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Network General Advice Wanted

Discussion in 'Networking' started by scallywag, Dec 7, 2003.

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  1. scallywag

    scallywag Thread Starter

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    Hi There,
    I have a desktop pc running windows xp and a laptop also running xp. the laptop is a "Time 8375" model and has built in wi fi.

    I want to set up a wireless network mainly for internet use so that i can connect my laptop to my broadband internet connections through my desktop computer whilst in other parts of my home.

    I have bought and installed a "Belkin F5D6001" wireless network card in my desktop so that my laptop (wi-fi enabled) can connect to the net through it.

    After 2 hours on the "Belkin" helpline and numerous restarts, configuration changes, pings, and setting alterations i have been informed that it would seem the two network wireless cards seem to be incompatible.

    I am looking for general networking advice, maybe as to a good card that might work with my laptop, or should i buy both a network card for the desktop pc and a plug in card of the same make for my laptop, thereby negating any possible conflicts.

    Any advice at all would be welcome as im fairly computer literate but a network novice.

    Thanks.
     
  2. lyrical

    lyrical

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    Jul 25, 2002
    Messages:
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    The best performance you will be able to achive will occure when you stop connecting through another computer.

    Try using a connecting a router with wireless capabilities to the broadband connection, then run the PC off the router. The laptop will not need to go through the PC then, simply broadcast to the router which takes you to the net.
     
  3. coulterp

    coulterp

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    In my day-time job where I have had to integrate industrial wired Ethernet components I have come across cases where hardware from different manufacturers citing the same Ethernet standards have not talked. The wireless world is still slightly flakey and it would not surprise me in the least if hardware from one manufacturer did not talk to that of another manufacturer even when they both claim to meet the same implementation standard.

    I run a Netgear wi-fi router and all the wi-fi cards connecting to it are Netgear because I do not trust hardware of disperate manufacturers to communicate especially as it is 54 Mbps, 802.11g kit where the standard is only recently tied down.

    The obvious things are trying to establish comms in the first instance with security features such as encryption off. Ensure XP, in both boxes, is set-up for "ad-hoc" access.

    Not knowing the details of what you have and haven't tried it is hard to advise further. But going to the expense of further hardware is, I agree, disheartening.
     
  4. scallywag

    scallywag Thread Starter

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    Thanks For The Replies, I Will Pursue The "Direct To Modem" Approach As I Was Quite Concerned By The "File Sharing" Facility Of "Computer To Computer" Networking.

    This Was Mainly Due To The Fact That The Belkin Technician Advised Me To Disable Zonealarm And Norton Anti Virus When Using The Network Card....Meaning I Was A Free For All Wi-Fi Hotspot With No Firewall And No Antivirus Broadcasting All My Files To My Local Area.

    The "Modem Only" Option Sounds Better As I Am Sharing Only My Modem Connection And Not My Bank Details, And If I Do Need To Transter Files I Can Always Do This Manually By USB Data Transfer.

    I Will Take The Issue Up At My Local "PC World" And Providing I Dont Get The Spotty School Leaver, They May Be Able To Advise Me Further,.........

    Thanks For The Advice.
     
  5. lyrical

    lyrical

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    Hey anytime!

    Take your time picking a router. I dont work with wireless much, but I hear some of the new wireless routers will let you program in MAC addresses to accept signals from, meaning unless someone can close the MAC address you program into it they cannot hotspot you.

    Take you time, and have fun with it!

    Happy hunting, and thanks for using TSG.
     
  6. coulterp

    coulterp

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  7. lyrical

    lyrical

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    Cool, thanx for the link... I will check it out also.
     
  8. coulterp

    coulterp

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    If you are interested in following up on general wireless info the Netgear link http://www.netgear.com/products/wireless.html has a series of useful documents (in PDF format) in the lower half of the page under "Confused about wireless technologies?".
     
  9. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Actually, it's very easy to spoof a MAC address and connect to a wireless network that restricts on MAC address. WPA shows promise, if they'll ever get updates out for some of the routers already installed...
     
  10. coulterp

    coulterp

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    It's probably exaggerating it a little to give the impression that every Tom, Dick or Harry is out there breaking into wireless networks and it is a trivial exercise. Someone has to have the time, expertise and inclination to bother to do this. Yes, roll-on WPA, but in the meantime by using the currently available techniques (WEP encryption, SSID broadcast blocking and MAC address access control lists) reasonable security for a home LAN can be maintained except in the most determined of break-in cases.

    You have to ask yourself: in general is someone going to bother their backside sitting outside my front-door to collect my wireless traffic? In the majority of home-user cases this is not very likely, and by taking the, albeit basic, security precautions available this threat can be reduced to what are probably acceptable levels for most folk. If you are really paranoid, then yes stick to a wired LAN.

    If you are a commercial operation things are, of course, different - as this link from the Computer Weekly a week or two ago shows (http://www.computerweekly.com/artic...&liChannelID=7&liFlavourID=1&sSearch=&nPage=1). As the article made clear, these folk didn't even bother to switch on the basics.

    As the thread originator has gone to the length of buying a PC with in-built wi-fi capabilities and a further wi-fi card for use in a 2nd PC I think we have to assume a preference not to throw that money away but rather use what has been purchased to the limit of its capability. And indeed that was the thrust of the original posting "how do I get this bloody thing working"! :D
     
  11. scallywag

    scallywag Thread Starter

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    Ok, I Am Now Up And Running. After Spending Two Hours Speaking To Three Different Technicians At The Belkin Helpline The General opinion Was That The Wi Fi Network Card Installed In The Time 8375 Laptop Is Incompatible With The Belkin Network Card.

    Taking "Lyricals" Advice I Returned The Network Card To "Pc World" And Exchanged It For The "Belkin Wireless Cable/DSL Gateway Router" And Im Glad To Say That By Connecting Directly To The Modem Without Using The Computer I Am Finally Connected.

    It Did Take One Call To Belkin To Sort Out The IP Address Assignment But Now Its Working Fine. I Have Managed To Enable The 128 Encryption So As Far As I Am Aware I Am Secure.

    Because I Didnt Use The Computer To Connect I Can Also Still Use Zonealarm And My Norton Anti Virus On Both My Desktop And Laptop As These Are Now Connected After The Router.

    Its A Result Im Happy With Finally.

    One Thing I Will Say For Belkin Is That Their Technical Support Was Excellent And FREE.
     
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