Idiot trying to build a home network

Hi guys,

A complete computer imbecile trying to make sense of home networking as we're about to get a second computer. We currently have a Draytek Vigor 2600 wired router and a 2mb broadband connection. This is linked by a LAN cable to the current machine. However, we want the new machine in a different room and don't want trailing wires, so I'm told we need a wireless access point to plug into the router and a wireless network interface card for the new machine.

Firstly, is that right? And secondly what would you recommend for a wireless access point as there seems to be a wide variety in terms of price, and I don't want to either buy something useless or waste unnecessary money. The second machine won't be used for anything too fancy - no online gaming or downloading movies or anything, but it will probably be used for downloading music, watching tv online, and general website access.

Any advice you could offer as to what to look for and how much to spend would be most welcome,


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  1. depending on how far away the new computer will be from the router and how many walls etc are between them,

    i would do a quick price comparison between buying the access point (or you could go with a combined adsl modem wireless router to replace your draytek) and a pci wifi card or alternatively if its either quite far away or you have thick walls look into powerline adaptors instead wich will allow a wired connection between your current router and the new machine.
  2. Thanks, montyuk.

    The new machine will be one floor directly above the old one (no more than 5m away) and both walls and floors are made of balsa wood and papier mache (house built in the 80s by shysters).

    Is the idea with the wifi card that I put it into the old machine and essentially make that the access point? Would that mean the old machine would have to be on in order for the new one to access the internet?

    I can't replace the router, sadly, as its provided by work and their IT chappie doesn't allow me to touch it. Annoying, as I have a wireless router provided by my ISP just sat around gathering dust.

    How much should I be looking at paying for an access point? I've seen prices varying from about £30 to about £300, and I have no idea what the benefits of one over the other is, nor what all the letters and numbers in their names indicate. As I say, the new machine won't be expected to do anything terribly flash onilne, so as long as the connection allows you to watch online tv and download music then speed doesn't really matter.
  3. You can make your wireless router into a Wireless Access Point by disabling DHCP, setting the IP address to something in the same range as the current router and connecting the current router to a LAN port on the Wireless router.

  4. Now that sounds like a plan. I shall away to the internet and find out what the hell DHCP is, and how one sets about disabling it. And then how to set an IP address. Failing that I could always read the manual.

    Cheers guys, most helpful, I owe you both a pint.
  5. What type of wireless router do you have? What's the IP address range of your current router?

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