Wireless network advice wanted.

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by Biscuit, Nov 6, 2003.

  1. Biscuit

    Biscuit Guest

    I am rather a novice at computing.

    Would appreciate if you could itemise the parts needed to create a wireless
    network system to enable 1 x pc and 2 x laptops to simultaneously access a
    broadband internet connection.
    PC to use a PCI card and Laptops PCMCIA cards.

    I do not require any file or printer sharing. Just require that each
    computer is able to be on and offline at will, with no external computer
    running to control the network

    I would prefer a device with a built in broadband modem, firewall and 54g
    speed which could connect directly to the incoming broadband telephone line.
    Max transmission distance is 40m and each room has external windows.

    eBuyer has some interesting items at good prices, but I'm unsure what is


    Biscuit, Nov 6, 2003
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  2. Biscuit

    Treefrog Guest

    You need a wireless adsl (or cable) router. These are modems/Access Points
    all in one. Next you need pcmcia WiFi cards for the laptops and a PCI wifi
    card for the desktop machine. You can get routers that have a single
    ethernet socket (normal wired network), to save cash you could place the
    router next to the desktop machine and use the socket instead of a wireless
    connection. In this case you'd need a £12(ish) PCI network card instead of a
    £40+ WiFi Card.

    With this setup, you'd leave the wireless router switched on all the time
    (they're have very low power consumption) and your computers would
    automatically connect to the net whenever you boot them up.

    As far as 54Mbit wifi is concered, you don't need it. Your broadband
    connection is at most 2Mbit (likely 512Kbit) so the cheaper 11Mbit WiFi
    would be better suited. In other words you will notice absolutely zero
    difference using 54Mbit wireless networking.

    Looking at your post, you say the max transmission distance would be 40m.
    This could be a problem if it's through thick walls. You might need to buy a
    second AP (access point) and relay the network where the signal gets weak.

    So, a parts summary for your basic wireless network.

    1x wireless router adsl or cable modem depending on your type of broadband
    2x PCMCIA wifi cards for the laptops
    1x PCI network card (RJ45 type)

    I reckon you could get this kit for just under £200.

    Good luck

    P.S. Goto www.wardriving.com it'll hopefully do a good job of explaining why
    you should secure you wifi netoworks. ;o)
    Treefrog, Nov 6, 2003
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  3. Does anyone have any recommendations for the PCMCIA cards?
    Steve Rainbird, Nov 6, 2003
  4. Biscuit

    Biscuit Guest

    treefrog, Thanks for the very indepth reply.

    Biscuit, Nov 6, 2003
  5. Biscuit

    aj Guest

    You might want to consider USB cards, with my crappy laptop I had problems
    with the pcmcia cards (power problem with the card slot i think) and found
    the USB cards to be much more reliable and easier to set up. The other thing
    is you can use them in a desktop easily if you wish without having to open
    it up.

    I'd stick to 11Mb networking if the only thing you want to use it for is
    Thats what I have set up and it works a treat!
    aj, Nov 6, 2003
  6. I will be using mine on the move. Most probably the majority in Airport
    lounges. So the PCMCIA option is probably better form me also perhaps its
    worth getting one of the faster ones to make use of any faster networks
    around the world.
    Steve Rainbird, Nov 6, 2003
  7. Biscuit

    David Mahon Guest

    Some of the cards annoying portrude from the PCMCIA slot by about an inch
    permanently. This is a pain if you're lugging it around packed in a laptop
    case because you have to take it out all the time (or risk breaking it off).

    I got a 3Com card with an "X-Jack" antaenna because of this (it pops out
    at the push of a button).

    Something to take into consideration.
    David Mahon, Nov 6, 2003
  8. Cheers,

    Are there any others that don't protrude?
    Steve Rainbird, Nov 6, 2003
  9. Biscuit

    Martin² Guest

    Does anyone have any recommendations for the PCMCIA cards?

    Orinoco (by Proxim.com) are reputedly the best.
    However wifi is very sensitive to positioning the receiver, even 1/2 inch
    can make difference,
    so you may want to consider USB wifi adapters, which being at the end of 1.x
    m wire can work better,
    certainly instead of internal PCI cards.
    Unfortunately Orinoco USB adapters are virtually unobtainable in UK at the
    moment !
    (unless somebody know otherwise ?)
    Martin², Nov 7, 2003
  10. My Dell Inspiron 8200 has a Mini PCI slot underneath. If you have one
    of these slots, there is a cheap trick you can do... Buy a Dlink
    WDL-520+ PCI card (£35ish) open the can up, and inside is a socketted
    MiniPCI card, remove it, stick it in your laptop. Works a treat, and is
    1/5th of the price Dell want for their wireless card..
    Zapp Brannigan, Nov 7, 2003
  11. Biscuit

    Treefrog Guest

    lol, ok. I was only trying to save you some money.

    But, being a total geek myself, I know what it's like to want to best kit
    available. So if that's the case, you may want to look at some of the nifty
    100Mbit wifi products arriving on the market around now.

    BTW - if you ever find a wireless gateway that gives 54Meg per client then
    I'd like to hear about it please. In fact, if you ever find one that offers
    11Meg, I'd like to know.
    +11Mbit WiFi is only really usefull if you have a high traffic LAN, serving
    lots of clients from a database or something like that.

    Anyway, good luck and enjoy your wireless connectivity!
    Treefrog, Nov 7, 2003
  12. I've been persuaded that 11Meg is probably all I need.
    Steve Rainbird, Nov 7, 2003
  13. Biscuit

    Chris Hill Guest

    I would strongly recommend getting USB network interface for the
    PC, rather than PCI. With PCI your stuck with the antenna on the
    back of the PC, in close proximity to all the other cables and stuff.
    With USB you can move the WiFi adapter and find the best location
    for it. I had the former and was struggling, moved to the latter
    (with an ebuyer USB cheepo) and now have far fewer problems.
    Chris Hill, Nov 10, 2003
  14. Biscuit

    Stoic Guest

    If you do the D-Link trick there are a couple of things to watch out

    1. When I did it I swapped out the Truemobile mini-pci card that was
    installed in my Inspiron 8200. When you pop open the door on the bottom
    of the notebook, you see that the card has the antenna cable attached.
    When you open the D-link card to get to the mini-pci card you can also
    see that it too has an atenna cable attached. It's easy to see where the
    cable connection is. But if you are adding a mini-pci wifi card to a
    system that hasn't yet had one installed, you had better check that the
    cable is easily available before you buy and dismantle the D-link card.

    2. Be sure to install the D-link software before attaching the card. It
    makes it easier for Windows (I'm using XP-pro) to recognize the hardware
    after you install the card.

    As to the benefits of 802.11g over 802.11b, unless you are transfering
    large files between local pc's, 'b' should be all you need. My cable
    modem only accesses the internet at 3 meg per second max. 802.11b, while
    rated for 11 meg, really only gets 4-6 meg in the real world. I've stuck
    with 802.11b, especially now that the prices have gone down with the
    intro of 'g'.

    Bait for spammers:
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    Stoic, Nov 22, 2003
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