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Belkin Wireless Router and PCI Card problem

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August 20, 2004 8:54:20 PM

Currently I have two PCs both running Windows XP Professional Edition. I have decided to get a Belkin 802.11G 2.4ghz 54g Wireless Router, a Belkin Wireless 802.11G 2.4ghz 54G Wireless PCI card for my sisters PC which is in her bedroom and I acquired a Netgear 10/100mbit NIC card from my mate. I don't know that much about networking so my only guidance was the instruction manuals that Belkin provided.

So far I managed to get the following setup by a combination of following the instructions in the manual provided and fiddling about blindly. I currently have my downstairs PC with the Netgear 10/100 NIC connected to the router and I can successfully connect to the internet. I also have a Firewire port on my Audigy 2 which seems to be classed as a device for networking. Foolishly I seemed to have formed a network bridge of these two devices :-(

My sister's PC has a 54g PCI Card which has been installed correctly and it had trouble detecting that my Belkin 54g Router had a wireless connection. Miraculously it can now establish a connection with the router but it seems that the connection is worthless. I can't access the internet or access any files on the other PC even though the relevant files on the other PC have been marked as shared.

Also the router has a built in firewall and NAT both of which were enabled by default. I turned off the firewall beacause it was causing MSN Messenger to slow down when transferring files. Later I realised that MSN was being slowed down due to the NAT being enabled so like an idiot I not only disabled NAT but I ended up being locked out of the configuration page. After a restart I managed to still connect to the internet and MSN works fine. However I am unhappy with the configuration and this is where I need your help. Since I am very bad at setting up networks I will need detailed step by step instructions on how to go about executing my query.

First of all how can I reset my router so I can access my router configuration page?

Then once I have done that how can I go about networking my sisters Wireless PCI card and the Main PC with Netgear NIC to the Belkin 54g router, and then have the ability on both PCs to access:
- the internet
- any device plugged into either PC from any of the PCs
- any files either PC from any of the PCs

Lastly with the firewall and NAT left on how do I configure the router to allow MSN full bandwith, so that MSN doesn't get slowed down by the router's NAT or Firewall.

PC Spec: AMD Athlon XP 2000+, ECS K7S5A Motherboard, 768MB SDRAM PC133, Sparkle nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 32MB AGP Graphics Card, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 6.1, Windows XP
August 20, 2004 9:27:12 PM

Quote:
I also have a Firewire port on my Audigy 2 which seems to be classed as a device for networking.

?????????????????
That's not for networking.

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August 21, 2004 1:11:06 PM

Yeah, you can use firewire for a network device though I wouldn't. As to the original post. Well you bought belkin. That was mistake number 1. To figure out the rest of what you might have done improperly, or more accurately, what might currently be the problem: you will have to give a step by step of what you've done to the last detail. As far as resetting your router. Again, check the manual. Should be a reset switch somewhere on the router. That would put you back at ground zero. THen wirelessly you shouldn't really have much to do unless you want to enable a security measure. SSID should be broadcasting by default and no encryption or MAC filtering should be enabled. If your still not working after resetting your router explain what's going on in DETAIL.
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August 22, 2004 6:27:23 PM

OK I apologise for the long post but here are the exact details of what I have done.

I had a Netgear 10/100 card installed in my PC as standard when I installed Windows XP professional. Once XP professional was set up I installed the router byt first inserting the CD-ROM to install the router software. Then once the router asked me to shut down my PC I did so. Then I unplugged the cable going from my modem to the NIC card and plugged it into the Router's WAN/Internet port. Then using the extra cable I made a connection from the NIC to Port 1 on the router. Then I powered up the PC and continued the installation from there. It detected my cable modem after a couple of retries and then I was told that the Internet was setup.

Then I installed a Wireless network card in my sisters Windows XP Pro PC. I first put the CD in to install the software first and then when instructed I shut down the PC to put the wireless network card in. I put it in the PC and then powered it back on and then the card was detected. However the Belkin Wireless router at this point was not detected.

Mean whilst back on the main pc connected via NIC card I set all the necessary files I wanted and the printer to shared so that they could be accessed on any PC in the network. I then foolishly managed to bridge my Fire wire and NIC card but I don't quite remember how I did that. I used a Windows Wizard in my Network Places don't know exactly which steps I took though.

After a week of the wireless card sitting idle in the second machine the card finally detected my network. So then I connected to the network but it proved to be useless as I couldn’t get any Internet whatsoever and it couldn't even detect the other PC on the network. I have tried running the various Network Wizards in My Network Places but the wizards don’t even start!

I also turned off the router’s NAT and firewall in order to speed up MSN. However I was then locked out of my router’s browser based configuration page. So I reset my router and I can now access the configuration page. However MSN Messenger is extremely slow with my NAT and Firewall on. How do I get MSN to function at optimum speed without being affected by the router’s NAT and Firewall?

