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wireless networking

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wireless networking

Would like to add wireless connectivity to my daughter's laptop. Have tried testing the signal strength at home using my work Dell laptop using an internal wireless card and a Dell access point (again 'borrowed' from work) but I lose the signal in some parts of the house. Is the signal from a 54g system 'stronger' or will I still have the same problems. (All I know about the 54g system is that it is faster) I don't want to waste money on a product that is ineffectual. Any thoughts much appreciated.
11 REPLIES
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wireless networking

The G statndard works on the same frequencies as the B standard.

As such, signal penetration is just as good. The A standard is even poorer.

The positioning of the access point can make all the differance.
danep
Grafter
Posts: 119
Registered: 30-07-2007

wireless networking

I currently have a 54G network setup in my house which stretches to three floors. I dont have an access point and have had no problems connecting anywhere. My son is on top floor with 54G in his PC, i am on middle with main PC and adsl and the laptop roams about with no probs. Using Belkin in all. ICS works fine with all three at same time.

Regards
Dane
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Aerials and stuff

The access points with dual aerial are generally better because they allow for multi-path distortions of the signal (ie waves bouncing off things).

Try moving the access point by just a couple of centimetres.

Make sure that the access point isn't near anything metallic, or shielded by lots of walls.

The lower the connection speed, the more reliable the connection, try dropping the speed down to 1Mbps.

In a house it's best for the access point to be in the top room. If need be, fit an external directional aerial, pointing downwards.

If all else fails, sell your house and buy a smaller one.
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Wireless Lanning Issues

All of the above advice plus...

Try changing channels. 13 channels are available and the default is channel 6. Performance will be severely curtailed if one of your neighbours is using channel 6. Five channels of spacing is recommended so try 1 and 11. Note that you have to change this on the Access Point - the laptop card will just scan until it finds the signal. If you have a DECT cordless phone, it uses the same frequencies too and that can reduce the range. If you can't find a single location for the access point which covers the whole house, you can use two access points set to two different channels. To make this work you have to set the same SSID on each AP. Note that you have to run an ethernet cable to the second AP! Also there is a big performance difference between different wireless LAN products. Lan cards with "obviously sticking out" aerials sometimes work better because nice neat cards have tiny built-in aerials! I run a Netgear ME102 which adequately covers my 4 bedroom house as long as it is located centrally and free from obstructions.

[Moderators note (by Thomas): Accidental double-post deleted.]
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wireless networking

Yeah...

I have

3 Laptop Wireless Cards
2 PC wireless PCI cards
1 ADSL wireless router
and 1 wireless access point and i cant get the bugger to work!

Sad
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Can you be more specific...

how far have you got and i'll try to help Smiley
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wireless networking

Another tip - don't try and set up WEP,Channel,etc.. on the Access point from a PC that is only connected wirelessly - otherwise you will instantly lock yourself out.

Initially set up WEP on the access point by using an ethernet cable to the access point first.
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Wireless suggest?

For a normal house, 2 floors, what wireless system do you suggest. Have one PC and 2 laptops
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wireless networking

You don't need anything too fancy for a house. If you can still get hold of them, you can buy an Adaptec AP from Dabs for £40. It sets up easy, it's got the security features that you need, and DHCP, and heh it works. I've used Dlink too, although two of them tend to get confused and lock up now and again needing a reset (perhaps I was just unlucky).

"Adaptec AWM-8060/UK Wireless Access Point £39.95 inc VAT" - www.dabs.com

Switch on "WEP", hide your SSID beacon, and use MAC address filtering, and off you go!
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You need protection though....

I would never ever run Broadband without a hardware firewall. For a few pounds more, check out the Linksys BEFW11S4 - wireless ap with full NAT router - and only another £17! I have an older Linksys router which logs script kiddies trying to access my network all day long (and failing). Everyone worries about wireless security (and so they should) but the real nasties are the other side of your adsl modem in that nasty place called the internet! If you have a NAT router then ports are only opened to the internet when your software needs it - and that's down to your choice of software.
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wireless networking

Ideally for security you need:

A ethernet broadband modem
A firewall (like smothwall) with three network cards
The "red" ethernet card is connected to the broadband modem
The "orange" ethernet card (DMZ) is connected to the Wireless AP
The "green" ethernet card is connected to the internal network.
Also, all connections wirelessly should be done using SSH.

The WEP algorithm has been cracked. A retail hardware broadband-router-wireless-access-point does nothing at all for protecting your internal network from being "sniffed". Your username and password will be totally clear for a rogue to pick up. All the firewall will do is protect your internal network and wireless network from the evils of the net itself. Bear in mind also that if you have a Wireless Access Point attached to a network, that all the packets of data on the wired network are also transmitted!!

So, buying a broadband-router-wireless-access-point does not help your wireless security one bit, but does help the overall security from the internet.