Wired or wireless! Whats best?

  brigez 00:03 28 Apr 2005

hi forum,
i've been following this forum for about a week or two and have picked up lots of info about setting up my new home network.
i'm trying to decide on my options for conecting my laptop to my broadband desktop pc.

I've got a few questions that I couldn't find answers to in earlier postings.

my destop is right next to my telephone connection, if I bought a wireless modem/router, which is my favourite choice, what is the best option for connection speed to my pc, I'm favouring a wired pci card against a wireless one for the desktop because i'm worried about the difference in speed between wired and wireless? I don't mind opening up my pc to add a pci card of any sort!

Is there a noticable difference in speed?

I've already got my laptop set up with a wireless card for connection, and both computers are using xp as their os.

  LeadingMNMs 08:41 28 Apr 2005

Personally, I'd make it wired, though thats only because you can do it for about £5-10 whereas a wireless card can be around £20-40 depending on what type you go for.

Speed shouldn't really pay apart, because ethernet will have a speed of 100Mbps and its unlikely that you'll have a broadband connection of more than 2Mbps. It won't affect file transfers between computers either, since you'll operate at the speed of the wireless laptop.

  Aspman 10:43 28 Apr 2005

Wired is definitely faster. You can buy gigabit (1000Mbit)equipment quite cheaply now.

It think the setup you are considering is very sensible. A wireless router with a built in switch (probably 4 port?).

You have the wireless connection to let you roam with your laptop and the security and reliablity of wired for your desktop.

Speed isn't an issue here but security is.
If your router has a built in firewall turn it on and look at the manual to check if it needs configuring or not.
Turn off SSID broadcasting on your wirless settings.
Enable WEP and use a pass phrase:

Instead of the key being - password
Set it could be - myd0ghasbadbreaTH

Or something even longer. It is too long to be cracked easily and should be easy to remember as well. You should still change it once a month or so. There are tools such as Airsnort and Aircrack that can break WEP relatively quickly. Changing your keys regularly makes it very difficult.

You may also want to enable MAC filtering if you can. This would restrict the network cards that can use your router.

If you are REALLY paranoid you should only use the desktop for sensitive browsing such as making credit card purchases but if the wireless is secured properly it wouldn't matter too much.

+ all the usual - patch, antivirus, antispyware.....

  brigez 15:51 28 Apr 2005

Thanks a lot for your help, I've now got myself set-up and using my wireless laptop to post this reply.

LeadingMNMs, i've hardwired my desktop to the router and seem to be getting the sort of quality and speed that i want.

Aspman, i'll take your advice on securing my new network, hopefully it will be easy enough.

Thanks again!

  ldlucan 21:49 29 Apr 2005

You may wish to read the "Is it legal" post in this forum to add an interesting twist to your decision.

click here

  brigez 21:35 30 Apr 2005


My new laptop came with a wireless card fitted, when i turned it on it found an unsecured network and i was asked if i wanted to connect to it. I decided not to as i wasn't sure if it was harmless or not!

Surely by connecting to another network that you don't know enough about will open up your pc to all sorts of security problems!

One of the first things i did after setting up my network was to secure it, but i can still pick up the unsecure network as well.

Why do people take the risk!


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