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What do I need for a wireless internet connection?

Last response: in Components
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April 18, 2008 1:09:11 AM

As the title suggests I want to set up a wireless internet connection for my new rig. I know absolute jack about networking stuff so I'll provide all the info I think will be helpful. Id like to keep the cost as low as it can be.

I have a DS3L mobo and a Linksys cable modem hooked up to my old PC. I know I need a wireless router that will hook up to the cable modem and a suggestion would be great. I also think I need a wireless networking card to go in the other PC and this will connect with the router, once again a suggestion would be great. Aside from that Im pretty much in the dark about what I need/don't need.

As far as the WPA, Mbps, and price go I have no idea what is good/not good. Im only going to use this for basic browsing and for stupid STEAM aswell as for updating games.

Help of any sort would be greatly apreciated.
April 18, 2008 2:00:44 AM

If your going short distances and dont have to go thru obstructive objects that can block your signal then you can go with a wireless G router. I recommend Linksys for good dependability.

You have everything you need except:

1. Wireless Router (mentioned above)
2. Wireless PCI network card

You can get any brand of wireless network card and it will work with your router. If you can get linksys it would be better but any brand will do.


If you are going long distances, more than one floor or have a lot of items such as a fireplace, a lot of walls or anything that can interfere with your reception then you may want to go wireless N.

Wireless G is cheaper but is just fine if you are closer range. I do recommend going wireless N if you can afford it and if you move your circumstances may change and it will be good to have wireless N then.

You do want to set your wireless security after your connection is established. Instead of trying to explain to you here how to do this I suggest you call Linksys customer support and they will walk you thru it.

They have one of the best support setups around and will get you going from there.

This should cover the basics...
April 18, 2008 1:03:00 PM

thanks for posting, however there is a network section, i know its not the most lively of places, but thats onlt becasue everyone posts here instead, but if you were to post there it would get answered shortly.

unfortchantly what im going to say flys in the face engr753.

i do not reccomend linksys, im yeah there stuff works, but genrally they use cheap controllers chip and the like, this is becasue the last thing they want to do is encrouch on cisco (there mother company) space. aswell as there stuff looking fugly.

on the up shot, i would recommend any big brand like netgear and D link. both provide decent stuff. although my favouritist brand for Home network stuff is Belkin, i genrally buy comercail belkin stuff for my home, like i have a gigabit switch ect, and everything is modular (switch, Wifi access point, modem) but you proberly wont benfit from this. so netgear, d-link or belkin are all good. not so much Linksys.

another point to mention is you need a Wireless NIC, you can either go with a USB adaptor or a PCI alternative, all i can say is GO WITH PCI, even if the USB on is Free, USB wireless adaptors casue so many problrm often require there own software ect. Aviod @ all costs, in fact i reccomend if possible using ethernet for all desktop PC, the only time use Wifi is on my PDA and Notebook.

Wireless 'n' is still draft. it not really that mature yet, and unless you transferring Large file over a network i would stick with 'g' . as your Wifi will be quicker than you r connection.
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April 18, 2008 3:21:23 PM

I have used belkin and was a long time user of d-link but I have to say that wether linksys has the best components or not they are the easiest to configure and I have not had to constantly reconfigure my settings like I had to with the other brands.

Im not trying to slam what you have said dobby, you have some good points. It sounds as if your knowledgable enough to configure your systems and maintain it if you have issues.

What Im saying is for someone that has no idea, I feel that linksys is the easiest setup to configure and maintain and this is important to the general user that wants to set it up and not have to work on it again.

There are other good brands to use, not just the ones here we have mentioned although we have about covered most of the major brands. What I said was a suggestion and you can pick whatever brand that you can afford. If it is too hard to configure or doesnt work like it should, most places will take it back and let you exchange within at least a 2 week period. You may want to check with who you buy from to make sure.

Wireless N has been out for a long time now and is stable and longer ranged than wireless G. As I said before, wireless G may be perfectly fine if you dont have multiple floors or very long distances to pick up a signal.

Wireless G is cheaper so you could try it and as I mentioned before if it doesnt work well then simply take it back and get wireless N or another brand.
April 18, 2008 6:56:32 PM

As I need the connection to cross multiple floors I think Ill go for wireless N unless its way more expensive than G. As far as Brands go I know Belkin is good but they are also very expensive. As far as Linksys goes I have had no trouble with their products so far. Im just going to go with the least expensive reputable brand.

The only other question is what bit rate to get. Ive seen cards with rates forn 11Mbps all the way up to 300Mbps. Ive heard that 54Mbps should be sufficient but is this true?

@DOBBY- I posted it under Network Interface Cards since I thought I would need one. Didn't even see the section dedicated entirely to Networks. Ill be sure to be more carefull in the future.

Thanks for all the help!
April 18, 2008 8:27:52 PM

rob - Linksys will be fine, but stay 100 miles away from any Netgear equipment that requires setup or a driver. Their firmware/drivers seem to often have big problems that may never get solved, and meantime you are stuck emailing India. In your case, both router and NIC require firmware/drivers, so do NOT buy Netgear products.
The bit rate is set automatically (and dynamically), so don't worry about it. Wireless N may indeed be much more expensive than Wireless G; Wireless G supports 54Mbps, wireless b is 11Mbps, and -N will be faster. Since Wireless N is the wave of the future, and mixing Wireless N with older technologies can cause problems, I'd stick with all-wireless-N, and all from the same manufacturer (to reduce chances of incompatibility).
I've had the opposite experience from Dobby w/NICs. The PCI cards I've tried have been flaky, while (good quality) USB network adapters have worked well.
April 29, 2008 11:31:46 PM

I have been looking around and these seem to be a good deal. What do you guys think?

Wireless Card thing: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124069
Wireless router: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124085

for $125 it seemed like a good deal. If there's an option or something that these lack that I would need please tell me so I can try to find something with it. I liked that the router had WPA2 especially since I don't have any heavy duty antivirus currently.

Thanks for all the help!
April 30, 2008 12:14:36 AM

They look like good options. That router got a decent C/net review

Let us know how well they work out for you.
April 30, 2008 12:19:31 AM

I will when I get them. Im pretty broke right now so it could be like a month. Damn minimum wage!
April 30, 2008 3:04:33 AM

Just to clarify, the WPA2 just secures the wireless link itself; antivirus software works on what is coming over the link.
April 30, 2008 11:24:24 AM

Ok I knew it wouldn't totally save me from a virus but I figured that It couldn't hurt. Ill definately get some antivirus software but it should help in the meantime.
April 30, 2008 10:25:40 PM

WPA2 won't affect viruses at all; what DOES help a lot is having an actual physical router between your cable/DSL modem and your computer. The firewall in the router (unless you bypass it) does a good job.
May 1, 2008 3:31:24 PM

Thanks for clarification, I don't know crap about networking. Thanks for all the help.
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