Home network - Wired and wireless!

  Stuart Leyland 22:42 13 May 2004

Hi everyone :-)

I have inherited (read: been given ;-)) a Fujitsu LifeBook L460 laptop (a few years old I know but it does the job) and am wanting to connect it to my home network. Currently, I just have two computers: mine, which is connected to the broadband modem and where all files are stored (could be seen as the server) and my sister's computer which is connected to my computer for the purpose of going on the internet and saving files, etc. With the laptop, I am now looking for the easiest way to add it into the current setup. It is equipped with an infra-red port which I assume could be used for networking purposes?

If that is the case, then I want to know if by me just buying a device that sends out an infra-red signal, would the laptop be able to connect to my computer and access the internet and files that are on it? If this is the case, what do I need to buy (I'm not as clued up on this issue as I perhaps should be - apologies for that). How much would I be looking at spending? I am aware that there are routers and hubs with wireless connectivity but I believe they are quite expensive and me still being at school, lack of funding is a problem :-(

Thanks a lot for any information you can pass on.

  Ivor_Monkey 22:55 13 May 2004

My suggestion is a cable router for £32 click here
and some straight cable with rj45 plugs. This will give each machine independent access to the internet. Good luck

  Stuart Leyland 23:15 13 May 2004

Looks nice Ivor_Monkey but I should have posted more details because that router won't work with my modem. The modem is connected to my computer via USB cable - my ISP is BT Broadband. Both mine and my sister's computers are running Windows XP Home Edition and the laptop is running Windows 98SE.

Any more suggestions along them prices would be excellent :D

  Chegs ® 01:53 14 May 2004

I wouldn't go wireless(signals unable to get thru two layers of wallpaper!)but I would recommend you buy an ADSL modem/router.Mine was £41,but only has two ports,I will be changing it shortly for a four port version(Linux+XP Home/XP Pro network)which can be had for the same money,I got mine off Ebay,so it was a bit difficult to work out how many ports it had. ;-)

  Stuart Leyland 07:11 14 May 2004

"signals unable to get thru two layers of wallpaper"

Without wishing to devalue your comment, I find that hard to believe because I've read many a post on forums about people's wireless network setup and all seem to work fine.

As I said earlier, wireless capability is almost a requirement, it defeats the object of a laptop really if I have to be sat near one of the other computers to do anything useful.

Any more ideas please? Thanks.

  computernerdiamnot 08:55 14 May 2004

hi Stuart Leyland

Click here to find out all you want to know
click here

  Chegs ® 09:31 14 May 2004

I was being sarcastic with my comment about wireless,I have read several reviews of wireless equipment,and rarely do folk have any trouble.I have only occasionally seen comments from PCA members who have had wireless troubles.A trip thru Ebay should get you a wireless ADSL modem/router for little outlay(just had a look,prices start at £7.50 and rise to nigh on £100)

  mdshamilton 10:02 14 May 2004

What you need is a wireless router (or combination ADSL modem/wireless router) and a wireless laptop card. 802.11g is the standard I would go for. If you use a router none of the desktop PCs need to be switched on in order for the laptop to have access to the BB router/modem and internet. Lots of suppliers out there.

FYI - I have a PC in the loft hard wired to my wireless router and a PC on the ground floor with a 802.11g wireless PCI card in it. The connection strength is always at maximum - Even though I live in a Victorian house with brick walls on the ground floor, lathe and plaster walls on the first floor and RSJs etc in the loft, closed fireproof doors in the loft, a slate roof etc etc.

  computernerdiamnot 10:17 14 May 2004

Did you know that the further away from a wireless router on the G rated the more faster your connection is?:)

  Stuart Leyland 17:28 14 May 2004

Chegs ®

Sorry for the confusion mate :-)


Thanks for the post, very informative. Looks like I'll have to spend a bit of dosh on this - will have to check with Mum and Dad to see what they say.

The only slot available on the laptop is a PCMCIA one. Am I likely to be able to find a wireless PCMCIA card without breaking the bank balance? Also, as the two PCs I have at the minute are wired, how much would I be looking at for a router/hub (router not essential because my computer is on practically 24/7 anyway) that has both wireless and wired ports? I wouldn't want to be changing the hardware in my two PCs at the minute just for the sake of connecting the laptop to the network.

Thanks a lot for the responses. Very useful :-)

  Stuart Leyland 18:14 14 May 2004

Hi again.

I've done some of my own searching for products, etc and with the help of Belkin's online networking wizard, I've established that I will need the following:

1. A network hub with a way to connect to a wireless access point.

2. A wireless access point.

3. A PCMCIA wireless card for the laptop.

I added the following items to my basket on dabs.com:

1. Belkin 5-PORT NETWORK SWITCH (Quick link: 2V3GWS)

2. Belkin 54g Wireless Access Point (Quick link: 2CS7WS)

3. Belkin 802.11g Wireless Notebook Card (Quick link: 2CS4WS) - I think this is a PCMCIA card!

The total came to a whopping £110! Needless to say, I was a little bit shocked and I don't think I'm likely to get that much money out of my Mum and Dad!

What I'm wondering is if there are any cards that I could buy for my PC that would create a wireless access point, instead of having to buy 2 new pieces of hardware. I realise that this is asking a lot but if anyone is able to provide any more information at all then I would be extremely grateful.


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