Solved: I need wireless networking advice!

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hansmax

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The specs for my "main" computer are below. I would like to network (wirelessly) my old computer. Specs for it are: 450 MHz P2, 128 MB Ram, Win98 SE. My ISP is cable broadband. I've been looking at equipment, mostly at Walmart. (Yeah, I know, but it's cheap, and I get instant gratification.) The local one is carrying Linksys and Belkin. I'm thinking I don't need to spend extra on "Speedboost", I'm just looking for wireless G.

When I look at the Linksys, the router requirements states a minimum processor speed of 200 MHz. The wireless PCI card states a minimum processor speed of 500 MHz, and 128 MB of RAM. (Doing the math, my old computer doesn't quite measure up, right?) The Belkin gear doesn't really state much of any requirements, other than a minimum RAM of 4 MB.

Which type of gear, in your opinions, is superior? I would probably like to go with the LinkSys, but do I dare ignore their 500 MHz lower limit? Do you think I am overachieving by trying to set this network up in the first place? A plus for the Belkin is that router and card run about $75, compared to about $100 for the Linksys. I would greatly appreciate any input. I've done some googling, but would feel more secure with the input of real people such as yourselves.
 

hansmax

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Thanks for not mincing words, ezymony. I've always had a better feeling about Linksys, but I still wonder what kind of functionality I'm going to have with that old 450 processor.
 

TerryNet

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My Belkin router has been working great since I bought it early March. You can "mix and match" brand names among your networking devices--they are all pretty compatible these days.

No matter what you get, your newer computer is going to run rings around the old one. I still sometimes use a 5+ year old laptop with Windows XP, 128meg, 400mhz and either a Netgear or Dlink PCMCIA wireless adaptor. It works fine, but for sure it is slow.

I agree with you that you would probably be wasting your money with any of the speedboost things. Just get whichever 54mbps wireless G you are most comfortable with. If you look for sales and rebates at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Staples, etc., for a week or two you can likely get a router and adaptor for less than $75 after rebates.
 
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Is the wireless setup a necessity? I networked my daughter's old Packard Bell (slow running windows ME - came with 95) to her E-machine (running Windows XP). All I had to do was get a network card for the old PB and the proper cable (Don't remember what it was called but Radio Shack helped me - I just explained what I was doing.). It's been working fine for two years now.
 

hansmax

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Thanks for the links, JohnWill. Golddust, yes, I need wireless. I want to be able to put it anywhere in the house, and I don't really feel like wiring the whole house when wireless has become so ubiquitous. I guess the real question remaining is what kind of performance issues I'm looking at if I install a wireless card with a minimum processor recommendation of 500 MHz on a computer with a 450 MHz processor. Is the 500 MHz recommendation a suggestion with some wiggle room or a hard and fast rule?
 

JohnWill

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Depending on where the encryption takes place, the slower processor may slow down the data transfers. I'm sure the 450 will work, I suspect the number was chosen to be a reasonable bottom threshold.
 
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hansmax said:
Thanks for the links, JohnWill. Golddust, yes, I need wireless. I want to be able to put it anywhere in the house, and I don't really feel like wiring the whole house when wireless has become so ubiquitous. I guess the real question remaining is what kind of performance issues I'm looking at if I install a wireless card with a minimum processor recommendation of 500 MHz on a computer with a 450 MHz processor. Is the 500 MHz recommendation a suggestion with some wiggle room or a hard and fast rule?
I think you'll be fine. My daughter is using an old laptop with a slower processor than you have and it is wirelessly networked with a Linksys router and adapter. Just buy it at Staples or a local shop so that if it doesn't work, you can return it. Do you have a Walmart close to you? You can get them pretty cheap there.
 

hansmax

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Thanks for the input, Mulder. It's given me the courage to go ahead. As for Walmart, I feel like I live there already. I'll mark this solved, but will check back. Thanks, everybody.
 
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