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card recommendations for DSL

by Dragon / June 5, 2004 12:24 PM PDT

We'll be getting DSL service in the near future. My wife said they (our phone company) told her they would tell us exactly what kind of cards (for whatever it is we need for DSL) to get at Best Buy, and that they would install them for us in both puters.

My question is, should I just go along with what they say we need, or do you think you can make suggestions that would be helpful for when I talk to them about it. I was thinking that whatever they think we need may not necessarily be the best for us.

Im also thinking we probably need hardware for a firewall, beyond the software (Sygate) firewall Ive already installed. And do you have a better suggestion than Sygate?

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Re:card recommendations for DSL
by Michael Geist / June 5, 2004 1:39 PM PDT

The basics for a shared broadband connection are:

1) Ethernet cards(either wired or wireless) in each computer
2) A multiported wired or wire/wireless combo router
3) CAT 5 cabling for a wired connection

The choice of wired vs wireless is up to you with convienence going to wireless and speed/security going to wired.

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Re:card recommendations for DSL
by Kees Bakker / June 5, 2004 6:27 PM PDT

Wired Ethernet NIC's (network interface cards) are a commodity. Not really much difference, I think. For wired connection they are a better choice then USB.

Wireless is often done with USB. It's up to you to decide if you want/need wireless. It's more expensive anyway, but you've got less cables through the house and you can use a laptop everywhere, including in the garden. Be sure to have the latest WPA encryption: WEP is no longer considered safe enough: http://www.pcmag.com/print_article/0,3048,a=107756,00.asp

Most routers come with a hardware firewall included. Off-the-shelf suffices normally, unless you want to use your computer as a games server.

I recommend going with the telco's choice. Their techs will have experience with them, and be able to solve any installation problems faster (and cheaper) than with other equipment. If you know what they want you to buy, you can ask for a comment here, of course.

Hope this helps,


Kees

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