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Do you have a wireless network setup at home?

by Marc Bennett CNET staff/forum admin / January 4, 2007 7:26 AM PST

Do you have a wireless network setup at home?

Yes--look ma, no wires!
No way, my data stays on land!
Not yet, but I'm considering it.
No, and I'd love one, but I don't know where to begin.

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by ktreb / January 4, 2007 10:48 AM PST

set it and forget it

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True, true
by speedypeed / January 5, 2007 5:22 AM PST
In reply to: yes

I agree, just "set it and forget it". I like that way of thinking. I never thought of it that way.

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Wouldn't even think about it (Wireless)
by moondoggy / January 5, 2007 5:02 AM PST

There would be no way I would use wireless. Remember RF signals are fair game to anyone. That's like stating, here it is, anyone care to tap in.

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Um, but that's just kinda silly....
by owilde / January 5, 2007 8:53 AM PST

That's the reason behind Firewalls (in your Router as well as software on your computer), the Authentication (WEP or WPA etc) and the Encryption (TKIP). Also you can have it set up so that you do *not* broadcast your SSID (you manually enter in the SSID name instead of having it shown in a list of available networks in the area) or you can set it up so that you only connect to a certain SSID/Network (from your laptop/desktop/PDA etc to the router) so that you never accidentally join someone else's network that is open/shared and possibly have your data stolen from you on the (not your) router's end... Also, setting the channel # (up to 11) to keep it away from other close by networks that might start to interfere with your signal quality.

There are tons more things to do, like making your router's firewall be enabled in "stealth mode", and blocking all ports as well as types except for certain applications, and having your software firewall have to "accept" an application for any Internet or Networking involement by selecting "Allow this program, this time or always" etc.

But other than the very basic settings, you will have to use the same caution and procedures for Ethernet Internet/Network connections as well... Use WPA over WEP as often as you can (depends on the hardware which ones are supported). I used WPA-PSK (Authentication) and TKIP (Encryption). Without actually adding my other computers on the home network to my internet security software to be "trusted", even basic "pings" and such from them (the computers that I actually own and have in the apartment) get denied and put into the log. There are also usually "alerts" for any time a suspected computer is detected on the network so you can either say it is "trusted" at that time, or do whatever for if it isn't (I'm sure there are ways to kill *evil* connections to your Router...

The only thing is that WiFi can be slower depending on what you are doing, but then again, specific speeds and rates are not definite for either Ethernet or Wireless data... And they can change within a certain range from day to day or depending what you are doing.

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I had wireless
by sharee100 / January 5, 2007 9:41 AM PST

I had wireless and every time the ice cream truck would come by by computers would lock up. I made sure I set access to only the number of computers I had on (2 all the time). I switched to wired and haven't had any problems with my network since. NO WIRELESS FOR ME.

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by cougville / January 5, 2007 5:08 AM PST

Use an Apple AirPort base station with WPA - no one can get in without my password.
I love it - have a remote base station downstairs for iTunes connected to the stereo and better laptop reception around the house.
THE only way to go!

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Josh has wireless Internet
by speedypeed / January 5, 2007 5:19 AM PST

Well, I know for a fact that for anyone to use a wireless connection, they can encrypt the signal with WEP or WPA keys, and it is to my understanding that WEP is better. I have no WEP key, but my router only has a range of 50 feet until there is no signal, and nobody on my street has a PC or any device that can catch WiFi signals. However, I configured my settings on my notebook so I can use an RJ-45 CROSSOVER cable for use with system linking X- Box consoles. I connected one end to my notebook LAN jack, and the other to the broadband jack on my PlayStation 2. With that, I can play online, and I thought the only way I could play online was if I used the cable coming directly from my radio (a square Motorola radio that picks up internet signals from the tower over at the tech center) but since I use this CROSSOVER method, it offers me flexibility and I don't have to worry about wires, except for the CROSSOVER cable. And, not only that, but I also have a PlayStation Portable in which I can play online or browse the internet through my WiFi connection. If you're looking for a flexible internet connection which offers peace of mind, I would recommend a wireless router. Simply plug it in, configure it, and encrypt it with a WEP key. I really should be doing the same as well, you never know if a hacker can just drive by and try to use my WiFi signal.

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That's wrong...
by owilde / January 5, 2007 8:55 AM PST

WEP is *not* better, WPA is... A key to use that is fairly good for the average person/network (IMO) would be WPA-PSK (for the Authentication) and TKIP (for the Encryption).

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Wireless connection
by jcallas / January 5, 2007 5:28 AM PST

I just got a wireless router and it works great. While my old Mac is wired in, the wireless allows my youngsters, who are technically more advanced than their old man and got MacBooks for Christmas, to use the internet and check email without using the mothership (my computer). When all three of us are on-line, things slow down a tad, but other than that I am pleased with the arrangement. And we have included a password to discourage intruders.

