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planning a home network

Discussion in 'Networking' started by mrcoons, Sep 12, 2003.

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  1. mrcoons

    mrcoons Thread Starter

    Apr 17, 2001
    I will be getting DSL access in the near future and figured that that will be the time to setup a home network, to share the DSL connection.
    I have a Dell Dimension 8200 and Dell Inspiron 8100 using Win XP Home, a Dell Dimension XPS T600 and a Toshiba desktop using Win98SE. The 8200 and 8100 are both in the same room, where the DSL modem will be.
    My 8100 already has an Ethernet card installed so it's good to go (as far as I know anyway). But that's it for hardware currently installed.
    I'm not too concerned about range as all 4 PC's sit well within a 35 foot radius. But I am concerned about cordless phone problems, with 2 teenagers who like to talk on the phone.
    So my thought is to get a router (802.11G) and I am leaning towards one from LinkSys. I will run a cable from the router to the Ethernet port on the 8100 to connect it. I'll then need 3 wireless USB connections for the other 3 PC's. At least that's what I think I need. Who has an opinion on my plan? Am I leaving out something that I will need? (Hardware or software?)
    Will having two different operating systems be a problem? (I hope not the Toshiba would be a problem to convert to XP.)
    Suggestions? Comments?
  2. atconc


    Jun 21, 2003
    If you can go for pcmcia or pci internal wireless cards instead of usb adaptors. In my student house last year the rooms were laid out symetrically, 3 rooms downstairs and 3 upstairs the router was in the centre downstairs room (our lounge) and each of the other 5 rooms (our bedrooms) had a pc with a wireless adaptor the two of us (1 up and 1 down) with pci cards got 5-11mbs consistantly and near max signal strength while the other three (2 upstairs, one directly above the router, one the other side downstairs) got low signal 1-2 mbs and frequent packet loss when gaming.

    As the layout was symetrical and all the walls brick it seems pretty fair to say that the usb adaptors gave much worse performance overall
  3. zeddy


    May 3, 2003
    If the distance between the PCs is only 35 feet why not go for CAT5 cabling for nice even 100mb/s speed. The PCI network adaptors will obviously be much chaeper as well. Linksys is good, I particularly like Netgear products.
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Oct 19, 2002
    I'd opt for a wireless router and then wire anything that's not too difficult. In spite of the distance, wires still work better. :D

    I have to disagree about the difference between PCMCIA wireless adapters and the USB ones, at least the two that I have. I have an SMC and a Zoom PCMCIA card, and I also have the SMC and a GigaFast USB wireless client. The external USB devices with the antennas have a much better range than the PCMCIA cards do, at least at my house. :)
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