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28.7.07 1944
The 7 - Random - Wireless Networking Questions
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EddieBurkett
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#1 Posted on 3.1.04 0036.50
Reposted on: 3.1.11 0036.56
Happy New Year, all!

I'm considering setting up a wireless network in my apartment (to appease the fiancee and get rid of all those *unsightly* wires), and I'm wondering if any wieners out there have had any experiences setting one up in an apartment that they'd like to share. I've been considering getting a Linksys BEFW11S4 (linksys.com) and using that to connect to a computer about fifteen feet away and through two walls. (There's a door in the way that will usually be open, and then there's a wall in the way, but there are openings on either side of the wall. Would the signal be likely to bounce around the wall, or will it just penetrate?)

Anyway, I'm looking at getting an 802.11b WAP, since its slightly cheaper. The only thing I'm worried about is how my neighbors could affect my network. I should be able to figure out the *security* aspect for myself, but I wonder if I should anticipate problems with my neighbors' devices, such as microwaves and 2.4Ghz cordless phones. I haven't been terribly friendly with the neighbors (only been here a month), but I don't feel like asking them about their phones as a consideration of putting in a network. Should I look at getting 802.11a? (is that even available anywhere?) Or should I just suck it up and figure out a way to run the wires under the carpet and around the baseboards?

For the record, I live on the second floor. The router will be about seven feet from the left apartment wall, and about twenty feet from the right apartment wall.

Thanks in advance for any input.
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PeterStork
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#2 Posted on 3.1.04 0154.33
Reposted on: 3.1.11 0155.39
I seriously doubt you'll have interference problems, and 802.11b should suffice for the distance you're talking about. A is teh suck and, no, you won't find it in most stores. Best Buy discontinued the stuff a half year ago. G is most likely more than you need, but recommended if you're going more than 50 to 100 feet.

The security should be easy to set up. Encryption is enabled through browser-based access, and Linksys' telephone support is supposedly very good.

Of course, if you can get a D-Link 802.11b for cheaper (you usually can) pick that up instead. Just as good (PC Magazine's tests rated it higher in fact) and GREAT support.
Guru Zim
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#3 Posted on 3.1.04 0315.50
Reposted on: 3.1.11 0316.12
I'd run the wires, if you've already got the equipment. You really never have to think about what kind of child porn your neighbor is downloading when you have a wired network.

Not unless they housesit for you, anyway.
The Big Kat
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#4 Posted on 3.1.04 1032.26
Reposted on: 3.1.11 1032.44
I have the same model router, and my computer is at least 50 feet away from it. I have had no problems since I set it up (with the computer at least). I also have a wireless game adapter working on the network now, and the only problem I've seen so far is that my cell phone gets pretty poor reception in the house now. No idea if it's because of the network or not. My sister's laptop can get reception all the way to the edge of our property, about 50 yards away.
EddieBurkett
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#5 Posted on 4.1.04 0058.00
Reposted on: 4.1.11 0058.06
    Originally posted by PeterStork
    Of course, if you can get a D-Link 802.11b for cheaper (you usually can) pick that up instead. Just as good (PC Magazine's tests rated it higher in fact) and GREAT support.


I'll look into it, but I'm partial to Linksys since I'm already using their BEFSR41 Router, and the BEFW11S4 sounds like the same device with antennae on the back. (At least, it looks like the same device with antennae on the back.)

Big Kat, interesting note about the cell phone reception. I'm impressed at the distance you're claiming.

Guru, like I said, my first inclination is to run the wires, but its not totally my decision. And to help sway the part that is my decision, my fiancee got me a wi-fi enabled iPaq for Christmas. I'd finally be able to lurk here from the comfort of my own couch!

I still haven't decided things, but I'll probably resolve this by the end of the week. Thanks for the input (and more is still appreciated). I'll let you know how it turns out.

Edit: Why is the forum displaying that there are 8 replies when I'm only seeing four in this thread?

(edited by EddieBurkett on 4.1.04 0158)
CRZ
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#6 Posted on 4.1.04 0305.48
Reposted on: 4.1.11 0307.00
    Originally posted by EddieBurkett
    Edit: Why is the forum displaying that there are 8 replies when I'm only seeing four in this thread?
Apparently we had a little troll problem yesterday and a LOT of messages were obliterated (but not removed from the thread counts). I'll probably whip up a script to fix the thread numbers later.
EddieBurkett
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#7 Posted on 4.1.04 2344.57
Reposted on: 4.1.11 2345.39
I did see the troll problem, but I didn't realize he had gotten far enough to affect the random folder. (Did he add posts to this and other threads, or did the problem stem from the *clean-up* when threads (and their id #'s) were deleted?)

