My setup is my main computer running Windows XP Home with an XP2400 chip on an A7N8X board. I have some old parts laying around I want to assemble into a secondary computer. I'd use it to surf the net or watch DVDs while playing one of my addictions on the main computer (Everquest, DAoC etc etc). So, my first question is the obvious one: What do I buy? I know zilch about networking (it scares me) and I'd rather not buy a router dealy just to find out I needed a gateway thingy.
My second question is a bit more complicated. Overall, I want to know if wireless networks would be a viable option for a predominately wired network. I only think of going wireless because 1) it's cooler and 2) I have 2 friends with laptops, and it'd be very convenient to hand em a card to plug in instead of futzing around with wires going around the room. This is moot if the wired network would cost 40-50 bucks and the wireless would be 100+ though, so if that's the case I can ditch this fantasy ASAP.
Buy a router. It will let you split your connection between multiple computers over your high-speed connection (assuming you do have high speed based on your gaming). It will also give you a firewall which is a plus when using high speed connections.
After you get your router, you'll need 2 standard patch cables. Each cable will go from your Network Card to the router and the network cable coming from the modem will go into the LAN port on your router. The LAN port should be marked clearly so you shouldn't have a problem there. Now, if you're using USB for your modem, you'll want another patch cable and 2 network cards, if either computer does not have one already. The USB is simple to use, but using the card would be better. At this point, 2 10' cables would go for around $5-10US each, the Network Cards (NICs) would go for 15-35/ea.
You'll need to do some minor configuring of the router to accept a connection from your ISP and you'll be networked. File and Printer Sharing should be enabled (installed as a service under your networking).
On to wireless, its a lot more expensive. Router, $90+ dollars, wireless cards, $30/ea, each computer would need one if you don't have wires connecting them. If you're doing it for the cool factor, its not worth it. If you're doing it for your friends, its really not worth it. If you're doing it because you have a laptop you want to roam around with, do it. My advice is to stick to the wires.
The wireless will be over $150 (unless you can find some deal on the internet) while the wired would be 40-60 for the router, 15-25 for the 2 nics (if you don't have), 25 for the 2 cables.
Awesome info, thanks for the help. Can't believe I forgot to mention what type of internet I have; I'm on Adelphia Powerlink, which is regular cable internet. It's not using the USB; it's using a black cable that looks like a telephone cord except it's larger. It's connected to a port on my A7N8X and then into the modem in a slot labeled 10/100 Base T.
Just to make sure I got this, the setup will be Cable -> Modem -> Router -> Both computers, right?
Sounds good. That black cable is your Cat5 cable/Standard Patch Cable/Ethernet Cable, people call it all sorts of things.. even RJ45 cable (registered jack 45 as opposed to your telephone which is RJ11)
Would I be able to plug the cables from the router into the socket I'm using now? So instead of going directly from the modem into my motherboard it'd have a detour of going through the router. That would be as opposed to buying the cards you were talking about.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by the socket you're using now?
Your setup should be like this:
Coax comes in, go to your Modem, the network cable comes out, goes into your Router's WAN port. From the router you can run additioanl network cables out to each PC.
Ok, if your main computer has a network card in it, you're set for that one. Your 2nd computer will need a network card, from there you can run network cables from the router to each PC. You'd need to purchase a router (and a network card if you don't have a spare)
``````````| Coax Cable
``````````| Network cable
```````/```````\ Network Cables
```````|````````------------[PC2 With Network Card]
``````[PC1 With Network Card]
Hope this diagram helps you out.
Riser<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by riser on 12/02/03 02:29 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
What I meant by that was that I'd be taking out the cord that's going from the modem to my computer and replacing it with the one coming from the router.
I got a linksys cable/DSL router fro BestBuy and so far I got my primary computer up and running (that's what I'm using to post this) but no luck getting the secondary online. I yanked an old ethernet card out my dad's computer and it seems to be working (Windows detected it and went through some installs) but for now I'm going to read some posts and see if I can't get it up and running.
I'm not having any luck getting my second computer online. Following the directions that came with the Linksys router, I got my main computer back online. However, my other computer isn't seeing any sort of internet. It sees the Realtek ethernet card I have installed, and there are 2 lights lit up on the router (one going to my main computer and the other going to the secondary). The little green LED on the ethernet card is lit up as well, and Windows XP saw it when I first turned it on.
The only thing the manual wanted me to do to set up my computer to see the router was go into the Network Connections and set it to "Obtain IP automatically." That worked for my primary, but it didn't work on the other.
I'm gonna pick up a fresh ethernet card on my way home from work, but assuming the one I got is working, what else could the problem be? I thought it might be the IP settings, but I haven't found any info in the manual about setting up the non-primary computers. It gives the impression that once you have your primary computer up and running, the rest are just plug and play.
If your second computer is setup with Obtain an IP automatically and the router is setup to act as a DHCP server it should pick it up. You can test this by going to Start- Run - cmd - ipconfig
You should have an ip address of 192.168.x.x
If not, check to make sure you're router is picking up the IP address from your ISP and that you Primary computer has an ip address of 192.169.1.x. If it doesn't, your router is passing the ip address its receiving from your ISP directly onto your primary PC, which would eliminate any chance of another computer getting online.
im sorry i didn't post the exact link but if you go on like Linksys.com and install instructions im pretty sure they give you a diagram picture with every kinda hook up situation and you will see how to do it, very easy, ..........
Don't buy a router. Build a router. If you have spare parts laying around...you can build a router out of them. My first firewall/router was a 233MHZ Dell. It rawked. Now I have Slackware 9.1 on an AMD XP 1800 with 240GB of disk space and a wireless NIC that gives me up to 24 addresses to jack into it. So, if my buddies come over, they can just do a small reconfigure of their wireless card and viola, they're connected to my linux box/firewall/router. I mean, if you have the hardware...ya might as well do it and not waste money.
<b>It is always brave to say what everyone thinks. </b> <i>Georges Duhamel</i>
I run Slackware Linux on it. I have two NICS installed and configure one (#1) to connect to have the address assigned by cable modem (DHCP) and I manually assign the other NIC (#2). #1 is used for outgoing and incoming from and to external sources. #2 wireless NIC is used for my LAN devices...so all my outside LAN computers connect to this card for a 'gateway to the internet' function. I have a software firewall script running on the linux box, and if people get through that, they have to HACK the box and that will take them quite a bit of time and effort. And an added bonus is that I have an entire CPU of power behind my 'router' functions for my LAN.
So what does that mean? If you're thinking of a gaming server, I'd go wired...I mean, if you go wired you only need a hub instead of an Access Point AND you get 100Mbps comm speeds through the LAN which is more than the 11Mbps for 802.11b and the 54Mbps for 802.11g
Or you could do both for those of your pals that have wired and wireless NIC's...although you'll see less lag with hardwired comps.
I've got a few articles for you to check out regarding firewall/router/gateway construction: