A friend of mine has recently tried to set up a wireless network, without much sucess - he's trying to network two computers (one upstairs, and one down) which both refuse to see each other - even using the PING command gives negative results.
He's trying to establish this network using just two wireless networking cards - I was led to believe that it was a better idea to obtain a wireless access point if the computer weren't in the same room?
I've checked his network (and am by no means an expert in networking, but I get by) and can see nothing wrong with it - so should he try a Wireless access point, or is there other things he should attempt first?
Although no expert, I have just managed to set up a WiFi network and a big problem I am having is lack of range. (There are an increasing number of threads talking about this!). My range is about 20 feet through one wall and one ceiling (its supposed to be 300 to 400 feet indoors) this is a massive difference from the manufacturer's spec. Others have not had such a problem.
Thus, I would try with the receivers a few feet appart first.
XP should easily allow two computers to talk to each other directly, but make sure the BIOS of both has the network card/part of the motherboard enabled. And that the networking services are enabled (I didn't...it took hours to discover those two!).
Sadly I don't know enough about access points to comment, other than I wonder if any ranges quoted for them would be any different to ranges quoted for the "normal" equipment.
However, I want to investigate improving range by means of external antenna. I may even build my own...if I can get the tiny plug required for my Buffalo units. External antenna will definately improve things in a straight line, but may reduce range at the side (they are like focusing a ray of light from a bulb, it goes further where the lens is pointing, but you can hardly see the bulb from behind. But different antenna do this in different ways, the best in a forward direction will be the worst elsewhere).
As usual, I'm doing all sorts at the moment so it may take me a while to pull my finger out and do something about it!