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Wireless Nework Design and Ad-hoc Mode

By gmichaels ·
I am looking to set up a simple wireless network with 4 computers. It is a completely internal self-contained network where all we need is file and print sharing. No DSL or broadband access is required and ther will be no wired devices. I was looking at the Linksys product line expecting to find wireless hubs/switches. However, all I find is wireless broadband routers and access points. I do see there is something called ad-hoc mode that allows all wireless PCs to communicate with one another without a router or access point. I am wondering if this is the best way to go considering my requirements or should I spring for a router even though I do not need all that functionality? Also, can a wireless access point act as a hub or is this device just for connecting to a wired network? Also, any thoughts on USB wireless nics versus PCI? I have heard USB is better since it can be positioned easier in the event there is a signal strength issue.

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by Rasman In reply to Wireless Nework Design an ...

For this solution all you need is a host adapter on each device to be shared. Place the devices in the same SSID and place the host adapter in adhoc mode.
Ras.

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by gshackelford In reply to Wireless Nework Design an ...

The answer above will work if you want to set up a very basic network in ad-hoc mode with little or no control over the network (no ability to block unwanted users, etc.). If you want more control over the network, use an AP. As far as security, some basics are don't use the default SSID, enable WPA mode (if supported), or at a minimum, enable WEP with pre-shared keys. If possible, use MAC address filtering and only permit MAC addresses from the adapters in your network. As far as adapters, USB can be slower if the USB bus is congested (shared bandwidth) but does offer better control over antenna placement. (This is probably not an issue with 802.11B, more of an issue with A or G). If machines are under desks or similar locations, pci cards may not get very good reception, most use "rubber ducky" antennas with limited range and adjustments out of the box. As far as the router goes, you are paying more money for capabilities (and complexity) that it sounds like you don't need. A simple AP is usually cheaper and sometimes has better wireless performance than the equivalent router.

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by gmichaels In reply to Wireless Nework Design an ...

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