Need help finding a router.

Hello One and All,

I’m new to Tom’s Forumz and this is my first post. I’m certain this will be an enjoyable and informative experience. I’m look forward to getting to know y’all and learn from you. As many of you probably know, working with PCs can turn ones hair prematurely gray, and start your hands shaking uncontrollably, so if I ever forget to say “thank you” or act like a fool, understand that this is simply an oversight or due to stress, so please accept right now both my thanks and apologies for those times I forget.

Now, on to the topic of this post. Right now, I’m running two PCs, with another Internet dedicated to be arriving as soon as I can buy the parts and build it. The thing is, I want to network the machines, but I’d like to give you my reasons and hope y’all can give me some constructive advice. My main reasons for networking are these: first, I’m really concerned with security, and while I’ll be running ZoneLab’s latest offering in software security (ZoneAlarm Security Suite), I’m really wanting to use the router mainly as a firewall, and second, my work area is around 10’ from the cable access for the modem, and I simply would like to avoid running RJ45 on the floor, as it’s not only likely to cause a tripping hazard but also, be damaged by the constant compression of my wheelchair tires passing over them. Really, that’s it. Two of my machines will never see the Internet and will either be networked together by a wired router or, more likely, a KVM switch box, since there’s not really that much that they’ll need to communicate about, and if I ever do, I’ve got a USB data transfer cable and software system I can hook-up at a moments notice. So, in a nutshell, a firewall and around 10’ of wireless distance are my only requirements.

Taking all of the above into account, my question is: what’s the best and cheapest router I can get? I don’t need it for much, but what I DO need is for it to be as reliable as possible in these two areas. Hopefully, some of you have been down this road before me and can share their knowledge.

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  1. Netgear WGR614 is my vote since you are looking for low cost. Instead of using your USB cable, I would recommend connecting everything to the router. If you don't want certain PCs to have any access to the Internet, you can specify the IP configuration manually on these PCs and simply omit the default gateway. This will effectively limit them to communication with other PCs on the LAN.
  2. I couldn't tell... are you looking to put in wireless to avoid stringing the ethernet cables? If you want everything on the same side of the room, you can also run the broadband cable so your modem / router is on the same side of the room as your computers. Or, you can use an ethernet switch/hub on the side of the room as your computers and run a single cat5e/RJ45 cable over to the modem.

    Just about any router these days provides pretty good firewall functionality as well as the ability to block clients from access to the internet. Setting this up will be in the router's setup screens.

    If all you want is to connect your 2 older computers to each other (and not to your new computer or to the internet), you can use a single crossover cat5/RJ45 cable between the two computer's nics. Make sure it is a "crossover" cable, not a regular one (this defines how the wires are connected to the RJ45 connector).
  3. Iceblue wrote:
    "I couldn't tell... are you looking to put in wireless to avoid stringing the ethernet cables?"

    Sort of, but not exactly. Let me try and be clear. The work area where I have my PCs set up is about 10' across from where the cable TV access coax connector enters the room. If I were to string a RJ 45 network cable from the cable modem to my machines, or if I were to run coax cable to the cable modem if I placed it at my work area, either way would require me to string cable of one sort or another across a regularly traveled area of floor, with all that this sort of arrangement entails. Consequently, I'm looking for a wireless router to avoid the need for a physical cable. It's that simple, and since the distance from the cable coax connector is barely 10', I'm not concerned with performence over great distances.

    I hope this makes matters clear, and sorry for causing the earlier confusion.
  4. Basicly you are wanting to use wireless to shoot across the high trafic area, avoiding wires.

    Just set the wireless router and cable modem up at the coax source. Then install a wireless card in your pc. Remember the 11g is only 54 mbps before overhead. So 2 pc will not exced your cable speed unless you have something > 35mbps.

    I would either use a cheap hub or switch instead of usb cable. It will be alot faster. If you connect them to your router. Map the PC's to a specific IP's, then set up a rule to block all access to the WAN. That way you can still move files between all.
  5. Blue68F100:

    Thanks for the ideas, the USB can be a pain some of the time, so a hub or switch may just work to get the job done. As I had stated in my original post, as of this moment I've got two machines up and running, and when I get number 3 set up, my plans should come to fruition. While one of the PCs will be a dedicated Internet machine the other two will be oriented towards other tasks I've got ion mind. However, the more I think about it, the more it seems that the stand-alone Internet PC, while great for security purposes, will add a few steps to the process of moving relevent files harvested off the 'net, to the appropriate PC, so I'll need to be especially careful when running any web content through the wringer, so as to be as certain as possible that it's free of any malware that may be hidden therein. In any case, I still need to do more research, I guess, to find the best possible router for the least amount of cash that will get the job done.

    Unfortunately, the more I do research on tech items, I find that those folks who have had experience with a given item tend, for some reason, to be split down the middle, more or less, as to the quality of said item. Also, I find that user reviews and tech reviews by the staff of various computer magazines and other such publications, rarely seem to agree with each other, with the tech review generally giving a better score than that given by users. It do make life a bit more interesting, I guess.


    p.s. - I almost forgot - I've seen a number of green/white, F100s of that vintage, but I don't remember ever having seen a blue one. Are we talking about a restored truck or original finish?
  6. I too have a mobility problem and use a wireless LT connection 98% of the time. I'm the only user of the wireless so I have the large packet working at 125mbps. Which execedes the speed of my wired connecitons. I'm using a seperate AP with a 8 port router. As far as all the bad guys. I run a modified Host file along with AV, FW & SW. In most cases if you stay away for the Risky sites no problem. The only problem I ever had was due to Symantic Screwing up a def file, would not return any of my contact attemps. In return I had to reload a couple of pc from backup. Then I shot a 1000+ contract down due to their non-responce. And Screwup. They repaired it on a Unusual Sunday release, 3day after the bad one. And never mention anywhere they mad a mistake. I do not leave pc on that are not needed. That way they are safe if someting was to happen. UPS on everything, execpt printers.

    Cuttently I use Comodo FW, Avira AV and Spy doctor. And have had no problem. My old ISP gave McAfee away, No problem with them. They were Man enough to stand up to an error and posted it on there web site.
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