Please help me cut to the chase!

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

I cannot seem to get myself around the jargon associated with wireless
networking, so I'm going to ask a bunch of stupid questions...


I want to set up a home network, and have not yet bought the hardware. I
want to network 2 computers running Windows XP Pro, and 1 running Win98. I
have unused USB ports and PCI slots available in all. I have a Speedtouch
USB DSL modem currently hooked to one of the XP machines, while the others
are stand alone machines. I'm running a firewall and a frequently updated
anti-virus program. Ideally, I would like to be able for them all to share
my internet hookup without having to leave one of them turned on at all
times to do so. Preferably so, but not a deal breaker.

I would like as fast a connection as I can get. This seems to be 802.11g, if
I understand this correctly.

What hardware would I need to purchase, as a complete solution?

What brands are easiest to manage? Which most cost-effective? How about ease
of setting up a firewall and encryption? What kind of money am I
realistically talking?

Sorry to be asking so stupid a question, but the websites I have looked at
have confused me beyond reason with conflicting info. I would be glad to
spend more time studying this issue, but it seems like every website I visit
has their own ax to grind. I would like to avoid the pitfall of buying
equipment that does not do what I need done...

Thanks in advance


---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.716 / Virus Database: 472 - Release Date: 7/5/2004
2 answers Last reply
More about please chase
  1. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Thu, 8 Jul 2004 21:24:06 -0400, "Steppenwolf"
    <aspenbus"@"bellsouth.net> wrote:

    >I want to set up a home network, and have not yet bought the hardware. I
    >want to network 2 computers running Windows XP Pro, and 1 running Win98.

    I'll assume all these computahs are desktops and not laptops.

    >I have unused USB ports and PCI slots available in all.

    Do these 3ea computahs have ethernet (network) ports? If not, your
    first purchase is a cheap ($15) ethernet card for the machines. If
    you don't want to deal with plugging in cards, then there are USB to
    ethernet adapters. However, if you're going to use USB to ethernet
    adapters, make sure your computah and the adapters are USB 2 and not
    USB 1.1.

    >I have a Speedtouch
    >USB DSL modem currently hooked to one of the XP machines,

    Retch barf puke. You can turn the computah that you have the USB DSL
    modem plugged into a router using Internet Connection Sharing (MS ICS)
    or some kind of proxy server software, but I don't recommend that.
    Methinks you should recycle your USB DSL modem and purchase an
    ethernet DSL modem. Anything that does ADSL DMT and has an ethernet
    interface will work. Prices on eBay are $25-$50. Efficient 5260,
    5360, Alcatel Speed Touch Home, etc are common models.

    >while the others
    >are stand alone machines. I'm running a firewall and a frequently updated
    >anti-virus program.

    Your unspecified firewall is probably a software firewall. That's
    fine for protecting one machine, but gets a bit tedious when dealing
    with a network of machines. The firewall function should really be in
    a dedicated hardware router. That's your next purchase. The router
    connects between the DSL modem and the computers and provides all the
    necessary services, protocols, acronyms, and buzzwords to share your
    multiple computahs.

    If one of your computahs is close to this router, methinks it would be
    best to just run a CAT5 ethernet cable between the computah and the
    router. Most routers have 4 ports on the back to handle 4ea
    computahs.

    To keep the cost in line, I suggest some kind of combination wireless
    and router. Lots to choose from, but all provide the same basic
    connectivity. Y'er right about 802.11g, but it's not mandatory as
    802.11b will work well enough for most DSL connection. Dig through:
    http://www.tomsnetworking.com
    for hardware reviews.

    >Ideally, I would like to be able for them all to share
    >my internet hookup without having to leave one of them turned on at all
    >times to do so. Preferably so, but not a deal breaker.

    That's why you need to dump your USB DSL modem and go all ethernet.

    >I would like as fast a connection as I can get. This seems to be 802.11g, if
    >I understand this correctly.

    Yep. 802.11g is faster than 802.11b. However, there are some
    suprises that cause it to slow down to 802.11b speeds. If you're
    going to run 802.11g, you should make an effort to insure that ALL
    your hardware is 802.11g, with no 802.11b only equipment in sight.

    >What hardware would I need to purchase, as a complete solution?
    1. ethernet cards or USB to ethernet adapters for the PC's
    2. ADSL DMT ethernet modem/bridge.
    3. Wireless 802.11g router (not access point)
    4. Various client radios for your assorted computahs.
    (Varies with type of computah, connection, distance, etc.)

    >What brands are easiest to manage?

    The cheapo hardware (Netgear, Linksys, Dlink) are pretty much the same
    in terms of ease of setup. To avoid suprises, buying all your
    wireless from one vendor is allegedly a good idea, but is not
    guaranteed to prevent suprises. I've gotten burned by poorly testing
    hardware and one abomination that would work with everyones access
    points except the vendors own. If I had to chose among the various
    manufactories, I would pick: Netgear, Linksys, Dlink in that order.
    I've had it with Belkin and Microsoft.

    >Which most cost-effective?

    The diminishing returns curve is very flat past a certain point. You
    don't get a 100% improvement in performance or reliability by simply
    spending twice as much. Once you get above the level of the garbage
    found at the bottom of the market, the low end stuff is very similar.

    >How about ease
    >of setting up a firewall and encryption?

    It's fairly simple after you RTFM. However, you will most assuredly
    need to update the firmware on arrival as NOBODY ships product with
    the latest firmware. This is especially true of current production
    products that continue software development after product release.

    >What kind of money am I
    >realistically talking?
    1. ethernet cards or USB to ethernet adapters ($15-$50ea)
    2. ADSL DMT ethernet modem/bridge. ($25-$50 used)
    3. Wireless 802.11g router (not access point) ($50-$120)
    4. Various client radios for... ($20 - $70ea)
    You may also need some CAT5 ethernet cables at about $5-$10 ea.


