Which wireless LAN router? (not ADSL/cable)

  polymath 16:51 09 Jul 2008

I'm only after shopping advice at the moment, but browsing for it isn't really an option, my dialup connection being around 9.6kbps; 7.2 last night, not to mention the timeouts & noisy phone line. (But the PC Advisor site is thoughtfully clutter-free!).

I want to connect my PC and laptop wirelessly. Both run Vista Home Premium and are wireless enabled, and the PC has onboard LAN/network controller.
I'm new to networking as well as BB, & have never had any dealings with routers; what are wireless ones called when they're purely for LANs?
I can't get the right search keywords right for postings that aren't about ADSL or cable routers.

I am getting broadband in a few days, but it's a different kettle of fish - beamed wirelessly from a mast to equipment at the house, and then by cable to the PC's network (RJ45) port.

The PC has just the one network port. Do I need some sort of adapter as well as a router (or maybe there are routers I could also plug the BB cable into? The BB will be 2-way).
I presume all LANs work for sharing an internet connection?

Do I need to buy some receiver widget for the laptop?

Most UK shops don't ship here, but any manufacturers' names would be useful.

Sorry to ask such basic things here - once I have the BB I shouldn't have to. Just when searching here I've already happened on, & printed, enough how-to info to get going. (One point was about creating the LAN with cable before making it wireless, so I know about checking if there's a LAN cable with the modem).

I'll be back as soon as time & vagaries of connection allow, but it could be tomorrow.

  polymath 19:39 09 Jul 2008

Forgot to say new to Vista, and don't know the (newish) computers themselves very well either. Buying them just happened to coincide with broadband becoming available here. I can understand most terms without explanation though, having fiddled about with computers for some time (albeit only with the Sinclair QL, MSDos, and 98SE!)

I can't easily ask in a computer shop; they're a long drive away (& wheels not always available).

(A few timeouts later) It's like the Archers, cliffhangers and all (The sick dialup connection's worsening - will it expire for ever? If it hangs on, will it be strong enough to activate the security software before the new broadband's tested?)

  dms_05 22:03 09 Jul 2008

polymath - if you simply want to connect your two computers together to form a network you can do that by LAN or Wireless. Wireless is exactly the same it's just wire-less.

You could connect the computers with a Crossover LAN cable and form an ad-hoc network. The same applies to wireless, you just set the network up as ad-hoc rather than Infra-structure. But I think you want to do more than that. Are you sure you've fully defined your ambitions? I think you infact will need Infra-structure networking to share the Internet, so the rest of this post refers to such a system.

I'm still a little unsure about your BB supply. I have in the past had my BB delivered wirelessly over a distance of some hundreds of metres. This added an additional layer of complexity as the incoming BB was only available to one computer (just like yours) and the IP address was unique and you couldn't split the signal to additional computers. It really depends upon how the BB supplier has set up your system.

However if your supplier says you can indeed split the BB then you need a WiFi Router (doesn't need to have the ADSL bit as that's already been achieved but if it does have ADSL just ignore it). You then plug the incoming BB cable into one of the LAN sockets and either connect the two computers by LAN cables from the other LAN sockets or connect them by WiFi (or a combination of both) as an Infra-structure network.

If you use a LAN cable then no set up is necessary as the router will assign IP addresses. If you go the WiFi route then you will need to set (at least) the Encryption to WPA and provide a Password. LAN is easiest, WiFi can be very simple if all goes well but be prepared for some snags.

Finally if your new Vista computers are WiFi enabled then they will have the receiving gadgets in them and all you need to do is set them up to show exactly the same encryption and password as the router - do this with a LAN cable (but you know that).

  Ashrich 00:22 10 Jul 2008

I have plenty of experience with this type of internet connection , as we have it here in the village I live in in Buckinghamshire/Oxon . I have set up the wireless routers for just about everyone that needed it , so I can help you if it is required. Just out of interest , which provider are you going to be using ? Here in Hambleden we use Avanti Broadband .


  polymath 14:58 11 Jul 2008

First, thank you both for your replies! Thay were a nice surprise; I'd decided I wasn't getting any because the question was badly thought out. I was going to tick it resolved and sift through my collection of PC Advisors etc instead, or find info on the web once on broadband (any day now).
Serendipity's also intervened; a book on networking has appeared here out of the blue. A (distant) computer shop I was in about 6 months ago had run out of books on networking. I mentioned it to a friend & promptly forgot all about it - unlike my friend!
My first step, it's now dawned on me, is to read it (Home Networking for Dummies). It wouldn't be fair to ask more questions here yet (it would be like postings I've seen, basically asking 'How do I use a computer?').
I obviously wasn't thinking straight (troubleshooting sometimes has that effect on me, and I've had problems with the older computer!).

dms_05; thank you for taking the trouble to set out the info; it won't go to waste. It'll help get my head round the subject (as well as adding to the info searchable here of course). Any knowledge I have (such as it is), of networking and its terms dates from 1980s evening classes on working with MsDos (though the underlying stuff appears so far to still hold).
It was also very helpful to learn that I won't need to add any hardware to the laptop, and that I won't have to exclude 'ADSL' routers when shopping.

Ashrich; thank you for the offer of help. It's interesting to encounter someone who knows about Fixed Wireless Access System (FWA) broadband, as I've just learned it's called (better keywords in future, then!). The population's very scattered here, and I don't know any of the FWA users (I'll meet the installer soon of course, but he's based about 60 miles away).
Perhaps, if I should get stuck with some query, I could ask you by email via the forum? I'd guess only a small fraction of people in the UK would need to know about FWA these days (unlike in this country).
Just to complicate things, though a Londoner I'm now living in the Republic of Ireland, so very few UK suppliers are available here, and vice versa (for instance, when posting here I try to save people wasted effort recommending ISPs). So you probably wouldn't know my FWA company, Fastcom, based in Sligo Town. (I'm in County Donegal, between Ardara & Killybegs, out of reach of both BB phone exchanges). Fastcom's area involves 3 counties (smaller than UK counties though).

I'm ticking this as resolved, to avoid people posting unneccessarily. Again, thank you both!

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