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Wired+Wireless home network purchasing recommendations...

By david__001 ·
Hello all. I originally started this topic in the Q&A section, but found the format (especially wordcount restrictions) a bit too limiting...

I am wondering if anyone can contribute any advice on my current wired+wireless networking activities...

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*Current* set-up:

One cable broadband connection into upstairs room.
Connection goes straight into a broadband modem and then into an ethernet connection for a desktop PC.
Provider is ntl (UK).

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*Planned* home network development:

Fundamentals:

-- Set up home network to serve both the desktop and new laptop via a fast/secure wireless router (G-standard).
-- Internet connection will be ported into the wireless router, and the connection shared with the desktop PC (via hard-wire) and laptop (via wireless connection) respectively.

Considerations:

-- Wish to keep broadband connection point in the same place, meaning that the wireless router will be incorporated at the desktop location on the upstairs floor.

-- Wish to use the wireless laptop around the house/garden. Biggest distance likely to arise between the wireless router and wireless laptop is around 20m. The average distance will only be around 10m. (Both distances are estimated in diagonal straight lines from the upper floor wireless router position to possible seating spots down in the garden) The distances would be a lot less, if, say, the laptop was directly under the router, for example, in the sitting room.

-- Property is around 100 years old, with reasonably sized walls (nothing *too* thick, but old and sturdy all the same -- thicker than most 'new builds' but not excessive) It could have been built anywhere in between 1900 to 1925, so I hope you get the kind of building I'm talking about...

-- May add another desktop to network. Means that the equipment must support expansion beyond current remits (but I will leave this out of the discussion for now)...

-- Wish to opt for wireless router + laptop card of same brand. I hear such set-ups work better together with fewer problems...

-- Laptop PCMCIA wireless card has to work with a wireless network that my employer runs in/around their workplace location. The signal is available for a substantial range around this working area (covering many blocks by means of powerful antennae). I have seen several of my associates use a particular kind of PCMCIA card in their laptops to receive this signal -- but I assumed this was a coincidence? Surely, the type of card one uses should not affect the operationability/performance in this area too much? Is this an important issue?

-- Although it is unlikely that both the desktop and laptop will be used at the same time, it could in fact happen occasionally. In addition, as well as accessing the files on my desktop when it is on, I also hope to be able to use the laptop to access the broadband connection even if the desktop is off -- I assume that under the system I outlined above that this is possible?

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Current hardware investigations/solutions:

Towards finding some solutions, here's what I?m currently considering / looking for recommendations on purchasing:

-- Wireless Router: *fast + secure* wireless router desired... Have opted for G-standard equipment (802.11G, apparently the latest version; known to handle up to 54mbps). Notable/desirable brands include the usual suspects, such as Netgear, D-Link, Linksys, Buffalo, SMC...

-- Card for laptop: PCMCIA card is desired. Wish to avoid USB-based products. (I have been told there are less problems with PCMCIA products. Apparently, they are also easier to carry around). This card has to work at home and in the city wireless area... I also understand that some laptops come with wireless cards already, but in my experience, superior equipment is gained from separate purchases... Notable/desirable brands again include Netgear, D-Link, Linksys, Buffalo, SMC...

-- Laptop: A blend of *battery life + performance* is desired... Have seen notable/desirable units from Dell, Toshiba, IBM, Sony and HP (previously Compaq)...

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If anyone has any specific hardware recommendations/examples, these would be very much appreciated! :) Input from those who already running such a set-up would be especially useful. Any other tips/advice that I haven't considered are also highly valued! :)


Thanks in advance.

David.

PS: somebody provided me with an excellent link from vicomsoft.com (http://www.vicomsoft.com/knowledge/reference/wireless1.html). I have found this link very useful as an introduction to the subject of wireless networking.

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Wireless Standards

by TheChas In reply to Wired+Wireless home netwo ...

From your extensive list of what you need to accomplish, the first step is to get the specifications for the wireless system that your company uses.

There are at least 3 different incompatable wireless networking standards.

If you wish to have a single wireless plug-in card handle the connection for both your employer's and your own networks, you may be limited in your hardware choices.

Even if the wireless network at work follows a common standard, the IT department may only support using the 1 brand of card.

Then, you can check out your options for a compatible access point for your home system.

I would configure your home system as follows:

Wired hub / router between broadband modem and desktop system.

Connect the wireless access point to the uplink connection of the router.
(This way, you can shut down the wireless network and still have your wired network running.)

Use hubs and access points with 4 port support (4 port switches are common on broadband routers in the US)

Chas

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