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Old 07-18-2007, 13:55   #1
Cinic
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Wireless Router

I'm in a fix where the powers-that-be (my wife) have rearranged the office and I can't have a wired LAN connection anymore. So I need to get a wireless router and some sort of adapter for the desktop.

Obviously, I'm somewhat concerned with security as she does some of our banking and such online. When she was using a laptop for school, we had a Netgear MR814 that I had locked down as well as I could with MAC filtering, no SSID broadcast, and whatever encryption. I still use that as a router but the wireless part is off.

Anyway, what would you guys suggest for a router and adapter? I'm not married to any brand but I've had good luck in the past with Netgear and Linksys products. I would also need an adapter. This machine was built by me so I'm not opposed to getting a pci card adapter in lieu of USB if that is better.

I also don't know the latest standards. My bit of research has left me confused. My ultimate goal would be to have something secure and reliable.

I do plan on going back to wired in the future, but I'm not going into the attic to pull wire for at least another 3-4 months.

If I've left anything out, please ask.

John
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Old 07-18-2007, 14:05   #2
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I have a netgear, and it works fine, you want to get the 54mbps version.

When you set it up you'll be asked if you want to secure the network with a password. Do this and you'll be in good shape.
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Old 07-18-2007, 15:24   #3
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NO hardwire LAN? Why might I ask is that so?

Wireless is not bullet proof but can be improved greatly from the default. Check here for topics discussing the Wi-Fi LAN issues:

http://www.grc.com/SecurityNow.htm
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Old 07-18-2007, 15:38   #4
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You can't run a drop through the attic or under the baseboard around the room?

WLAN can be made fairly secure (though not so much as wired). Firstly, get one with WPA (not WEP). Most have WPA abilities and alot also come with WEP. IMO the more "locked-down" the better. I use the following setup:

WPA
Changed the SSID
No SSID broadcast (except when I'm connecting a new device via Windows)
No DHCP
MAC filtering

The average user would not be able to get on since they wouldn't even see the SSID. A more experienced user would have a hard time getting in until they cracked the passphrase, set a static IP on their machine, and spoofed one of my machine's MAC address. Also, on all of my Windows machines I have ZoneAlarm, which will help if a hacker does get through my router.
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Old 07-18-2007, 19:31   #5
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Have to agree, if you get creative, you can probably get wired over to your New PC w/o little to no hassle.

My parents house has 3 PC's, 1 in an attic, 1 in a family room, 1 in the youngest sisters room(same floor as family room). When I was charged w/ setting up their network, I considered wireless, but figured it would be hit/miss with the PC in the attic. So I ran coax from where the cable came in in the basement, up through a closet that accesses the attic, then across the unfinished part of the attic, to behind the PC, and brought the coax through the wall. Set up the cable modem/router. Repeat above but instead went from upstairs to downstairs, w/ Cat6 cable, and brought Cat6 up through the floor behind each PC.

Very simple, and IMO, way more secure and stable than wireless.

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Old 07-18-2007, 21:37   #6
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It will be wired in the future, but I need a temporary fix as I'm not going into the attic in Arizona in July. It's probably 140 degrees up there and this isn't going to be a simple pull.

Thanks for the help so far.

John
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:49   #7
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I agree with Glock Bob with one very minor variation, I would change the channel that the router operates on. I've had problems with too many wireless networks using one channel and it killing the speed. Any 802.11g router and card should do fine for you as long as it's from a reputable manufacturer, check the user reviews at Newegg.com and you should be able to tell what works and what doesn't.
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Old 07-24-2007, 21:43   #8
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Superiority of Wireless Network with Draft N

Get the Linksys 4400N ($200+) router and you should no problem with a signal to your attic. It automatically changes the channels to avoid conflicts in the 2.4 frequency band. Since it uses the mimo tech it comes close to the speed of a wired network.

As far as the adapter goes, if you have a PC Card slot, a Linksys 400N adapter is ideal, but if you only have an express card slot (newer), then you will have to settle for a Linksys 300N adapter.

These are both high quality products and once set up properly you will have no dropped signals with great range and strength of signal.

Make sense?
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Old 07-24-2007, 22:48   #9
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Could you live with a rolled up network cable when you don't need it? Sure beats spending money just to not use it in a few months. If you get a long enough cable you could even use it to run in the attic when you get in there.
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Old 07-25-2007, 13:30   #10
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What about this?:
http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=204647341&adid=17653&dcaid=17653

Actiontec’s new MegaPlug™ 85 Mbps Ethernet Adapter ups the ante for ease of use and network expandability. Just plug a MegaPlug Ethernet Adapter in any 2- or 3-prong electrical outlet in one room of your house, and another MegaPlug Adapter in any power outlet, and you’ve got instant network access across your power lines. What could be easier? If you need a simple way to extend your home network, the MegaPlug 85 Mbps Ethernet Adapter is the quickest and most economical way to do it.

Edited to add: The two reviews on Newegg report slow data transfer rates.

Last edited by sjfrellc; 07-25-2007 at 15:41..
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Old 07-25-2007, 14:14   #11
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Why not just rearrange your office back to the way it was? Tell that woman how it's gonna be and move the computer back.

That's what I would do. I couldn't justify having to spend money just because my wife wanted to rearrange things. You could always make HER pay for it. LoL!

Seriously though, if your are whipped, like most married men I know are, you could just buy a $60 Linksys WRT54G wireless router from Walmart or Best-Buy or wherever and hook that up with no SSID broadcast, enable WEP or WPA2 encryption, set a password, change the hostname for the router, and you should be good to go. Look on http://www.newegg.com for a Linksys 802.11g WLAN adapter for your desktop computer, they are pretty cheap.
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Old 07-27-2007, 16:21   #12
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Aside from the security issues, wired is much faster. I've used wireless at work with a PCS card. Many problems with dropping the connections, having to reboot the machines to get them back.

Now, we have the Linksys router made for the PCS card, and all is good. I disabled the wireless and just added a switch when we needed more users. Now, we can use the router's built-in firewall, and no chance of any strays bootlegging our wireless signal.

And we went from 54 to 100mb speed for all. Life is good. It's not cable modem speed, but it beats the hell out of dial-up which is what it replaced.
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Old 07-27-2007, 19:23   #13
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N is far superior to B and G

We can get a much faster data stream using the draft n mode. My router: (LINKSYS WRVS4400N Draft IEEE802.11n, IEEE802.11g, IEEE802.11b, IEEE802.3, IEEE802.3u, 802.1X (security authentication), 802.11i - Ready (security WPA2), 802.11e - Ready (wireless QoS), IPv4 (RFC791)) regularly does 400mps. I am also backward compatible to to B and G. In draft N there is really no need for wires anymore. Security choices are excellent as well.
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Old 07-29-2007, 23:17   #14
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I have a Westell that I love. It is set up to do MAC address and filtering and is configured to take a WAP/WEP key. Its great! I also have a Linksys that I'm not using. Its nice because it comes with setup software so its nice for those who are not computer literate.
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