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Wireless Between Computers, No Internet

Discussion in 'Networking' started by RHurlburt, Jan 20, 2006.

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  1. RHurlburt

    RHurlburt Thread Starter

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    I have several laptops and desktops. I want to be wireless using 802.11b PC cards and internal board. I prefer to NOT have to connect to the internet, just have the ability to move files between computers, et.

    I DO have one computer that connects to the Internet, it is a 56k modem, no DSL nor Cable available here.

    It would be nice to be able to use that one computer, connect to the Internet via modem (internal) and have the other computers be able to get on the net ... of course only one at a time, but that is NOT necessary.

    I have found that on other friends' networks, if they disconnect the computer from the Internet and turn the computer off, the other computers that did "talk" between each other, now fail to do so.

    Therefore, that is why I would like to do what I mentioned in the first part of the opening.

    Thanks for the help.

    Richard
     
  2. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    You did not mention which operating system(s) you were using. FWIW, here is some information from Microsoft on setting up a wireless connection on PCs running Windows XP without using a router/access point:

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/networking/expert/bowman_02april08.mspx

    You may also be able to share your modem connection to the internet as long as the PC with the modem is turned on.

    One other very importiant item; make sure that you enable and configure some type of encryption (WEP or WPA) on all the wireless networked computers. Otherwise you may find yourself sharing files with any neighbors that also may have a wireless network.

    --
    Chuck W.
     
  3. RHurlburt

    RHurlburt Thread Starter

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    cwwozniak:

    I apologize for not stating the computers are all Windows XP. I had forgotten about the ad-hoc feature so will give that a try Sunday when I get back.

    Thank you very much. As I mentioned, we are modem dial up 56K and don't want to HAVE to be on the internet to use the computers. However, if we do log on with the one computer, we will want to be able to access the internet via the others as well.

    Thanks again.

    Richard

    I will come back later with a report and steps that I did for others.

    Tia
     
  4. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Richard,

    Having all XP machines should make the ad hoc set-up fairly straight forward. I was worried that you would reply by telling me you had Windows 95 on one desktop, some variant of Linux on another desktop and the laptop was a Apple G4 Powerbook.

    --
    Chuck W.
     
  5. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Note that AdHoc connections are a 1:1 connection, you can't have three or more machines all connected.

    If you pick up a cheap broadband wireless router, you can use it as a wireless network controller, even though you don't have Internet access, it would probably be the easiest way to do this.
     
  6. RHurlburt

    RHurlburt Thread Starter

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    JohnWill:
    Yes, the 1:1 really may not suffice since there will be more than two trying to connect at times.

    Great idea on the router..
    I do have a broadband wireless router there. Just a matter of setting it up without an Internet access? If I use the routeridea, I would have it connected to the computer, no connection to the cable/phone line nor modem. Right? So, use the CD to set it up and give it a name when it asks. If it tries to send me to the ISP site just ignore? Or will it even try that?

    Thanks for the advice!! Really appreciated.
     
  7. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    John,

    The Microsoft Expert article on setting up an ad hoc network listed in my earlier post incudes this line:

    --------------
    Add Internet Connection Sharing on the host computer and all connected computers will be surfing the net wirelessly in no time at all.
    --------------

    That sounds like ore than a limit of 1:1 communications to me. Then again, I am no MVP and could be wrong.

    I would agree that using the LAN side of a wireless broadband router might simplify things for set-up.

    --
    Chuck W.
     
  8. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    The router idea is fine, but for sure ad-hoc wireless connections are not limited to two.

    I'm not positive, but I think that the option of using ICS and the option of having the other computers be independent of the one with internet access are mutually exclusive. One way that may work is to connect the router's WAN port to the ICS computer.
     
  9. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    You're right, ad-hoc connections can have more than two nodes, I was mistaken. :)

    However, the use of the router still seems like the easy way to me. In truth, if you use the router and want to share the internet from the ICS computer, the correct way is this technique, considering the ICS computer is the primary router.

    Connecting two SOHO broadband routers together.

    Configure the IP address of the secondary router to be in the same subnet as the primary router, but out of the range of the DHCP server in the primary router. For instance DHCP server addresses 192.168.0.2 through 192.168.0.100, I'd assign the secondary router 192.168.0.254 as it's IP address.

    Disable the DHCP server in the secondary router.

    Setup the wireless section just the way you would if it was the primary router.

    Connect from the primary router's LAN port to one of the LAN ports on the secondary router. If there is no uplink port and neither of the routers have auto-sensing ports, use a cross-over cable. Leave the WAN port unconnected!
     
  10. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    "However, the use of the router still seems like the easy way to me. In truth, if you use the router and want to share the internet from the ICS computer, the correct way is this technique, considering the ICS computer is the primary router."

    For sure! And, I now realize, maybe this way he will get his desire to have internet available on all computers (when the ICS one is on) and still have an intranet when the ICS computer is off.

    I'm thinking that when the ICS is on, the other computers will get their IP config from it. When the ICS is off, the other computers will get APIPAs and be able to talk with each other the same as they would on an ad-hoc network.
     
  11. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    The only issue with APIPA assignment is that it's far from 100% sure that you'll get a connection, that's a common issue. Of course, if there's no port forwarding issues, you could also use the WAN port on the router and have two NAT translations, and have the DHCP server on the router enabled. The real reason for my scheme is that having two NAT layers makes it very difficult to forward ports into the machines on the second router.
     
  12. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    I suppose Richard has enough options to try for now. Let's hope he reports back with progress or problems. And thanks, John, for the extra discussion; it's always helpful to me.

    Terry
     
  13. RHurlburt

    RHurlburt Thread Starter

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    I do have several options, thanks to all of you. Now, I just have to give it a go to see which was the best for this situation. The equipment and all is at the Son's house and I will be there later to "supervise" the set up. We have done the "wireless networking" options using the XP wizards, but they didn't work ... did not try the "ad hoc" yet nor the router, which I do have an extra one to take there.

    I sincerely appreciate the assistance and will give a full report soon.

    Thanks again.
     
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