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by yogi21a / January 5, 2007 5:28 AM PST

YES! Wireless and loving it! Bill

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Secure it, too !
by jamal hafez / January 5, 2007 5:43 AM PST

Yah ..I agree it up but remember to secure it and then forget it.

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It's a bear to setup! Not for a novice!
by henry_apple / January 5, 2007 5:58 AM PST

I bought a Linksys WRT54G v5 a year ago. I needed it for a desktop and two laptops. I was going to try to use ethernet cabling but it would have been a lot of work to run the cable. What seduced me in getting it was the "easy setup" CD that came with the system. The only problem was, the last part of the CD asked for information that I didn't have or knew where to get it. IP addresses, gateway addresses etc. After the second day of trying to make it work, a friend of mine helped me get it all setup. It took him two hours one day and another 2 hours the next day!

Linksys customer service told me to contact SBC internet service, who in turn told me to call Linksys for the IP addresses! Neither gave me the info correctly!

In the beginning, one or two or all three computers could not get into the I/N. So I unplug the router and reset it and then it might work or not. This happened often. Now, for whatever reason, it works OK. Once in a while one computer may not be able to get in; so I wait a couple of hours and it works!

Why doesn't the manufacturers give directions of how and where to get the info required?

And setting up the security is another pain. With the help of my friend we used the WEP, not WAP. I wasn't going to take a chance of screwing everything up trying to update to WAP!

And where is a "setting up a wireless router for dummies" book???

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Wifi is a piece of cake
by ludedude25 / January 5, 2007 6:51 AM PST

I've used a wireless connection off and on for around 4 years now. My suggestion is do a little background reading on setting up a router and skip the easy cd.

As for your IP address you get it from your router.

Your Linksys is probably or

Whatever you use to log into your router. That number is also your gateway.

Address's for your computers can either be auto assigned by dhcp or you can use your own as long as no to are the same.

Ex. Say your router is
you can make computer 1.
computer 2.
and computer 3.

That and all you computers get the same gateway which is your router IP. You click your subnet and it should automatically enter itself something along the line of

Encryption is pretty easy too. Just enter it in the router and the same info on each computer with wireless adapters.

Any questions my handle is also my yahoo messenger handle.

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maybe not so bad, but.....
by ackmondual / January 5, 2007 7:00 AM PST

still not as straightforward as pluggin in an ethernet cable into a preinstall NIC card Silly

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just as easy if....
by ludedude25 / January 5, 2007 10:22 PM PST

If you use DHCP and leave your wireless wide open then it's almost as easy as plugging in a cat5.

Networking is networking be it wired or wireless. The same applies for both when configuring them.

Securing your wireless is the only extra thing when dealing with wireless devices.

Now file sharing and doing it securely can be a bit more difficult on either network.

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by owilde / January 5, 2007 9:07 AM PST

WAP is not a normal Wireless for Computers on the Internet/Network form. That is for for cellphones (the WAP browser for example), you actually meant WPA instead.

It is also very easy to enable if you know how to access your Router's Settings (which you should find out when you get the thing, otherwise you can't really use it properly). No more than 2 minutes to select the type (WPA-PSK with TKIP) and then enter in the default keycode that is on a sticker on the bottom of the router (in my case, I have a 2Wire 1701HG Gateway w/ 4 Ethernet ports, 1 USB mini-port, and the b/g WiFi).

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your problems my the worst
by ogdad223 / January 7, 2007 5:12 PM PST

the linksys company thats what they call themselves are not very good a customer relations are they i have one of the same routers you got 1st failed after 2 months took it back after alot of problems with linksys and this other one after 2.5 hours talking to them again they hung up on me and did not know what to do.told me it was hp problem then verizon problem and my pc are just 3 ft and 2 ft away from each other STAYING WITH THE GOOD OLE WIRE COPPER IS BETTER. just a thought

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I have a small place. Don't mind being tethered
by ackmondual / January 5, 2007 6:10 AM PST

Don't wanna spend the extra $$ either. AFAIK, you'd have to buy a WL router, WL router card, and perform the setup which I hear isn't THAT bad, but it's $$ and time wasted, esp. for a desktop system that gains little to benefit going WL.

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I would never live without one again
by munalemj / January 5, 2007 7:02 AM PST

Before I had one, I didn't think it was that much of a plus. I'm a student and live in a pretty small apartment, but being able to use my laptop in my bedroom or living room or whereever is awesome. I honestly don't know how someone could live without one, lol.

