Networking Virgin

  scruffysdad 22:26 27 Jan 2006

We have recently purchased an Acer Aspire 1694WLMi laptop and want to set up a wireless home network with our home PC (emachines 180). We intend to give our PC to our son for homework, internet and gaming.

At the moment we connect to the internet using a D-Link DSL200 on ADSL which connects to the PC using a USB.

What do we need to set up a wireless network?

The laptop is wifi enabled so are we right in assuming we need a wireless router that connects to the PC by ethernet cable and just keep the pc connected to the internet as normal? Or is it possible so the modem can connect direct to the router and the PC use a wireless PCI card?

Sorry if this is a simple question but like we said we have never done this before and sometimes technology just passes us by without even saying hello.

Please put your answer in as simple a term as possible as my wife and i are only just getting into computers.

thanks for your help!!!!!

  ade.h 22:52 27 Jan 2006

" are we right in assuming we need a wireless router that connects to the PC by ethernet cable and just keep the pc connected to the internet as normal?"

Totally wrong. The ADSL modem will have to go because routers can't take them - only ethernet modems for cable services. You need a modem/router, such as a Belkin 7632.

"....and the PC use a wireless PCI card?"

Not really. Once you have configured the modem/router, you can use this method if you have reason for not having the router positioned near to a desktop PC. During the config process, it needs to be wired to the desktop through an ethernet LAN cable into the desktop's LAN port. Don't have a LAN port? You'll need a LAN PCI card.

Laptops are a piece of cake, because they're virtually all wifi enabled.

Once you've got the modem/router, come back here and ask us about the absolutely essential process of securing your network. An unsecured network is a totally open PC. If you happen to choose Belkin, I'll talk you through it, but there are other forum members who will help with D-link or Linksys. I would ont recommend that you choose Netgear, because if you happen to run into trouble with a bad one, we'll be here all week!

  scruffysdad 23:45 27 Jan 2006

thanks for the advice ade.h.

what router/modem would you recommend. we have approx £60-£70 to spend this month and probably the same again next month but we would like a decent setup for a decent price.

one more question? (sorry if its a stupid one) does the modem/router come with ethernet LAN cables for initial installation/configuration/connection or do we need to buy a seperate one?

once again thanks for your help

  ade.h 23:55 27 Jan 2006

"what router/modem would you recommend?"

As already mentioned...

The Belkin 7632 (full name F5D7632-4UK). Absolutely one of the very best available and the one that I use. It retails for £70 but as always - don't pay list! You can get it almost anywhere online for around £60.

Don't be tempted by the cheaper 72-- series versions; they have been a bit mixed. Although they're sorted now, you might be unlucky and get old stock.

  ade.h 23:59 27 Jan 2006

And if you keep the desktop near a phone line, you can avoid the need for the PCI card. Though you could always do a bit of cabling through the house if you want a permanent solution, the PCI card will be perfectly fine once the router has been configured fully. Anytime that you want to change its settings, plug your notebook in via the LAN port, to save moving your desktop if it's some way away from a phone socket.

  scruffysdad 00:22 28 Jan 2006

thanks ade.h

i take it that it would just replace my original modem then? what about the settings on it for connection to the internet? can you configure them manually?

  ade.h 14:53 28 Jan 2006

Yes, it replaces your modem. Config is very straightforward, but I will think of the best way to describe all the relevant settings to you and post again later.

The manual on CD is a bit lengthy and not particularly clear if you are new to wifi routers. Of better use is the help page of the router config itself. Once you plug the router in correctly as per the Quick Setup Guide - which is easy to follow - you will enter into the browser's address bar.

Back later with more info.

  ade.h 19:20 28 Jan 2006

Okay, I've listed below only the settings that you'll need to change. Anything else can be left alone.

1 - Internet WAN > Connection Type:

The first setting is likely to be PPoA

The two at the bottom are your username and password for your ISP

2 - Wireless > Channel and SSID:

Wireless channel defaults to 11. Change this only if you have reception issues.

SSID should be changed to something of your own - Home Network would do as long as nearby networks don't have the same name. Check this by using your laptop to search for networks in range. (It's useful to know who else is out there).

3 - Wireless > Security:


Security mode should be set to WPA-PSK and a key of your making should be entered - TRjg9415WDf#?=864GHkpr is an example of a good key.

4 - Firewall > Policy:

Select typical security.

5 - Utilities > System Settings:

Password - this controls access to the config page and stops unauthorised changes. Does not have to anything like as complex as the WPA key, otherwise you'll never remember it.

6 - Utilities > Save/Backup Settings:

Use this to make a local backup of the router's settings. This could be very useful indeed at some point in the future.

  scruffysdad 20:47 30 Jan 2006

i have a feeling now we have this info we might get one this week sometime.

will you be available one night for advice if we need it?

if you will please let me know and i will ty to get it for then.

once again thank you very much

  ade.h 21:03 30 Jan 2006

I log onto the forum pretty much every day; just post here and I'll catch it in My Postings. Or you can mail me via the yellow envelope. It's pretty straightforward, so you should be okay if you read the setup guide that comes with the router and then follow the above instructions. Belkins seem to be about the most straightforward.

  scruffysdad 21:05 30 Jan 2006



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