Wireless from scratch

  Tazfan 18:34 18 Jan 2006

Windows XP, NTL Cable 10MB.
I currently have a wired network consisting of 2 PCs. I have a third that I would like to add to the system. Its not practical to run another wire (the existing wire running upstairs required 2 holes in a wall, and the cable is visible up the side of the stairs). I am thinking going Wireless, but herein lies the problem. Money is a huge factor, in that I have very little indeed. What is the cheapest and most reliable gear that I could get away with? I'm not even sure on current prices, but the best for the least outlay is what I am looking for.

As always, many thanks in advance for your help, time and trouble. Its appreciated.


  ade.h 20:14 18 Jan 2006

The PC World "Collect at Store" web-specials are pretty good; modem/routers start at around £50, which is pretty much as cheap as it gets (much of the products below that are just routers). I can appreciate that these prices may be out of your budget if moeny is scarce (been there!)

  mgmcc 23:22 18 Jan 2006

If the third PC is to be located close to the second one (upstairs), you could put a Network Switch in and plug the existing cable and the two PCs into that. Thus, there would be no need to run a second cable up the stairs and it would be an inexpensive solution.

  Tazfan 12:29 19 Jan 2006

Dont I just need a Wireless Router as opposed to a modem, seeing as I have a stand alone modem? Im so out of touch with whats what. I used to know what I was on with LOL!
mgmcc, thats a good idea, but its sadly not practical to wire the two upstairs systems together. I wouldnt have to go wireless if it was possible.

  Tazfan 12:43 19 Jan 2006

Is this click here what I need? Do they come with a reciever for plugging into another PC or are they seperate? I will need two, so if one is included it would be a bonus.

  ade.h 12:59 19 Jan 2006

That's the sort of thing that I was talking about but it depends which route (no pun intended!) you want to take. Mgmcc's suggestion might be better for you, given you budget. Yes, the wifi adapters are seperate unless you buy an all-in-one kit, some of which may have two adapters or just one. In most home setups, people will usually have one desktop an one or two laptops, so they don't often need adapters. Laptops are normally wifi ready these days and the router is normally connected to the desktop with an Ethernet LAN cable. I say normally throughout the above because there are always different ways of doing things with wifi.

  dms05 13:13 19 Jan 2006

It really is a cheap alernative to use a Network Switch. This one's under £10 and offers 8 ports click here

  mgmcc 13:54 19 Jan 2006

<<< Is this click here what I need? >>>

Yes, if you do need to use the "wireless" option, that would be ideal for use with Cable Broadband, but to take advantage of the "speed boost" above the 54Mbps of the 802.11g wireless standard, make sure you also buy Linksys wireless adapters.

  Tazfan 14:02 19 Jan 2006

"Linksys wireless adapters". Are they the recievers that plug into the other PCs? I understand that the main PC is wired to the router,(same as it is now with my wired network router), then I need a reciever in the other 2 computers, so all I need is 2 adapters?

How silly do I feel coming in and asking questions? I feel like such a Newbie lol!

  Tazfan 20:55 19 Jan 2006

Could someone post a link to what Adapters I would need? Would it be worth me ordering the Router now, then getting the cards at a later date after Iv saved up a little? The Router isnt likely to plummet in price in the next few weeks is it?

  mgmcc 22:57 19 Jan 2006

If both of the PCs to be connected "wirelessly" are desktops, not laptops, you can use either internal PCI or USB Wireless Network Adapters:

Linksys USB 2.0 WiFi adapter with Speedbooster click here

Linksys PCI WiFi adapter with Speedbooster click here

However, to keep costs down, there are less expensive options particularly by sticking with standard 54Mbps 802.11g hardware, such as:

Belkin Wireless Cable/DSL router bundled with Belkin USB 2.0 54Mbps 802.11g Wireless Network Adapter click here

Additional Belkin USB 2.0 54Mbps 802.11g Wireless Network Adapter for use with second "wireless" PC click here

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