So where do I go from here?

PC Spec: AMD Athlon XP 2000+, ECS K7S5A Motherboard, 768MB SDRAM PC133, Sparkle nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 32MB AGP Graphics Card, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 6.1, Windows XP
August 23, 2004 9:33:50 PM

Not sure what you mean by turning off NAT. These are NAT routers. That's their purpose. I guess it has a software firewall built in as well though NAT itself is firewall in a sense. Anyway, I don't quite understand what software you would need to have installed. The router should have been accessible via an IP in your browser and setup as a DHCP server as well so there really is no configuration there. Can't really come up with what function the software would have performed. Guess others with more Netgear specific experience may be able to shed some light on that one.
Running the network wizards may have actually messed up some things. Hard to say but I haven't used a wizard for network settings in windows beyond the first time I tried and it broke TCP/IP. Guess there might be something you have to use a wizard for, perhaps in XP home. Not in XP Pro though. Manually configuring is generally the better solution. For me anyways.

As to the wireless card, if it has a link to the AP but wasn't picking up an IP that sounds like an encryption issue, like the AP had it setup but the client didn't. Regardless, the fact you say it took a week to hookup indicates something going on there. Perhaps interference. First thing, if you want wireless connectivity is to get the most current driver installed, make sure your AP is broadcasting the SSID and get a link from AP to client. May need to play around with the default channel on the AP if interference is in play. If your talking about messenger file sharing being slow you probably will need to port forward for that. Not sure since you don't really specify what you mean by slow. Like everything is slow, or just sharing files? Is the router UPnP? Is that turned on if you do have it? You can try putting your PC in the DMZ. That will alleviate any issue with the NAT firewall, or should anyway, but leaves your PC open and is not recommended.
August 24, 2004 8:31:40 PM

By turning off NAT I mean by disabling it. There is an optional in the router page to disable it but I ended up locking myself out of the router's configuration page. However MSN worked smooth as silk, so it's clear the NAT was intefering with it.

MSN logs on and I can converse with people without any problems. However the problem's occur when I send files to other people. I have checked and the recipients all have DSL connections and when they send files to me they are downloaded in seconds. Also when I choose to broadcast webcam it refuses to start. So how can I configure MSN to work around the NAT and work at optimum speed as if my cable modem were directly plugged into the NIC? I don't want to place my PC in the DMZ zone because it is incredibly unsafe.

I have also been aware that my neighbour has a wireless connection running on channel 11, therefore I have changed both the router and card channel to 6 to ensure minimum inteferance although there seems to be little difference or improvement in signal. I'm sorry to confuse you about my router but there is no software installed all the options are in a web page that is accessed through a browser.

So with my current configuration does anyone know how to get my sister's PC with a Wireless PCI card to connect to my router and be able to access the peripherals and files that are installed on the downstairs machine, which connects to the router via NIC. I am new to networks so I need the instructions in layman's terms. For details of my setup refer to the original post. Oh and what does AP mean?

PC Spec: AMD Athlon XP 2000+, ECS K7S5A Motherboard, 768MB SDRAM PC133, Sparkle nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 32MB AGP Graphics Card, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 6.1, Windows XP
August 24, 2004 9:29:47 PM

NAT is how your router hides your machines. It's what these devices do. Turning off NAT turns your device into a switch, which means your getting an IP directly from the modem. This is akin to putting your machine in the DMZ with NAT on. Your probably more at risk this way. Frankly I can't understand why a company would even allow it. You can use the router's switch without disabling NAT, you just would bypass the WAN port. Somebody step in if I am missing something. Turning off NAT on a NAT router is like turning the radio's off on an AP (Access Point btw). It completely removes the purpose/function of the hardware. Anyway, enough of that.

As to your client problem. Have you followed the instructions in the manual to the letter? I'd probably default everything if you've been playing around with settings. Get the gear back to factory defaults and then just follow the instructions. Then you can post with what problems your running into.

As far as getting messenger to work properly, it mentions it in your routers manual. Well, if your using the manual I downloaded a few minutes ago from the Belkin site. Port forwarding. Gives you pretty good details on how to do it. Again, follow the book, then ask specific questions when you run into a roadblock.
August 27, 2004 2:34:58 PM

OK I have taken your advice. I have unplugged my router and reset all the settings. Then I installed my sisters PCI card all over again and followed the instructions to the letter. I did not change any settings unless asked to by the manual (e.g. when setting up the Wireless PCI card I have an option to let Windows configure my wireless card but Belkin told me to untick that and use their software to configure the card) Then once that was set up I changed the channel on that card to channel 6 as the default channel was intefearing with my neighbours wireless network.

