As I have a P5B-Deluxe with Wifi capability in my main PC and no internet connection or file sharing in my other computers I was thinking on buying a wireless router. My knowledge on networks is pretty limited and so is the knowledge on networking hardware.

To save me some hours of research please guide me onto what to buy. I assume that I need a 802.11g router as my mainboard works with that and I heard it's the fastest next to 802.11n. Anyone know of a one? How about this one : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124085 ? Or how about them Belkins... Looks easy but gives me the feel that it's overpriced.

As I understand it - each and every computer would need an Antenna.. how about my printer? That thing is connected via a USB2 port (the kinda square looking one).

If anyone done the research and tell me what's the easiest way please do. Technology changes so quickly.. I always wonder if the tutorials out there are updated...

TIA...
Posted on 2008-03-22 16:31:59 by JimmyClif
Just look for something that supports 802.11i (or it might be listed as WPA2).. it's a type of encryption protocol.. other than that, they are all pretty much the same. The major difference you will see in price is how many additional ethernet ports it has, I have a little 4-port Activa 802.11B/G router, speeds on it are great, I've yet to have it fail on me and it's range is pretty standard for 802.11G. One thing to keep in mind. If you are buying all new antenna's for your PCs/Devices/etc. Then get all 802.11G! Don't mix your network! One of the reasons my network actually runs as good as it does is because I have my router set to "G-Only" mode, which refuses to allow 802.11b devices to connect. When an 802.11b device connects, all devices (even the 802.11G devices) slow down to the speed of the slowest device on the wireless network (in this case it will be the 802.11b device).

LinkSys routers are generally really good, but fairly expensive (usually I only get those if it's a business network and I might need some of the features like VPN which usually come built-in to their routers).. I've heard nothing but bad things about Belkins products from the people network admins I deal with and the guys in my networking classes. They tend to be slow and they are notorious for falling apart on you.

For your printer, easiest route would be to setup printer sharing and leave it connected through USB2 to a computer that stays on 24/7. That way you simply share the print driver with all the computers on the network and you can print remotely without having to change the printer itself in any way.

When you do setup your wireless network, make sure you setup the WPA2-Personal or better encryption and disable SSID broadcasting. It's also a good idea to take the time and gather each one of your devices MAC addresses and use the routers configuration tool to setup MAC Address Filtering which only allows certain devices to connect (not based on IP but the hardware address which doesn't normally change). Unless you do that minimum of settings, you will have your network entirely open to pretty much everyone walking around, WEP is EXTREMELY easy to crack, as is WPA (because it uses a temporal key cipher).

If you decide to get really deep into the security settings for WiFi/G you can do like I do and setup a VPN-Tunnel to each of the devices adding a software layer of encryption on top of the hardware layer, and finally enable the setting making client devices unable to "see" other client devices (which is why my printer is now on my DMZ). Took me two weeks to think to put my printer there... :lol:

Hope all of this helps you, if you have any other questions I should be around a bit more over the next few days..

Regards,
Bryant Keller
Posted on 2008-03-23 11:24:49 by Synfire
Thank you , Bryant. I'll do some shopping around for it and report back with my findings/problems ;) I don't think I'll get too deep in the security business. I will take your advice and set up WAP2 and disable broadcasting (God help me) but I live in the middle of nowhere (about 11 miles from the next small town) with practically no neighbours and I don't think anyone with a laptop is going to be pulling in my driveway to spy on me.
Posted on 2008-03-25 09:44:34 by JimmyClif
I bought this baby here: Click and I'm stocked. I get insane speeds (download of over 400 KB/s) when I tried throughout my house. I used WPA2 as you said and I hope it will be enough.

Life is sweet..
Posted on 2008-04-07 11:55:02 by JimmyClif
Ah yea, I've actually been thinking about upgrading to Wireless-N but at the moment it just wouldn't really be cost effective to do so. Maybe next quarter.
Posted on 2008-04-07 19:45:54 by Synfire
I have a Belkin 802.11G router and though it does the job it is not one I would recommend. But if you go with Belkin one word of advice, do not use dynamic channels unless you really like to see "lost signal" messages. Also, the speed drop is noticeable when there are two wireless networks using the same channel so be sure to scan first then set the channel to an unused one. I have never got near the theoretical 36 Mbs connection speed, no idea why but I suspect it is the receivers I am using. My major issue right now with the Belkin router is to set up a home network with all of my PCs via wireless (1 wired obviously) but I seem to hit one roadblock after another and still have no file sharing. Lastly, though Belkin has a 24/7 tech support line, I phoned 3 times and the first 2 times I was cut off after nearly 30 minutes on hold and finally on the third try I reached a technician only to be referred to the FAQ, after ten minutes of explaining that my problem was not in the FAQ he finally referred me to a third party website for answers, the third party website was hopelessly designed and finding information was too much of a challenge so I ended up spending a whole day solving my gain problems myself.

Though I imagine a more standard setup would have been easier I encountered a lot of difficulties with the Belkin and found the manuals and FAQs sorely lacking in pertinent information. But once it was set up and running (with the exception of the file sharing) it has run flawlessly and aside from all the problems I am generally satisfied with it.

Edgar
Posted on 2008-04-12 11:20:49 by donkey