Tips for setting up a wireless network at home?


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phantasia

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#1
Hey all,

THinking of setting up a wireless network at home so that a few PC/laptops can surf net at the same time. But not quite sure of how to go about doing so...anyone with expertise can help?

Currently subscribed on a singnet 512k broadband connection.

1. What are the recommended equipment i would need and roughly the cost?
2. Any special configurations I would need to take note of...?
3. Will there be a significant degradation of download speed if multiple users surf at once?

Thanks alot everyone! :)
 

Klose

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Feb 15, 2005
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Is yours a USB modem or Ethernet one? If it's USB junk it (immpossible to sell one these days, just keep it as a standby one)

What's the lan setup going to be like? How many rigs in total? Will there be any pc sited next to the modem + router?

You will need 1 ethernet modem and 1 wireless router (Linksys is good :D) for a start wireless pci cards or usb adaptors will be needed to the independent rigs :)
 

phantasia

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Klose said:
Is yours a USB modem or Ethernet one? If it's USB junk it (immpossible to sell one these days, just keep it as a standby one)

What's the lan setup going to be like? How many rigs in total? Will there be any pc sited next to the modem + router?

You will need 1 ethernet modem and 1 wireless router (Linksys is good :D) for a start wireless pci cards or usb adaptors will be needed to the independent rigs :)
Currently i have the aztech adsl usb modem provided by singtel last time...

For my entire network configuration, i was thinking of linking up 1 PC, 2-3 laptops..probably there will be a pc sited next to the modem + router.

1. Would my pc need to be ON for the other laptops to surf?
2. Any estimated cost for the entire setup?
3. I've heard of integrated modem+router devices....are those any good?
4. For the usb adaptors...are these just normal bluetooth adaptors? Would the surfing speed suffer if i'm just using usb1.1?

Thanks alot!!
 

user111

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Jul 27, 2004
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for one user 512 is enough but for more user u need more bandwidth hehe

1. no need to switch on pc since all u need is to do is to switch on the modem itself

2. a few hundred SGD

3. yes they are useable. try linksys

4. usb 1.1 will not have enough power
 

Ah Pao

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#5
phantasia said:
Currently i have the aztech adsl usb modem provided by singtel last time...

For my entire network configuration, i was thinking of linking up 1 PC, 2-3 laptops..probably there will be a pc sited next to the modem + router.

1. Would my pc need to be ON for the other laptops to surf?
2. Any estimated cost for the entire setup?
3. I've heard of integrated modem+router devices....are those any good?
4. For the usb adaptors...are these just normal bluetooth adaptors? Would the surfing speed suffer if i'm just using usb1.1?

Thanks alot!!
First you need to dump your Aztech modem since it can't be hooked up to a wireless router. You'll can either:
There are plenty of brands out there, so take your time to explore. I chose the Modem + Router combo because I forsee that I may change to cable in the future (the advantage of modularity), but I need two power plugs, and it can add to the troubleshooting process.

Here's a simple schemetic diagram that may help you set up your wireless network.

Option 1: Seperate ADSL modem and wireless router
Code:
Phone line <--> Modem <--> Wireless router <~~> Notebook/PC with WiFi adaptor
                                           <--> PC/Notebook with Ethernet adaptor
Option 2: Integrated ADSL modem and wireless router
Code:
Phone line <--> Modem-Router <~~> Notebook/PC with WiFi adaptor
                             <--> PC/Notebook with Ethernet adaptor

The components that needs to be switched on are your modem and wireless router (Option 1) or your integrated modem-router (Option 2). Your PC connected to the router using an Ethernet cable does not need to be switched on for your other PCs/notebooks to surf the Internet.

The entire setup is about $150 for either option. Add about another $40-$50 for every WiFi PCI/USB/Cardbus adaptor you need to buy for your PCs/notebooks. But prices may have dropped by now. Go for the higher-speed 802.11g (54Mbps) wireless routers rather than the older 802.11b (11Mbps) offerings although they are dirt-cheap nowadays.

USB WiFi adapators are NOT Bluetooth adaptors since they use different signaling protocols. Not too sure they can be used on USB 1.1 plugs, so read the documentation on the box! However, I recommend going for a PCI (PC) or Cardbus (notebooks) adaptor since they suck up less CPU time.
 

Klose

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#6
phantasia said:
Currently i have the aztech adsl usb modem provided by singtel last time...

For my entire network configuration, i was thinking of linking up 1 PC, 2-3 laptops..probably there will be a pc sited next to the modem + router.

1. Would my pc need to be ON for the other laptops to surf?
2. Any estimated cost for the entire setup?
3. I've heard of integrated modem+router devices....are those any good?
4. For the usb adaptors...are these just normal bluetooth adaptors? Would the surfing speed suffer if i'm just using usb1.1?

Thanks alot!!
1. No. Only the modem and router need to be switched on.

2. Very low. I think it's cheaper than keeping your table lamp switched on for the whole month.

3.Integrated is hassle free but when it goes down lot's of problems.

