I finally am going to switch from this lousy 56k modem to broadband cable! This is a turning point in my life.
Anyway, I have few questions first that maybe you can help me with.
I want to get wireless cable if possible. What kind of routers do you reccomend? I want to get a good deal.
I have 3 computers in my house. I plan to keep a wireless router near one. Can I simply, instead of buying a wireless receiver card, simply plug my computer into the router and only use the wireless for my other comps that are farther away?
Is there a special kind of Wireless Adapter card that I need to put in my computer, or will anyone work?
Where can I find everything I need for a good price?
Yeah, it makes a huge difference. I don’t think I could go back to dial-up. Just the ability to get software updates in seconds is a major advantage.
Remember to get a cable router and not an ADSL router. Both are sometimes packaged as broadband routers.
As for make, you get people with very varied experience of all makes. Some scream linksys is best and others say they go for d-link and linksys sucks etc. It’s very hard to get reliable information on routers. I personally have a chepo safecom router and it handles things just fine - fast transfer and does all the port forwarding right etc.
My bittorrent, edonkey, Limewire, Skype, etc. all work properly.
Now I just have a wired router so extra things you have to look for in wireless ones are security, transfer rate and range. You have to set up encrypted access to your wireless network so that neighbours don’t leech your bandwidth.
Yeah but you need to get the kind that has both ethernet ports and wireless access.
You need the kind that matches the router protocol e.g. 802.11g.
www.newegg.com and click on the section wireless networking then click go and you’ll get a list of wireless routers.
This shouldn’t matter unless the actual “modem” (cable or DSL) is built into the router. The router deals with the TCP/IP (or whatever other protocols you’re using) traffic only, regardless of what it’s connected to. I would avoid any such “integrated” solutions, if indeed any exist (I’ve never heard of them.)
However, I would definitely avoid hooking the cable modem directly to your computer using USB. Stick with ethernet only. (In your case, however, this won’t be an issue, since you plan on using a router and multiple PCs.)
I use a Linksys “b”-wireless model at home that’s worked fine, as long as I don’t let WinXP control the wireless link (I let the adapter’s manufacturer’s - in this case Intel - drivers do the job on my laptop.) It allows both wired (cat5) and wireless (802.11b) connections.
You have to set up encrypted access to your wireless network so that neighbours don’t leech your bandwidth.
Haha, yea. I was talking to a friend and he said he new someone who had a neighbor with Wireless Cable. He only had a modem so he just got an adapter and is using his neighbors service. I’l be sure to encrypt.
I think all I will need is a “g” router. From what I was told, “d” is only needed for older computers. Is there a way I can check to see what my comp supports?
Yeah, definitely go for an 802.11g compatible model, as I think they’re back-compat with “b” and “a”. I’d tend to avoid the current “broad spectrum” units (pre-“n”, I think it is…) that are trying to guess at what the next standard will be. They’re supposedly fast, but may not line up with the actual “n” standard when it gets ratified. Altho, if they’re flash-upgradeable, they may be okay. You’re just paying more for “neato features” that aren’t finalized yet. Further, you’ll need “n”-compatible client adapters, adding to the price. Also, the speed increase will only help you for data transfers within your local network (great for lan parties) but your bottleneck will still be your broadband connection. Check wikipedia’s 802.11 description for more info…
As to what your comp supports, the one you plan to have “near” the router needs a network adapter (ethernet) and the other ones, I assume you still need wireless adapters for. Just basically make sure they’re 802.11g, too. They can be internal cards, or USB dongles… whatever works and/or is cheapest.
802.11 b, g, and n all operate at the same frequency (2.4Ghz) so they are downward compatible (a ‘g’ adapter can run on a ‘b’ network, it will just run at the reduced speed).
802.11a is a different animal entirely (runs at a different frequency) but some cards can operate on both frequencies and support all a/b/g. That said, ‘a’ is not really used a lot, so unless you’re supporting legacy devices (or buying used on eBay), it’s unlikely you’ll run into an 802.11a device.