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Didn't knpew where to begin..but then..
by lyrik_heaven_dk / January 5, 2007 8:49 AM PST

I changed from the two PC towers to an IMAC and an XP laptop.
The IMAC had built in wifi. It would be a shame not to use it. The man in the store told me that if I connected an "Airport Express" to my existing router, then i was already wireless.
I bought one and a Belkin wireless card to the laptop.
And with little network setup effort it all worked.
There is a little glitch though. The XP system frequently disconnects when upstarted. It requires a little fumbling around before it is connected again. But then there is no problem. My wife has nevertheless started wishing for a MAC.
Another advantage of the wireless is, that the Airport express has an USB slot for the printer. So the two "machines" are able to print wireless to the printer.
That is a big advantage.

Greets Jens Erik Bech Denmark.

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Both... in a mix.
by owilde / January 5, 2007 9:02 AM PST

We have our Desktop PCs using Ethernet, as well as our Tivo and NAS, and sometimes a Mac iBook. My 2 other laptops (1 PC/Dell and 1 Mac/MacBook) are both connected via WiFi (though I can use an Ethernet cable at times if I wish) and I also have my Dell Axim x50 PDA that uses the WiFi as well. Even with certain items already using WiFi, our Router/Modem which has 4 ports on it, is totally full and so we had to add on a switch to the mix to give us more available Ethernet ports...

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Certainly so
by Mach1.02 / January 5, 2007 9:43 AM PST
In reply to: Both... in a mix.

Yup, wireless network for the past few years and I wouldn't have it any other way. Connected devices are three laptops, one PC, a printer with built in WiFi card, a stand alone IP phone, an Acoustic Energy wireless Internet Radio, and shortly, a Pinnacle Showcentre 2000 to stream video from the PC in one room directly to a TV in another.

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by KLSXRocker / January 5, 2007 9:53 AM PST

Like the majority, I also am wireless and am happy to be so.

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100,000 acres away
by grahamejmcl / January 5, 2007 10:13 AM PST

There are no wires where I live and no power. A solar charger, a car battery, and an aircard with extension aerial, keep me in touch. If you don't like climbing and walking, your need a helicopter. My nearest neighbour is 7km away. Thanks to the boffins for wireless.

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Both network types
by ranron / January 5, 2007 11:42 AM PST

I have both network types.

Wired gigabit ethernet for 2 desktops, server and 2 printers.

Wireless for laptops, PDAs, and my cell phone.

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yes. some wired, some wireless
by back_water_tech / January 5, 2007 1:38 PM PST

As a Contributing member of a WISP, i know the risks of having a wireless setup in my home.

What i suggest to my clients is as follows:

1. Always use encryption, the tighter the better.
2. Most SOHO routers do have a decent "firewall" built into them to keep folks outside your network outside (nat isn't that hard to get through, but it takes time)
3. If you don't have any wireless devices, but think you might get them, get a wireless router, but Turn off the wireless"
4. Never, Never, NEVER use default passwords on any wireless routers. as soon as the router is up and connected to the internet, you had better changed the password to get into it. why make it easy to break it?

Our wisp uses 802.11b/g equipment and we see regulary attempts at getting through our security. Almost daily, we see folks from the inet side of our routers trying to get in, and folks in our coverage area trying to get out.

It is kinda fun sometimes figuring out which one of my neighbor's kids is savy enough (or has the right software) to get through before our routers roll thier keys.

As of yet, we haven't had a damage caused by these attempts, but we remaign vigalant. With the way the world is today, one can not be too carefull.

just my two cents Wink

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by Ed-duh-win / January 5, 2007 1:44 PM PST

Yup, and I'm loving it. Just that sometimes the signals get weak and it dies completely.

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i have fon - la fonera
by MrMe003 / January 5, 2007 9:11 PM PST

i get my router for free from

there dont are anybody else than me so i dont need to think that somebody else using my bandwidth :D..

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Do you have wireless at home?
by BroJohn / January 5, 2007 9:46 PM PST

Yes I do, I am using a Linksys 54g, I have two laptops both are b/g compatible. As long as I use the one I am writing this on, and have it plugged into the router it works fine. Even though both of my laptops say they are connected to the router wireless, nothing happens. I cannot send anything to the internet. I have set and reset, repaired and done everything I can think of to fix this problem. I love the high speed of having wildblue satellite, but the wireless part of this is driving me crazy. Both of my laptops are XP Svc Pk 2 with all available updates. I am using a Zone Alarm firewall on both, and Avast on one with AVG on the other for antivirus. I have hard coded my information and have also set it up to allow auto (dhcp).
When I set it to automatic IP address it just searches and never receives. When I set the IP/Gateway and DNS myself, then it says connected at 54Mbps (unsecured). I cannot send anything out either way.
Thanks for any help you can give.
BTW Both my laptops are Acer, one a travel mate the other an Aspire.


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PC-cillin 2007 the answer for any problems for router -comp.
by The Bob / January 6, 2007 9:20 AM PST

Nothing else to tell but go and see what it does!

Have a nice day!

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