Buying/setting-up wireless router and laptop...???

  David001 04:23 30 Aug 2003

Hi all.

I am looking for advice on setting up a wireless link between a wireless router (of course) and a laptop, which I wish to use around the house/garden. Can anyone tell me the details surrounding this goal, and perhaps give any sources of further information? Indeed, input from those who already running such a set-up would be much appreciated...

Put simply, I?m looking for recommendations on:

-- purchase of a good laptop
-- purchase of some kind of receiver card for laptop?
-- purchase of wireless router
-- any other things/circumstances that should be considered that I haven?t thought about!

I am currently working from a central PC with ntl broadband in an upstairs room. No purchases have been made as yet, although in regards to the Wireless Router I've done some initial investigations into some of the current NetGear equipment available?

Any help much appreciated! Thanks in advance.


FE is your man here and I am sure he will give some good advice.

Personally, I use the Buffalo Airstation 54g (802.11g) and cardbus for the laptop. This comes in at only £130 for both and is pretty fast.

Set up is easy but beware of the fact that the router does not have a built in modem and needs to connect to your existing one. This is fine so long as your modem has the RJ11 type output cable as the router will not accept a USB connection.

As to a laptop, take your pick. I would hesitate with the built in wireless at present (Centrino) as I feel they are not all that they are cracked up to be - others may have a different view. I use the cardbus in a Toshiba 2.6 P4 and have no probs at all.

  Lozzy 09:09 30 Aug 2003

Since you have to still make your purchases, re the laptop many manufacturers in Laptops are now supplying them with wireless cards installed. Just make sure if thats the route you want its has a centrino chip. You will need an RJ45 Patch Cable (NOT X OVER) for each PC to be connected to the router with the Broadband connection cable going directly to the router/access point. Thats it.

Make sure you run the XP Network wizard after you have made all the connections.

  Lozzy 09:12 30 Aug 2003

Taking Smiffy99's point about Centrino, He may well be right but I use a Dell laptop with a centrino chip on my wireless network and no issues at all. My connection speed is always at the highest level and I think its excellent. That's just my opinion.

  David001 15:47 02 Sep 2003

Hello again and thank you for your quick reply/replies! :)

I've continued to research this issue over the past few days, and thought I'd post an update on my current plans/further questions... Hopefully this will help cover any gaps left by my first post... :)

Current set-up:

To clarify further, I have one cable broadband connection (UK; ntl; ethernet based) going into an upstairs room.

Planned set-up:

Cable connection will be ported into wireless router, and the connection shared with the desktop PC (via wired connection) and laptop (via wireless connection) respectively.


-- Wish to keep broadband connection point in same place. Thus, plan to locate wireless router beside it (in the upstairs room beside the desktop PC)...

-- Biggest distance likely to arise between the wireless router and wireless laptop is around 20m. Average distance will only be around 5-10m. (Both distances are estimated in diagonal straight lines from the upper floor wireless router position to possible seating spots down in the garden) Distances will be a lot less, when, say, laptop is directly under the router, for example, in sitting room.

-- Property is around 100 years old, with reasonably sized walls (nothing *too* thick, but old and sturdy all the same -- thicker than most 'new builds' but not excessive) It could have been built anywhere in between 1900 to 1925, so I hope you get the kind of building I'm talking about...

-- Wish to go for wireless router + laptop card of same brand... I hear such set-ups work better together with fewer problems...

-- May add another desktop to home network at later time. Means that equipment must support expansion beyond current remits (but I will leave this out of the discussion for now)...

-- Laptop PCMCIA wireless card also has to work with a wireless network that my employer runs in/around their workplace location. The signal is good for a substantial distance around this area (covering many blocks by means of powerful antennae). I have seen several of my associates use a particular kind of PCMCIA card in their laptops to receive this signal -- but I assumed this was a coincidence? Surely, the type of card one uses should not affect the performance in this area too much? Is this an important issue?

-- Although it is unlikely that both the desktop and laptop will be used at the same time, this could happen occasionally. In addition, as well as accessing the files on my desktop when it is on, I also hope to be able to use the laptop to access the broadband connection even if the desktop is off -- I assume that under the system I outlined above that this is possible?


So, here is the equipment I would like some advice on purchasing:

-- Wireless Router: *Fast/secure* wireless router desired... Have opted for G-standard equipment (802.11G, apparently the latest version; known to handle up to 54mbps). Notable/desirable brands include the usual suspects, such as Netgear, D-Link, Linksys, Buffalo, SMC...

-- PCMCIA wireless card for laptop: .g/multi standard desired... Wish to avoid USB-based products. (Have been told there are less problems with PCMCIA products, plus they're apparently easier to carry around). I understand that some laptops come with wireless cards already, but in my experience, superior equipment is gained from separate purchases... Notable/desirable brands again include products from Netgear, D-Link, Linksys, Buffalo, SMC...

-- Laptop: Blend of *battery life/performance* desired... Have seen notable/desirable units from Dell, Toshiba, IBM, Sony and HP (previously Compaq)...


If anyone has any specific hardware recommendations/examples, these would be very much appreciated! :) Input from those who already running such a set-up would be especially useful. Any other tips/advice that I haven't considered are also highly valued!

Thanks again


PS: somebody forwarded me an excellent link from (click here). I have found this to be a very useful introduction to the subject of wireless networking.

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