Depending on what you want to do, 801.11b may be more than fast enough. The bandwidth of 802.11b is more than enough to completely carry the full throughput of a high speed internet connection. The only time you’ll notice speed issues is doing computer to computer transfers within your network (like those to or from your wired computer). So, if you can score ‘b’ equipment ‘on the cheap’ I wouldn’t necessarily be afraid of it. If you’re buying new, then you’ll likely want to go for the faster ‘g’ equipment as there isn’t usually much price difference.
This shouldn’t matter unless the actual “modem” (cable or DSL) is built into the router. The router deals with the TCP/IP (or whatever other protocols you’re using) traffic only, regardless of what it’s connected to. I would avoid any such “integrated” solutions, if indeed any exist (I’ve never heard of them.)[/quote]
No but ADSL modems usually have a usb connection whereas cable modems have RJ45 - the router I have doesn’t have a usb input. I’ve seen routers advertised separately for ADSL and cable and they aren’t the all in ones. I know the ones you mean though - you can buy them from the companies that supply your internet.
You’ll need the ethernet cables as someone pointed out as they don’t come with the router - that’s for the wired computer so it can be a short one. You’ll need wireless adaptors for each of the other PCs. I think all your PCs will have ethernet so that’s covered. Normally usb adaptors work over usb but I’m sure your machines will have usb too.
So in summary you need:
cable router with wireless and wired access
1 RJ45 ethernet cable for wired PC
2? wireless adaptors for the other PCs
When choosing whether to go with 802.11g or b, the 802.11b is likely cheaper and it will support full internet speed. It will be slow for transferring files between your PCs though.
Wow, thanks for all the help. I have learned a lot already. If there is anything else you think I should know, please say so.
So once I get the Wireless network up, I can plug in my adapter into one of my PCs and it will connect through the LAN?
Also, will the Shared Folders in XP be shared with all the computers? Say I wanted to take a file from one PC to another. Could I just stick the file in the Shared Folder and then just DL it from my other PC?
Yes, it should, but keep in mind that security is typically off by default on your router (meaning that all your neighbors can easily connect to, and access, your network resources and net connection.) Definitely dive into the router’s manual and at least change the default passwords and settings to something more secure. Do some online research to find out what security settings are best.
I’ve found file sharing with XP to be a pain, but yes, that’s the way its supposed to work (and it may do fine for you.) Software firewalls (recommended on all your connected systems) can wreak havoc on this functionality, and usually takes some deep tweaking to get it working. I ended up setting up an FTP server (like FileZilla) so that I could have better control. ([Mini Rant]Microsoft loves to take away control from the user. I guess they think we’re too dumb to be trusted to work our own computers.[/End Mini Rant])
You’ll probabily need to set a network up. Insuring the network name on all computers are the same… etc… XP can do that for and creat an client disk to set other computers up.
With that said some routers (if not all) have a little web-based interface inside them. This allows you to forward certain ports /edit certains settings and so on… One you may need to set up to even have the internet working is the mac address. My ISP has the internet connection set to one mac address, this bassically stops other people hijacking my internet so easily or simply having multiple computers set up (they dont like people having a network) So you might want to check into that - with my old router i had to ring up and have my mac address changed to the one set in my router cause I couldnt set one or ghost one… my newer one is a lot better and way cheaper and ghosts /copys my mac address =)
Wireless cards - all usally compatible with each other cause you have those ‘ISP hot spots’ in places where if you have XYZ’s internet connection /service… A McDonalds down by me has a BT open internet set up there so anyone with a laptop /wireless card can surf the internet if they are a BT customer. That and the numerious reports where they have wireless internet (like hotels) with people “hacking” the internet so they dont have to pay for the internet… very good =)
And as aready said, the more expensive doesn’t mean the best. The first router i got was quite expensive from US robotics or somin which i was told is a good router company - that was so crap in comparison to this Unheard of company (Peak) which was the cheapest in the shop… no more than £10 if not £5…
On the back of that router there are five Ethernet ports. The one that’s not grouped with the others is the one that an ethernet cord from your modem will plug into. The four that are grouped together towards the power plug-in are for plugging in other computers so they can access your high-speed internet. Hope this helps.
If you choose that one, you will need a cable modem as well, like this
(the modem changes the cable signal into an ethernet signal, to plug into the router (the ethernet port that is seperate from the rest))