Buy.com was offering some nifty little deals on a Netgear MR814 - Wireless Cable/DSL Router (netgear.com) - $33.98 after rebate (buy.com) - and a D-Link DWL-520+ - Wireless PCI Adapter (dlink.com) - $37.92 after rebate (buy.com) - so I decided to go with those. I figure I'll try them for a week and then if I don't like how it works I'll pawn the equipment off on my Dad and retain my current infrastructure.

Thanks again for all the input.
AWArulz
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#8 Posted on 5.1.04 0721.55
Reposted on: 5.1.11 0724.27
BTW - found the D-Link 614 (802.11b) at Tigerdirect.com for $39.99 (and like $10 shipping) - and there is a $20 rebate through today (jan 5) only. $20 for the router (even a B) seems like a deal to me.

(edited by AWArulz on 5.1.04 0824)
emma
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#9 Posted on 5.1.04 1448.00
Reposted on: 5.1.11 1448.18
    Originally posted by EddieBurkett
    I figure I'll try them for a week and then if I don't like how it works I'll pawn the equipment off on my Dad and retain my current infrastructure.
Definitely do get back to us about your results. I'm leery about wireless, but for a variety of reasons may have to break down & go with it. So I've been lurking interestedly here...
EddieBurkett
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#10 Posted on 7.1.04 0125.53
Reposted on: 7.1.11 0127.11
Everything came today and I set it all up so for the benefit of Emma (and any other curious lurkers), I'll go over the set up and maybe in a week or so I'll update anyone interested on how its working out for me.

I set up the D-Link card first. I'm not used to a network card having its own interface, but its a useful user interface: it allows you to configure the settings for the card to match the router. (There was much running back and forth later once I had the router working to verify the settings were correct.) I figured I wouldn't touch the settings until I had the router up and running, so . . .

I set up the Netgear router second. Its a tiny bugger. I think it could fit inside my Linksys router. After switching routers, my two wired computers worked fine from the get go. The wireless security settings look more detailed than I expected, but there's an applicable metaphor about a fortress built on a weak foundation. For what I've heard about how easy it is to break WEP, it *looks* fairly secure. Not only could you vary the strength of the WEP encryption (although according to the D-Link manual, 128-bit encryption is not *that* much safer than 64-bit encryption), but you restrict wireless access to specific MAC addresses* and disable SSID broadcasting. (I can see though how this could all be useless if someone can pick up the stray signals and break the WEP encryption. The D-link pamphlet mentioned a stronger security standard -- WPI??? -- but it appears that neither of the hardware can support that.)

There's also a bunch of timed service blocking, and some nice router provisions for parents who want to attempt to limit their kids' access. It looks like it includes a legitimate firewall beyond NAT (it calls it SPI and claims it stops DoS attacks).

There's also an option to turn off the WAP. While that's useful, I'd have rather it been a physical button rather than part of the interface. I'd be more willing to turn on the network only when I want to use it if I just had to press a quick button rather than log onto another machine and then log into the router and en/disable it. I'll see how much we wind up using it and if there's a good schedule to run it on.

Other than that, the only problem I found was that some settings changes did not take effect until after I had logged out from the interface, despite clicking the apply button repeatedly. Also, while it doesn't expressly log you out after a certain amount of time, if you don't make any changes for a while, and then make another change, it prompts for a password. I can see how that's useful, but its also annoying.

Overall, I'm about as impressed by this as I could be. The interface is intuitive, if overly simple, and according to the D-Link card, I'm getting a good signal for where I've placed everything. The only problem is that I can see how WEP is a major weakness. I don't expect to get any wardrivers in the neighborhood, but you never know. For now, I'm more concerned about how any nearby cordless phones will affect everything, but I'll be keeping an eye on the logging feature to see if anything funny happens.

*I set this when I first looked at the page -- without specifying any MAC addresses to allow. It took me probably a good two hours or more to figure out why I could connect to the network on my iPaq and the other computer but not do anything. Oh well. Live and learn...
Guru Zim
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#11 Posted on 7.1.04 0148.59
Reposted on: 7.1.11 0149.29
I don't think WAP is turning the network on and off. I think it's a wireless security protocol, but I could be wrong. I'd look that up.
EddieBurkett
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#12 Posted on 7.1.04 0223.25
Reposted on: 7.1.11 0223.48
No... I meant that there's an option to disable the Wireless Access Point, effectively rendering the unit as a simple four-port router. Sorry if I was unclear.

Edit: Unless you are saying that it doesn't toggle the broadcasting and instead is some other feature...?

(edited by EddieBurkett on 7.1.04 0324)
Guru Zim
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#13 Posted on 7.1.04 1233.39
Reposted on: 7.1.11 1244.22
Maybe I'm thinking WEP. Hell, I already admitted I don't know, why are you listening to me?
EddieBurkett
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#14 Posted on 7.1.04 1322.18
Reposted on: 7.1.11 1324.25
Hey, *you* help run this whole board here. I certainly don't know all that I'm doing either.

Here (en.wikipedia.org) is a link to a formal definition of WEP in anyone is interested.
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