which wireless router? NTL 1Mb

  Rodders 22:42 13 Jan 2006
Locked

Hi

I have 2 PCs which I wish to share an internet connection between. 1 is running WinME and will probably be connected by cable to the router. The other is running WinXP and would need to be a wireless connection.

I have NTL 1MB Broadband.

I am getting confused looking at different routers, wondering whether I need 802.11a/b/g and what brand to go for etc.

I'd like some guidance on a suitable router, or what spec to look for. Also, what other equipment is needed? I guess I need a network/ethernet/LAN card for the WinME machine and a similar (but wireless) card for the XP machine. Should they be matching brands?

Currently, I have seen Netgear & Linksys models that look ideal but then there are other brands that I'm not sure about....3COM, Motorola, D-Link, Belkin etc.

Why do all these companies make so many different models?

Thanks

  Forum Editor 08:13 14 Jan 2006

for the first time is to keep it simple - which at first sight isn't easy, as you've discovered.

With your NTL broadband service you'll need to use an ethernet router - one that has a WAN port which connects to your set-top box or standalone modem. Go for a 802.11g model, a Netgear WGR614 would be suitable.

The PC will need to have a conventional LAN adapter installed, and the other computer must of course have a wireless adapter. It's not essential for the adapters to be the same make.

Why so many models to choose from? That's like asking why there are so many TV's to choose from, it's called commercial competition.

  Rodders 18:14 14 Jan 2006

I don't understand why 802.11g is preferred over 802.11b. It seems to me that 'b' is upto 54Mbps and 'g' is 108Mbps. But if my broadband is only 1Mbps then both seem way above what I need.

Of course, for file transfer it might be useful, but I doubt I'll be moving any files large enough to warrant those speeds.

Any input on that front?

  mgmcc 20:38 14 Jan 2006

<<< I don't understand why 802.11g is preferred over 802.11b. It seems to me that 'b' is upto 54Mbps and 'g' is 108Mbps >>>

802.11b has a nominal data transfer speed of 11Mbps and 802.11g has a nominal data transfer speed of 54Mbps. In practice, the actual speed achieved will be somewhere just over half of the nominal speed.

The 802.11n protocol for higher speed Wireless Networking hasn't yet been agreed and, in the meantime, various manufacturers are coming out with "proprietary" speed boosting systems claiming speeds of around 105/108Mbps.

As you say, this isn't significant for internet access, because even 802.11b at 11Mbps is well above the relatively slow speed (in networking terms) of a broadband connection.

However, for file transfers, the speed is significant and files don't need to be large. An 11Mbps WiFi connection seems painfully slow when compared with a normal "wired" ethernet connection running at a "genuine" 100Mbps.

  Rodders 21:16 15 Jan 2006

Thanks. A very complete answer indeed.

1 further question before I take the plunge. I'm pretty sure my older machine (WinME) has nothing in the way of networking hardware so I know I have to sling something in that. I don't mind either because it is an older machine. However, the new machine is still under warranty and I would be concerned about opening it to fit something. So, how can I tell whether or not it has suitable hardware or not?

Also, Forum Editor suggested that I get a wireless adapter. Is this something which might go into a USB2.0 socket or is it better to get an PCMCIA card?

  mgmcc 23:14 15 Jan 2006

<<< However, the new machine is still under warranty and I would be concerned about opening it to fit something. So, how can I tell whether or not it has suitable hardware or not? >>>

If you open the Network Connections folder, a "wired" network adapter will be shown as the LOCAL AREA CONNECTION; a "wireless" network adapter will be a WIRELESS NETWORK CONNECTION.

<<< Forum Editor suggested that I get a wireless adapter. Is this something which might go into a USB2.0 socket or is it better to get an PCMCIA card? >>>

As you don't want to open the PC, a USB 2.0 Wireless Network Adapter will be fine. PCMCIA cards are only for laptops; desktop PCs use PCI cards which are fitted internally to the slots on the motherboard.

  Rodders 14:41 16 Jan 2006

Superb stuff. So I now think I know what I need:

* 802.11g broadband router such as Netgear's WGR614

* PCI wired network card for the 'old' machine that I don't mind opening

* USB2.0 wireless network adapter for the new machine to avoid opening it up (unless it already has a network card of some sort which I can check)

Will post back if there are any further queries. Otherwise I'll 'resolve' the thread.

  mgmcc 15:13 16 Jan 2006

Shopping list looks OK :-)

  Forum Editor 15:16 16 Jan 2006

your list is correct.

One final(but important) point.........

When you get the USB adapter, install the software and reboot BEFORE you plug in the adapter.

  Rodders 19:59 16 Jan 2006

It's almost like you know me......and how I have a knack of breaking things !! Thanks for the words of caution.....

  Rodders 13:58 17 Jan 2006

My newer PC with WinXP has a network card installed (I believe):

Realtek RTL8139/810x Family Fast Ethernet NIC

Am I right in thinking that this is the network socket on the back of the PC that looks like a big telephone socket?

Assuming that, then what will I plug into it? The adapters that I have seen look like they are the full card. For example, the Netgear WG311T click here

I am considering going for the Netgear WGT624 router which seems like it may be faster and I can get a refurbished one for a couple of quid more than the WGR614.

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