What wireless networking should you go for?

  andytomp 12:18 22 Jun 2003

I'm looking into setting up a wireless network at home. NTL broadband, XP Pro machine connects to internet, shares it, got hub for 'wired' network setup and running other desktops (mixture of XP and w98), looking to buy laptop, might as well go wireless (just for the laptop though).

Q. Is buying hardware based around the draft 802.11g spec a good idea? I don't like the sound of 'draft', don't really want it to redundent in a year or so

Q. Thinking of getting Linksys gear, anyone done this before? Got recommendations?

Q. I'm assuming that I need a 'Wireless access point' (not a wireless router, as I want to keep the old 'wired' network running) amd of course the correct PC card

Thanks, any tips / advice from anyone who's gone down this route would be appreciated.

  Pc.2 12:36 22 Jun 2003

I have the exact same setup as you want to have. You only need the Wireless Access Point, which plugs into your Router, and the PCMCIA Wireless Network Card. The 802.11 is standard on virtually all wireless networks which means you can mix & match, so if you use Linksys on your Laptop and at work they use Netgear, it should be no problem in getting the connection. Hope this helps.


  SEASHANTY 16:12 22 Jun 2003

The current issue of PC PRO (August 2003) has a feature on BB wireless networking and reviews several routers. The Linksys latest 802.11g spec is picked out as the best buy.

  andytomp 10:21 23 Jun 2003

Thanks for the pointers. One thing though, I'm assuming if I'm using my desktop machine as the Internet Gateway then that machine needs to be on for my wireless network to work?

Bit of a shame if that's the case, I suppose if I want to get around that I need to use a BB wireless router?

  SEASHANTY 14:53 23 Jun 2003

Yes I think so. That was the reason I installed a router although have gone for the wired route not wireless. Its cheaper and more reliable. Wanted to use my other PC upstairs without having to have the main PC running. Have a 20 metre RJ45 straight thru' cable running upstairs. One of these days I will get around to re-routing it. Dabs were advertising this new Linksys Wireless-G BB router BEFW11F4 at £94 plus vat (which is £1 more than quoted in the write up in PC PRO Mag).

  andytomp 15:05 23 Jun 2003

So I've got the following options if I want an ethernet lan and a wireless laptop running from a single NTL BB connection?

1) Buy Wireless access point (laptop and Wireless PC card) - Main pc needs to be on for connectivity

2) Buy a BB router (can you get one which does both wired and wireless?) and the above and then main pc doesn't need to be connected.

It would be a bugger if I had to make sure my main PC was on every time I wanted to connect form the laptop. Never easy is it?

  fitshase 17:04 23 Jun 2003

In answer to your question:-

If you plug the wireless access point into your hub, you will be able to access the other computers on the LAN but will not be able to access the internet without the gateway machine running.

If you go for a wireless router, you can access the internet from the laptop (and any other machine for that matter) without the gateway machine being switched on.

You can get routers which are a router/wireless access point and switch all built into one. I use the Netgear FM114P which is on the 802.11b standard and has the added advantage of a print server built in therefore being able to share a printer across the network.

The best idea would be to go for a wireless router with a switch (like a hub) built in. You can then plug all of your machines into the router, or plug your hub into the router, and then have internet access from all machines without having to have a specific machine on to provide access.



  andytomp 17:25 23 Jun 2003


Is that a good price for the Netgear FM114P?

click here

  jazzypop 19:19 23 Jun 2003

Go to netgear.co.uk, select the fm114p, and you will get a list of 'recommended retailers', with links to their current prices.

Networking an NTL connection - see click here (you are definitely on the right lines so far - I chose the fr114p, which is the wired version of the router you are looking at - excellent piece of kit).

  andytomp 22:07 23 Jun 2003

Thanks for all the help.

Need to research the laptop now! I think it's going to be the fm114p. I think if I had to turn on my gateway pc every time I wanted to get the laptop online I might end up breaking something.

  fitshase 23:58 23 Jun 2003

Dabs.com (click here) have a bundle deal - an FM114P router and a wireless PCMCIA card for the laptop for £139 + VAT. They sell the router alone for £129 + VAT. For the Router and PCMCIA card - TOTAL Inc VAT & Delivery is £168.02. (NOTE: they have availability as being <1 week which could extend beyond 1 week).

However, E-buyer (click here) have the FM114P on its own for £105 + VAT. They have the PCMCIA card (Netgear MA401) for £27.96 + VAT. Total £132.96 + VAT. For the Router and PCMCIA card - TOTAL Inc VAT & Delivery is £162.29. (NOTE: they have loads of the routers and cards in stock for same day dispatch).

Going for the Netgear wireless router is definitely the way forward. I have just received my replacement one (the print server function stopped working after switching the thing off). Phoned Netgear, they sent a new one to my house within 2 days. I unplugged the old one, plugged the new one in and it worked fine. Sent the old one back to them. Netgear's service is second to none.

The added bonus of the print server (parallel interface - NOT USB) means that I have the printer plugged into that and any machine can use it at any time without relying on another machine to be switched on.

Happy wireless networking. If you have any problems setting it up, remember to post back in the forum where there are loads of people who can help.



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