesn't matter how fast the wireless is really. It only benefits you in transfering files between computers and/or if you have a faster internet connection and a 10/100 capable WAN port.

So if you're not transferring files between computers and you're on a 5mb connection, you probably won't see any difference between the routers.
!