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wireless network question

Last response: in Components
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February 19, 2007 8:02:54 PM

Hi all, don't know much about wireless.

My ladyfriend has a laptop, its her only computer. Her internet supplier is comcast cable, and she's had an ethernet cable running from the cable modem.

She remodeled and the only place she wants the computer is quite far from the cable wall plate.

Rather than running cable all over, we went to the compusa and asked if they sold wireless cable modems. They said no, modems plus wireless router in the same box were inherently unreliable, and we should buy a wireless router. The guy claimed that I could set up the network using the only computer in the house, and then unplug and use that computer as a wireless client to the network.

I've tried twice to set it up:

1. plug the ethernet cable between computer and router.
2. Set up network, including setting wep 128bit security
3. unplug ethernet cable
4. provide web security code to her wireless pcmcia card (netgear).
5. nic card sees the wireless network and access internet fine.

reboot

the netgear nic card scans but cannot find a wireless network.


Is the entire idea flawed? Is it possible for a wireless network to work without any hard wired computer present?

thanks for advice.

Bob
February 19, 2007 8:44:00 PM

i was having the same problem with my wireless, i got rid of the security stuff and didnt have any problems. i found out later that i needed to update the drivers for my wireless card. try using network stumbler, just to make sure the router is broadcasting a signal. i have one computer on the wireless as of now with no problems
February 19, 2007 8:45:28 PM

Thanks Stranger for the reply, I've succeeded in setting up a network also using one wired, 2 wireless clients.

In this case, however, what I'm attempting to end up with is 0 computers wired, 1 wireless.

Possible? or Impossible?
Related resources
February 19, 2007 8:45:50 PM

It is definitely possible to have a wireless network and no hardwired computer. It must be a setting in the router. Is it a netgear router?? I have never used a netgear, so I don't know how to access it to adjust settings, but something is messed up. I have a linksys at home that i can have my desktop shut off and still use my laptop.

I know I am not much help either but I was just going to let you know that it is definitely possible.
February 19, 2007 8:54:28 PM

Excellant...great help confirming this is possible.

re network settings, setup wep128bit using a passphrase and a autogen for the code. using the passphrase setup in the nic, it was able to access the network upon unplugging the ethernet, just couldn't find the network in a scan after reboot.

perhaps the code wasn't permenantly fixed into the nic card memory.

The reason I don't believe this is the problem is that I've seen nic cards detect networks without problems, even when they lack security access. The nic card won't be able to connect to that network, but it finds it.

In this case, the nic card does not detect the network upon a reboot.

The router is a linksys, the nic card is a netgear.

Thanks for the continued dialogue, much appreciated.


Thanks for the suggestion to use the network stumbler, I'll download and experiment with that tonight.
February 19, 2007 9:18:41 PM

These can be tough to setup.

Cable modem Ethernet to WAN port on Router. 2nd Ethernet from LAN port on router to computer. Check to see if you are surfing the Internet. If you are, follow owners manual intructions on "How to configure" your router. Once you are logged in to the router proceed to 'Wireless Setup' Enter a different SSID number for test purposes....call it 'TEST'. Make sure SSID Broadcast is set to 'ON' and do not use a password for now. Set the channel (default is 6, but you can try 11 or 1 ). Once all that is done. Make sure you click 'Save Settings' on the router and allow the router to reboot. To be sure, login to the router again and check---do you see your 'TEST' un-encrypted network running? If 'YES' proceed to 'Network 'Places' on the laptop. Right click on that and take a look at the Properties, View Network connections. One of them should be the Wired Network card called 'Local Area Connection' and there should be another called 'Wireless Network Connection' Right click on the and make sure the word 'ENABLE' is not there if it is...click Enable. The lower right Task Bar should show something with a Wireless Signal Strength. It should be quite strong and you should be able to 'See' the wireless network now called "TEST' ..join that and if it says connected. It worked. At this point you can go start over and setup a proper Wireless Network.

Choose a SSID that doesn't reveal her location. Don't use WEP, It can be cracked in 10 minutes by hackers. Use WPA2 Personal with TKIP Encryption. The PSK (Pre-Shared Key) will be a pass phrase of your making. Routers I have worked on have two lines of ************ that makes it look like there is a pass phrase already there, just backspace all those out and enter in your own passphrase and you will have to do it Twice! Don't forget to 'Save Settings' on the router and it doesn't hurt to log back in to the router a 2nd time to 'check' that the new SSiD is active and the WPA2 TKIP is being used now. You should be able to join the new encrypted network by providing the password when prompted. You can have a wired AND a wireless at the same time. To test that the wireless is working you can unplug the wired network and try to surf the net.

It is also a good idea to set the default Gateway on each network adapter (wired and wireless) to the router's address. I have run into Routers that had to be 'Reset' before they would work, so if you have trouble along the way, don't hesitate to dig through the manual on the procedure to reset the router to factory default.

There is so many settings and things that can 'go wrong' that I have only scratched the surface of what it could be. I will try to keep checking back on this thread to see how you made out
February 19, 2007 9:31:00 PM

Where I live, Comcast offers a wireless modem/router combination. You pay a monthly fee but you don't have to mess with anything. My daughter uses it in her apartment without any problems. With that setup you could return the router, get your money back, and spend it on other games besides "computer repair man" :wink:
February 19, 2007 10:30:30 PM

Kshipper, thank you for your detailed post. This type of effort on my behalf was unexpected and very much appreciated.

Pirate, I also appreciate your post, such a device was what we initially wanted to buy.
February 19, 2007 11:48:16 PM

Yes you can have just wireless devices connected to the router without any wired connections.

One thing that I've noticed with my wireless connection is that it sometimes hangs up. If I turn off and back on my laptop wireless everything comes up.

Is your connection going through multiple walls?
!