New wireless networking equipment?

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New wireless networking equipment?

Postby beanboy89 » Sun 05 Mar, 2006 1:06 pm

First off, I have to say I'm no expert at networking, in fact, I know little about it. So here's my question:

Currently, I have a PC, running Windows XP Home, connected to the internet with a Netgear WG111v2 USB wifi (802.11b) adapter. My router is a Linksys WRT54G.

The current setup works, but the Netgear USB adapter just doesn't seem to be cutting it; the firmware is marginal, and seems to make my PC unstable if it is truned on for a long preiod of time. So, I want to replace the Netgear USB adapter with somthing better, but since I'm no networking expert, I don't know need.

I don't want to deal with another USB device, so I'm looking for a wireless device that connects through my computer's ethernet card. I want it to be affordable, probably under $100 USD, and maybe the ability to add other computers or possbile game consoles in the future. Is there any such wireless device I can use?

Thanks.

For reference, I've ceated a diagram of what I want to do.

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Postby Don_HH2K » Sun 05 Mar, 2006 5:03 pm

The only wireless devices that I've ever seen which output a standard Ethernet signal are those designed for Xbox game consoles. They're self-managed, so no software is required on the computer in question to control it. The downside is that you won't be able to hook one of these up to a hub, and then connect that hub to your computer and other Ethernet-ready devices.

You might be best to get a PCI-based card, provided you don't have the computer sitting under a metal desk (which would most likely create noise on the line and slow down your connection). From there, you can use your computer's Ethernet port along with XP's Internet Connection Sharing (you can enable this in Control Panel -> Network Connections, though the process is a bit harder if you're a client on a network wanting to act as a server for another network) and an Ethernet hub to connect other computers to the same connection. You can most likely find a cheap one from a good-rated seller somewhere on Pricewatch.

I know that some Cisco wireless networking gear can connect to other wireless networks and reroute those signals, therefore extending the range of a wireless network. There are bound to be some that have both a wireless and wired side on them (so that you'd have a wireless amplifier and Ethernet hub), but Cisco products have a tendency to be expensive.

I have a similar system set up here. A connection from a cable modem is connected to a router that has both a wireless and wired side, so that I can have three computers plugged directly into the router (namely my dad's laptop and Linux box, along with my HH2K server). The wireless side transmits upstairs to my laptop, which has a WaveLAN card, and from there I use ICS and a Magnum hub to bridge two other computers up here (a 486 and a Terminal Server box) with the network downstairs. Since the Magnum has eight ports on it (and can be stacked to 24), I can hook up more machines or a few game consoles to it.
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Re: New wireless networking equipment?

Postby Antony » Sun 05 Mar, 2006 6:06 pm

beanboy89 wrote:I don't want to deal with another USB device, so I'm looking for a wireless device that connects through my computer's ethernet card. I want it to be affordable, probably under $100 USD, and maybe the ability to add other computers or possbile game consoles in the future. Is there any such wireless device I can use?
I have no idea if there's any device that can be used for game consoles in the future.

My recommendation is simply buy a basic internal 802.11g wireless card, and adjust the setting to 802.11g only (instead of 802.11b/g), this will make the signal stronger, unless you need to consider about the distance.

My housemates use cheap internal 802.11g wireless network card, and connects to my AirPort Express basestation (wireless router) without a problem.
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Postby beanboy89 » Sun 05 Mar, 2006 6:40 pm

Thanks Don.

I'll look for a PCI-based wireless adapter. If I choose an internal PCI-based device, will I have to install any additional software or drivers?

Antony wrote:I have no idea if there's any device that can be used for game consoles in the future.

Connecting to game consoles isn't a high priority.
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Postby Don_HH2K » Sun 05 Mar, 2006 7:13 pm

You may need to install drivers (if XP doesn't have them pre-loaded), but you shouldn't need to install extra software, as XP can handle wireless networks without any extras. As for ICS, that's built in too, and all you need to do on the other machines is either autoconfigure them using DHCP or point them to your ICS machine as if it were a router.
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