    --
    # Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
    # 831.336.2558 voice http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    # jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    # 831.421.6491 digital_pager jeffl@cruzio.com AE6KS
  2. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Thanks! This is the best (and clearest) advice I've had to date!

    "Jeff Liebermann" <jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us> wrote in message
    news:o6tre01u1olliuct5prriari4ah722t8tk@4ax.com...
    > On Thu, 8 Jul 2004 21:24:06 -0400, "Steppenwolf"
    > <aspenbus"@"bellsouth.net> wrote:
    >
    > >I want to set up a home network, and have not yet bought the hardware. I
    > >want to network 2 computers running Windows XP Pro, and 1 running Win98.
    >
    > I'll assume all these computahs are desktops and not laptops.
    >
    > >I have unused USB ports and PCI slots available in all.
    >
    > Do these 3ea computahs have ethernet (network) ports? If not, your
    > first purchase is a cheap ($15) ethernet card for the machines. If
    > you don't want to deal with plugging in cards, then there are USB to
    > ethernet adapters. However, if you're going to use USB to ethernet
    > adapters, make sure your computah and the adapters are USB 2 and not
    > USB 1.1.
    >
    > >I have a Speedtouch
    > >USB DSL modem currently hooked to one of the XP machines,
    >
    > Retch barf puke. You can turn the computah that you have the USB DSL
    > modem plugged into a router using Internet Connection Sharing (MS ICS)
    > or some kind of proxy server software, but I don't recommend that.
    > Methinks you should recycle your USB DSL modem and purchase an
    > ethernet DSL modem. Anything that does ADSL DMT and has an ethernet
    > interface will work. Prices on eBay are $25-$50. Efficient 5260,
    > 5360, Alcatel Speed Touch Home, etc are common models.
    >
    > >while the others
    > >are stand alone machines. I'm running a firewall and a frequently updated
    > >anti-virus program.
    >
    > Your unspecified firewall is probably a software firewall. That's
    > fine for protecting one machine, but gets a bit tedious when dealing
    > with a network of machines. The firewall function should really be in
    > a dedicated hardware router. That's your next purchase. The router
    > connects between the DSL modem and the computers and provides all the
    > necessary services, protocols, acronyms, and buzzwords to share your
    > multiple computahs.
    >
    > If one of your computahs is close to this router, methinks it would be
    > best to just run a CAT5 ethernet cable between the computah and the
    > router. Most routers have 4 ports on the back to handle 4ea
    > computahs.
    >
    > To keep the cost in line, I suggest some kind of combination wireless
    > and router. Lots to choose from, but all provide the same basic
    > connectivity. Y'er right about 802.11g, but it's not mandatory as
    > 802.11b will work well enough for most DSL connection. Dig through:
    > http://www.tomsnetworking.com
    > for hardware reviews.
    >
    > >Ideally, I would like to be able for them all to share
    > >my internet hookup without having to leave one of them turned on at all
    > >times to do so. Preferably so, but not a deal breaker.
    >
    > That's why you need to dump your USB DSL modem and go all ethernet.
    >
    > >I would like as fast a connection as I can get. This seems to be 802.11g,
    if
    > >I understand this correctly.
    >
    > Yep. 802.11g is faster than 802.11b. However, there are some
    > suprises that cause it to slow down to 802.11b speeds. If you're
    > going to run 802.11g, you should make an effort to insure that ALL
    > your hardware is 802.11g, with no 802.11b only equipment in sight.
    >
    > >What hardware would I need to purchase, as a complete solution?
    > 1. ethernet cards or USB to ethernet adapters for the PC's
    > 2. ADSL DMT ethernet modem/bridge.
    > 3. Wireless 802.11g router (not access point)
    > 4. Various client radios for your assorted computahs.
    > (Varies with type of computah, connection, distance, etc.)
    >
    > >What brands are easiest to manage?
    >
    > The cheapo hardware (Netgear, Linksys, Dlink) are pretty much the same
    > in terms of ease of setup. To avoid suprises, buying all your
    > wireless from one vendor is allegedly a good idea, but is not
    > guaranteed to prevent suprises. I've gotten burned by poorly testing
    > hardware and one abomination that would work with everyones access
    > points except the vendors own. If I had to chose among the various
    > manufactories, I would pick: Netgear, Linksys, Dlink in that order.
    > I've had it with Belkin and Microsoft.
    >
    > >Which most cost-effective?
    >
    > The diminishing returns curve is very flat past a certain point. You
    > don't get a 100% improvement in performance or reliability by simply
    > spending twice as much. Once you get above the level of the garbage
    > found at the bottom of the market, the low end stuff is very similar.
    >
    > >How about ease
    > >of setting up a firewall and encryption?
    >
    > It's fairly simple after you RTFM. However, you will most assuredly
    > need to update the firmware on arrival as NOBODY ships product with
    > the latest firmware. This is especially true of current production
    > products that continue software development after product release.
    >
    > >What kind of money am I
    > >realistically talking?
    > 1. ethernet cards or USB to ethernet adapters ($15-$50ea)
    > 2. ADSL DMT ethernet modem/bridge. ($25-$50 used)
    > 3. Wireless 802.11g router (not access point) ($50-$120)
    > 4. Various client radios for... ($20 - $70ea)
    > You may also need some CAT5 ethernet cables at about $5-$10 ea.
    >
    >
    > --
    > # Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
    > # 831.336.2558 voice http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    > # jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    > # 831.421.6491 digital_pager jeffl@cruzio.com AE6KS


    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.716 / Virus Database: 472 - Release Date: 7/5/2004
Ask a new question

Read More

Wireless Networking