Then I installed the router following the instructions in the manual exactly to the letter. Then I changed the router's channel to channel 6 so that it would be able to communicate directly to my sisters PCI Card. I then restarted my sister's PC so that it could perhaps refresh the card. I even tried shutting down the entire machine therefore turning off the card so it has to search for a new signal when it powers up. No luck. The router is now at default settings with the only changed setting being the wireless channel on both router and card being shifted to 6 to avoid inteferance.

So now I can run MSN messenger and I can log on and talk to people. I can download files from my recipients with DSL connections and they download quickly as they are meant to. I can also view the recipients webcam at a silky smooth framerate. OK maybe not silky smooth but as good as DSL is meant to be. However when I send files to them, it appears my router is slowing them down. MSN messenger then pops up with a little information bubble at the top of the messenge window with a link saying "click here to find out why you have a slow transfer rate" Clicking on that link takes me to MSN's website which suggests that I am behind a NAT or Firewall. I doubted that conclusion at first but I now stand by it because when I directly connected my Modem to the NIC File Uploads were as fast as they were meant to be. Also the router stops me from sending webcam signals to my recipients.

So now that I have followed your advice where do I go from here? I have very little knowledge on networks so I need instructions on how to get around the MSN speed problem and how to connect my sisters PC so that it can use the internet and access files and peripherals attached to the Main PC (connected via NIC). I am nor familiar with Network jargon terms so if you do use any network jargon please elucidate.

Thank you for your help so far!

PC Spec: AMD Athlon XP 2000+, ECS K7S5A Motherboard, 768MB SDRAM PC133, Sparkle nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 32MB AGP Graphics Card, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 6.1, Windows XP
August 27, 2004 5:51:18 PM

Just for future reference, adjusting the channel on the client device, the PCI card is only relevant if your running an Ad Hoc wireless network, in other words, no AP or Router/AP combo. Only the AP channel is a matter of concern if in infrastructure, which you are.

Anyway, all you need to do is forward the port on the router to your machine with MSN messenger. Different routers will have different interfaces and procedures for port forwarding. Just follow your manual. should give you a detailed walkthrough. if you don't have the paper copy then just go get a pdf copy from the website of the Mfg that makes your gear. Will be a downloadable Adobe file (probably an Adobe pdf anyway) within the support area.
August 31, 2004 11:58:07 AM

Thank you for your help

I'm not sure what you mean by forward the port to the machine. Please elucidate on this matter.

Thanks

PC Spec: AMD Athlon XP 2000+, ECS K7S5A Motherboard, 768MB SDRAM PC133, Sparkle nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 32MB AGP Graphics Card, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 6.1, Windows XP
August 31, 2004 12:26:54 PM

did you read the manual (AKA RTFM)?

<pre> \|/
jlanka (. .)
___________oOOo_(_(_)_)_oOOo___________
</pre><p>
August 31, 2004 3:46:36 PM

Correct, your manual will address port forwarding and in which manner it handles it. If you do not have a paper copy then go to the website and download a version from there. Usually in pdf format but you can go to adobe.com and download the free reader if you do not have Acrobat Reader installed on your machine.
October 2, 2004 6:10:23 PM

Sorry to dig out an old topic but I have now solved many problems with the router, despite some still remaining.

My sister's PC has been updated with Service Pack 2 from the CD that I received from Microsoft. One of the utilities I received was a Wireless Connection Utility, which was much better than Belkin's program, as this time the router downstairs actually saw my sister's PC and in My Network Places, I clicked on "show other workgroup PCs" and it saw my sisters PC. Also in my router menu my sister's PC was added to the DHCP client list. But when I connect to my network XP SP2 first says "limited or no connectivity" and after a while this soon changes to "connected". When I go into Internet Explorer I can't use the internet. When I go into My Network Places I can't see any PCs and I can't access any Printers or files which have been shared along with my Internet Connection. When monitored the PCI card was sending out lots of packets but none were being received, and the signal strength was on excellent. When I connect to my neighbours network, I can get in and use the internet without any problems and I can access any files and printers on the network (yes I can use his network as there is no security turned on, lol). However his router is a 802.11b instead of my lovely 802.11g so I have a speed deficit of about 30mbps, not to mention a slightly poor signal :( .

With the above in mind surely I can now deduce that its something to do with my router. I have kept all the settings automatic and on default with the exception of the Upnp option, which I have turned on so that my programs can function properly (and it also solved my problem with MSN's upload speeds!) So now what is stopping my sister's PC from accessing the shared internet and files and printers despite that fact that the router acknowledges its presence and how can I fix this annoying problem.

PC Spec: AMD Athlon XP 2000+, ECS K7S5A Motherboard, 768MB SDRAM PC133, Sparkle nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 32MB AGP Graphics Card, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 6.1, Windows XP
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