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Wireless network help for a noob.

by dvenci / November 26, 2004 12:23 AM PST

I'm trying to set up my wireless access point but everytime I try I get a message that says the access point can't be found. I've tried changing the network set up on my computer. I've tried a manual IP address. I've reset the access point but nothing sees to work. I need help before my access point becomes a door stop.

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Doorstop it seems.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 26, 2004 12:32 AM PST

Without all the other details such as what the WAP is connected to, it's a doorstop.

Tell more.


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Re: Doorstop it seems.
by dvenci / November 28, 2004 4:15 AM PST
In reply to: Doorstop it seems.

I've got high speed coming in through a cable modem and I'm trying to run the WAP off the modem so that I can connect to the internet throughout my apartment. I have a wireless card for my laptop. All my equipment are linksys products.

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Re: Doorstop it seems.
by Michael Geist / November 28, 2004 5:35 AM PST
In reply to: Re: Doorstop it seems.

"I've got high speed coming in through a cable modem and I'm trying to run the WAP off the modem so that I can connect to the internet throughout my apartment."

This is not the setup I would try. Cable modem>>>wired/wireless router>>>WAP (if needed), is the classic set up.

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Re: Doorstop it seems.
by dvenci / December 1, 2004 12:03 PM PST
In reply to: Re: Doorstop it seems.

This may seem like a dumb question but by the classic set up you mean..... I should get a router and run a T1 type cable from the router to the back of my WAP 11 and then try to set up my wireless network for my one laptop? There's no way to only use the cable modem and WAP? I just don't want to buy a router for one computer.

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Here's the deal.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 1, 2004 9:23 PM PST
In reply to: Re: Doorstop it seems.

Here in my town, the retail cost of a WAP is the same as a Router with the WAP inside.

Since you don't want to get a router, you're relegated yourself to a position that I hope you understand.


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Re: Wireless network help for a noob.
by rlambert1 / December 3, 2004 8:50 AM PST

How does your ISP assign you an IP address? Is it a "static" address, or do you obatin your IP address automatically (like, via DHCP)?

Have you ever connected to the Internet with your PC directly connnected to the cable modem? If so, could you do it again? If you could do that, once your are connected to the Internet, bring up a "command" window (In XP it's Start-->Run--cmd In W98 it's Start-->Run-->command). In the command window enter the following command:

ipconfig/all | more

The character between "all" and "more" is the "vertical bar" key (Shift \). That will keep the info from scrolling off the screen. Just hit the space bar to on to other screenfuls.

That will tell you how every network device on your PC is configured. If your PC obtained your IP address automatically the fields "Lease obtained" and "Lease expires" will have date/time info in them. If your IP address is a static one, those fields will be blank.

Also, what is the IP address of the AP? You say you reset the AP. If you did, then it will have its default address. You should be able to look up what that is in the documentation.

For example, let's say the default IP address of the AP is That means that the subnet mask is almost certainly If that's the case, then your PC's IP address must be 192.168.1.x, "x" being some number between 1 and 254 (but not "1" of course). It must be in the same subnet as the AP (that being 192.168.1). If the IP address is not in the same subnet as the AP, your PC will not find the AP.

However, I suspect that the AP you have will not work to get you out onto the Internet. Here's why I think that. Let's say that your ISP has assigned you an IP address of with a subnet mask of Then, your AP would need to have an address of 172.16.10.x. But, what should "x" be? Anything from 1 to 254? How about "115" (since, in this example, that's what the ISP assigned you)? But, then what should the IP address of your PC be? Would need to be 172.16.10.x (must be in the same subnet), but "x" can't be "115" because that's what you assigned to your AP. So, how about "116"? Well, that's the kicker. "116" might have been assigned to another one of your ISP's customers. You can see the problem with any of the other numbers from 1 thru 254.

Most likely you'll need a "wired/wireless router>>>WAP" as another poster suggested. With a device like that one "side" of the router would have the static IP address your ISP assigned you (or you obtained automatically via DHCP), and the other "side" of the router would have an address like (and your PC would have an address like The router runs a function called "NAT" (Network Address Translation). The router takes your "local address" (like and "translates" (I'm obviously leaving out many details here) it into the IP address your ISP gave you. When something comes back to you from the Internet, your router translates the address back to your local address.

Now, you might think all of this stuff sounds dreadful and hopeless. Not to worry. I configured a "wired/wireless router>>>WAP" last night in a class I'm taking. I had never seen one or laid hands on one prior to that. In about an hour and a half I had 4 PCs going out onto the Internet through it.

Good luck.

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