4. USB wireless adaptors are very different from bluetooth ones. Different IEEE stnds. Surfing speed will not be affected but data transfer speed will be affected. For the laptops, I suggest you get wireless PCMICA cards to slot into the lappies :)

Here's a rough guide of my own wireless network

modem (aztech 305EU) -> wireless router (Linksys WRT54G) -> 2 x rigs connected by lan cables
-> 2 x rigs connected using linksys wusb54 usb adaptors
-> 2x laptops connected by centrino technology
 

espn

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#7
1. What are the recommended equipment i would need and roughly the cost?
I'd recommend a 1) ADSL router modem, one that can dial up when powered on, should have an ethernet port so that you can connect to a 2) router you also need 3) network cards & PCMCIA cards for laptops & PCs.


2. Any special configurations I would need to take note of...?
Disable SSID broadcast, enable WEP, enable MAC filtering.

3. Will there be a significant degradation of download speed if multiple users surf at once?
Definitely.
 

marclee

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Apr 18, 2005
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#8
espn said:
... 2. Any special configurations I would need to take note of...?
Disable SSID broadcast, enable WEP, enable MAC filtering.
...
I'll contribute an answer to one question... in a rush, sorry.

It might be good to look for equipment that can handle WPA encryption (as opposed to WEP). WEP is not secure (you can try googling for this topic to see how insecure WEP is).

WPA-PSK coupled with a long, good password is very secure... try to hit the maximum of 63 random characters that mix upper case, lower case and numerals for the password.

Hope this helps.

marc
 

phantasia

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#9
Hey all!

Thanks for the very informative replies! I think i roughly get an idea of how the wireless network comes together now.

1. Any specific recommendations for modem/routers? As in any particular model is good and cost effective?

2. Still abit confused bout the configurations bit tho...Do i have to take note of the security and software-side issues when purchasing the hardware?
 

azul123

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Dec 4, 2004
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Before setting your sights on the router, better consider if there are several users on the wireless LAN do you need a shared printer? if you need one, don't think Linksys has a router with a Print-Server built-in. SMC is a good brand that has a built-in Print-Server.

So these considerations are necessary as yo udon't want to spend a sum and later find that the add-ons are required.

Think about the following:

1) Where are you going to place the ADSL router, any Tel line there which the ISP provider will need to deliver the Broadband to you.

2) Enough power point for ADSL modem, Broadband router, Shared printer etc... some Broadband routers comes with built-in DSL modem.

3) If you have school going children and they print alot of stuff, a Broadband router with built-in Print Server where everyone can use and centrally located.

4) If you live in a large compund house, think about where you place your Broadband router, wireless though can pass through a wall but several walls maybe degrade your signal.

This is what I can think of at the moment, happy setting up.

../azul123

P.S. Oh, yes... never leave the network unsecure, always can't stress this enough always secure it the best way possible.
 

phantasia

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azul123 said:
Before setting your sights on the router, better consider if there are several users on the wireless LAN do you need a shared printer? if you need one, don't think Linksys has a router with a Print-Server built-in. SMC is a good brand that has a built-in Print-Server.

So these considerations are necessary as yo udon't want to spend a sum and later find that the add-ons are required.

Think about the following:

1) Where are you going to place the ADSL router, any Tel line there which the ISP provider will need to deliver the Broadband to you.

2) Enough power point for ADSL modem, Broadband router, Shared printer etc... some Broadband routers comes with built-in DSL modem.

3) If you have school going children and they print alot of stuff, a Broadband router with built-in Print Server where everyone can use and centrally located.

4) If you live in a large compund house, think about where you place your Broadband router, wireless though can pass through a wall but several walls maybe degrade your signal.

This is what I can think of at the moment, happy setting up.

../azul123

P.S. Oh, yes... never leave the network unsecure, always can't stress this enough always secure it the best way possible.
Thanks for the extra tips! Any advice on how to get the network secure? Is it thru software/hardware?:)
 

jumbocrab

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Jun 27, 2004
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Get equipment that can support WPA2. This is the latest in supporting WIFI security.

There are also other things that you can do to lessen your chance of others breaking into your wireless network, such as disabling SSID broadcast, disable DHCP (set the IP address manually), MAC filtering etc etc.
 

azul123

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#13
phantasia said:
Thanks for the extra tips! Any advice on how to get the network secure? Is it thru software/hardware?:)
I think marclee provided some pointers on this on how to better protect your wireless LAN environment, also MAC filtering is good thing to do, though you have to do extra stuff i.e.; recording all your wireless MAC addresses and entering them into the Broadband router configuration.

This way you can be sure that no one except the ones with the allowed MAC addresses are allowed access.

Note: MAC addresses are machine identifiers namely identifying unique numbers which has manufacturer id and some other numbers but each has a unique numbers so no two are alike.

../azul123
 

Klose

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Feb 15, 2005
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I'm on WPA and MAC ;) good enough for the home user :bsmilie:
 

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