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Best wireless add on to existing network

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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September 27, 2010 1:14:16 AM

Hi everyone.

I have an existing network in the house , 3 computers connected ,running on D-link 4100.
I would like to add wireless capability to that. Some areas of the house are hard to wire plus I would like to have Wi-Fi for our cell phones and connection to play station 3. Do I need wireless router or just an add on unit? Could some one recommend a product that is good or best in this category? Connectivity and ease of set up would be great . Would D-link be more compatible or it does not matter??

Thanks all in advance.

Peter
a b F Wireless
September 27, 2010 1:38:40 AM

You don't have to buy a new wireless router. You can just patch a standalone wireless AP. But the way products are priced these days, it's often cheaper to simply buy a whole new wireless router. And frankly, most ppl would probably find it easier to manage when everything is controlled by one device. I suppose the one exception is if you have a particularly expensive and full-featured, wired-only router (which it seems you do) and would like to continue using it. But if it's just a run-of-the-mill, $20-30 router, I'd recommend dumping/reselling it.

As far as compatibility, it doesn’t matter. All the wireless AP does is provide another point of entry for users, who are then dumped on your wired-only router like any other user. From the perspective of the router, it can’t tell the difference. And that *may* be a possible shortcoming. I can imagine a situation where a router being able to distinguish between wired and wireless users might be useful. I don’t have a specific example in mind, but I can imagine the possibility.

What you might consider doing is getting a decent wireless router and then experimenting. If you want to use it only as a wireless AP, you can just disable its DHCP server and patch it your D-Link 4100. IOW, configure it as wireless AP and ignore the routing features. But since it’s still a wireless router, you could also try using it as a full-replacement for your D-Link 4100. You have both options available. Or perhaps use the new wireless router as your primary router and hang the D-Link 4100 off it for special purposes (presumably gaming). A lot of ways to skin this cat.



September 27, 2010 2:24:53 AM

Thanks eibgrad for quick response.

Few things I am not so sure I understand. You quote "You can just patch a standalone wireless AP" would that be what I had in mind , additional wireless unit?
There is a little bit of a problem with replacing existing router. It sits in the basement and I am not sure how well it would work signal wise to upper floor.
I am new to this wireless idea ,so looking at what is available on the market is kind of hard not understanding which unit does what.
I am assuming that based on name this would be acceptable option D-Link DAP-1350, Wireless N Pocket Router & Access Point.
Do all newer routers or those AP devices have few options I am looking for WiFi for cell phones , plus laptop and play station network connectivity?

Thanks

Peter
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a b F Wireless
September 27, 2010 3:15:50 AM

"You can just patch a standalone wireless AP" would that be what I had in mind

Yes. A standalone wireless AP has a single ethernet port that's patched to your existing router over a LAN port.

That D-Link DAP-1350 is NOT what you want. While it is a wireless router, it's a "pocket" (or what's sometimes called a "travel") router. Its small size makes it convenient for road warriors. But such convenience comes at a price; limited range due to inferior antenna solutions. So stay away from anything labeled ""pocket" or "travel".

Just about any wireless G or N AP is going to be able to support your wifi cell phone, laptop, PS3, etc. WiFi is a standard, it’s meant to promote compatibility.

If you just want a wireless AP, there are plenty of makes and models. It would make sense to start out w/ wireless N at this point since N is quickly becoming the default or preferred protocol. Wireless N is also backward compatible w/ any wireless G devices. Wireless N comes in two speeds, single-stream (150mbps) and multi-stream (300mbps). The former is a bit cheaper, but obviously has half the throughput. While virtually all wireless APs support 2.4GHz, some also support 5.0GHz. 5.0GHz gives you some flexibility in case 2.4GHz is saturated. Also, some of these “dual band” wireless APs support only one band at a time, others both at the same time. Yeah, it can get a bit complicated.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Just some example, not necessarily recommendations. You need to read the reviews and perhaps even research review sites.
September 27, 2010 4:11:06 AM

oh this is so nice.

I was looking totally in wrong direction.

Thanks so much , I will do some research and make a purchase.
!