WIREFREE NETWORKING 4 PC's

  Bertie B 17:35 06 Apr 2004
Locked

I presently have two PC's connected via a crossover cable [works great one day - a pain the next day!!]which allows file sharing & ADSL internet connection from both [all when the PC's are in a good mood!!!!]. Now my daughters are moving back home I want to be able continue to share files on my two existing PC's [one on XP Home - the other on Win98SE] but I also wish to allow my daughters PC's to share my ADSL internet coonection from their repective PC's in their respective bedrooms. I guess the easiest way is going to be Wireless!?

I would appreciate any advice on how - or where I might access this sort of thing on the net, please.

  Matt45 18:09 06 Apr 2004

First you need to decide which speed you need. If you are just going to be using the internet and sharing files then 802.11b will be sufficient with an 11Mbp/s transfer rate. If however, you want to play games then you will need the faster transfer rate of 54Mbp/s provided by the 802.11g standard.

Whichever speed you choose, you will need a router and then some way of connecting the PC's to the network. You can use a wireless USB adapter for connecting the PC's to the network for ease or you can insert PCI cards. If you are connecting with a laptop, then you can use a PCMIA card of course.

All of the things you will need can be bought online from eBuyer - click here.

I prefer Linksys - here are the links for the specific items.

Router (11Mbp/s - 802.11b) - click here

Router (54Mbp/s - 802.11g) - click here

USB Adapter (11Mbp/s) - click here

PCI (54Mbp/s Card) - click here

  Bertie B 18:31 06 Apr 2004

Thanks for that! I very much appreciate your help.

The only thing I'm a bit hazy on is how the primary internet connection is made. Presently, I connect via a USB BT Voyager 100 ADSL Modem which is directly connected to my newer PC running XP. The old IBM Windows 98 PC connects via the crossover cable.

Am I correct in assuming that the router connects to the internet and then all PC's will connect to the router via USB (or PCI) wireless adapter - in which case how will the BT Broadband software recognise all of this!?

  silliw 19:43 06 Apr 2004

If you go down the router route - infastructure mode (no pun intended) you give it access to your network - usual default mshome. It then sees all other devices that are attached to the same network and gives them access to your modem. Obviously you neeed to get an ADSL router that accepts usb devices.

You can do the same by working peer to peer without a router (peer to peer mode). The setup is very similar with wireless devices on each machine all able to talk to eachother with one machine that has the modem attached acting as a gateway (host) for all other machines. The drawback to this arrangement is that this host machine has to be on all the time for all other machines to access the internet.

There are many good sites that explain the many network configurations available for a home network. I would suggest you take a good look around before you decide exactly home to setup your network.

  powertool 20:46 06 Apr 2004

Just a word of warning about wireless coverage. I have just got my wireless network going and although I can use it in most rooms in the house, the signal coverage isn't great to be honest and I am disappointed.

The signal does not go through walls very happily - one at a push, two walls - forget it. It would be ideally suited to a Japanese house with paper walls or possibly a tent [though the tent poles should be wooden to be on the safe side! ;-)]

I have a total 'dead spot' because there is an RSJ in part of a wall and this means that the main reason for getting wireless [to use the laptop in the dining room] is a no-no.

The signal tends to drop away very quickly - one end of the desk is Excellent, the middle is good and the other end of the desk is zero. And it isn't a very big desk!

On balance I am pleased to have wireless, but it isn't as good as I thought it would be. The idea of needing security to protect the integrity of my signal from 'outsiders' is laughable - if they are lucky enough to get my signal good luck to them!!

Hope this helps

Pt

  terendak_uk 21:07 06 Apr 2004

so, I can buy a single piece of kit that will be an ADSEL modem/router/ etc( any recommendation?) which I connect to my phone line( BT). On each PC(3) I just need a USB or PCI wireless card??? Obviously, I have to configure, but I just need confirmation that I can buy one piece of kit to connect to the internet and send signals to each PC independant of each PC? Noted the signal falloff mentioned. Does this make the connection to the internet to the most distant PC( in the spare b'room upstairs)"jerky"??? Be most grateful for clarification.

  Portly 21:53 06 Apr 2004

Just been reading this thread. I recently set up an 802.11g radio network for one desktop and one laptop. First thing that I discovered was that my tower, positioned close to the floor with the back close to a wall, meant that the installed PCI radio card was almost completely deaf. The only way that it would communicate at all was to position the router in the same room. This can be overcome with an extended antenna. However, having established a working network, I found that transferring any file over 2 Megabytes in size, results in the network connection being broken on transfer completion. No-one yet has been able to give me a reason or a solution. I would stick to ean ethernet network if at all possible.

  Bertie B 22:11 06 Apr 2004

Well having originally started this thread off ealier this evening I appreciate all of the info that is flowing. However, I am becoming increasingly dissappointed by the minute!! Why is it that nothing appears straightforward when it comes to networking??

My problem is that whilst three of the PC's I want to network are in adjacent rooms - the fourth is down and across the landing - the ball & chain will just love me running an ethernet cable down there - you know what an aversion women have to cables!!!!

Anybody got any good news??

  powertool 22:34 06 Apr 2004

I read that 'b' has better signal coverage than 'g', but if you could set up a wired network then I would go for that to be honest. Perhaps you could just fix the cables in 'nicely' !

Just as a by the by, settin up the wireless network was a bit of a pig - really the configuration information which came with the product [Speedtouch] was virtually useless - and it was only the kindness of someone on another forum which helped me get it going.

I still don't actually understand it, I just followed the advice and suddenly "bingo". SO now I like in fear that it will stop working as mysteriously as it started!! I have no experience with networks and was naive in thinking I would be able to pick it up as I have been able to do with most things about PCs. Networks are not easy!

  Portly 22:48 06 Apr 2004

If you do go ahead with wireless, bear in mind you will need to hard wire at least one pc to your router. That is to enable you to update the firmware. If you attempt to do this with a radio linked pc, and the link goes down in the middle, you wil not be able to communicate with it.

g is an update and improvement on b. It has double the speed capability. It also has better security provision.

My laptop will talk to the router through two breeze block walls, and at about 40 feet range, whilst speed varies between 24 and 48 Mbps.

Surfing the web is great and shifting small files between pcs is no problem. Shifting a big file always causes problems though.

  roy 23:49 06 Apr 2004

Hi. I don't know too much about wireless networks yet but am thinking along those lines.

It occurs to me that you might well be able to keep your present ethernet network if you want and just wirelessly connect your daughters' pc's to the net. Don't quite know what the requirements would be and perhaps it isn't worth it. I was thinking that you would retain your faster connection with your wife's machine.
I think you would still need a router but both of your machines could connect to it by cable although you would need straight not cross-overs. Again I think you could use your old cable with an adapter. All this might save a few pounds but as I said before might not really be worth it in the long run.

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