Networking With an Old PC?

  ade.h 21:28 22 Oct 2005

I'm about to purchase a new laptop and I'd like to make use of its wifi capability. My old laptop didn't have built-in wifi, so I'm totally new to networking.

I'll need to share the usual files/printer/ADSL etc. but the desktop PC that I will be using does not have any spare USB sockets (or the means to add them) and uses an internal PCI ADSL modem, which I would prefer to keep as it's not very old.

So what bits do I need to buy? I think the usual method is a modem/router (or something) but I guess that's out of the question in this case. I've searched this section of the forum, but didn't get much that was specific to this query. Browsing the network section of online sellers has just confused things further!

Hope you can help.

  tasslehoff burrfoot 22:18 22 Oct 2005

*Have* to use a router.

Is this out of the question because you want to use your existing PCI modem?

If so, you will need to set up an ad-hoc network.

I take it the desktop isn't wireless enabled yet?

If not, you'll need to get a wireless PCI card (assuming you have a spare slot) nuless you can free up a USB port?

That's it really. An adhoc network is one where your computers talk to each other directly with no router/bridge in the middle.

This solution will reqre the desktop to be switched on for the laptop to access the net though, (you'll need ICS on on the desktop).



  ade.h 22:37 22 Oct 2005

Okay, thanks Tas. That's probably the best way for me, and the desktop is on most of the day anyway. I'd have to find a spare slot that I don't currently have, but that's better than the huge expense that would be involved in the more common USB modem/router option, which would need a new motherboard with more USB ports. My current motherboard doesn't accept PCI USB cards for some reason, so expansion isn't straightforward.

One other question; is the ad-hoc method just as easy to secure as a proper network?

  tasslehoff burrfoot 23:25 22 Oct 2005

so may be wrong...

But the security protocols are just the same: WEP, WPA If you're using a g network then the cards shoud support those. So yes it should be just as "easy".

If either of the cards on your network are older than g then they might not support WPA (the newest and most secure(I think)).

To be honest though, I haven't bothered securing my network. When i first set it up (and again when I moved home) I just scanned for IPs in range. All found were mine so no probs! I scan for IPs now and then, but not regularly.

You're more likely to get hacked over the internet than via your wireless network, and no matter what you do, there is no 100% secure way of securing your home network (without wires).


  ade.h 23:40 22 Oct 2005

Thanks again Tas. I agree that the security aspect probably isn't such a major issue, but something that we have to consider these days, unfortunately.

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