Choice of wireless adapter: Netgear or Linksys, USB or PCI, security?

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Greetings,

I just moved into a new place and I now need to integrate my networking with my
new housemates (previously, I just had a Linksys wireless
router for myself).

They already have a Netgear wireless 4-port router (haven't looked to see what
model), located on the 1st floor. I have a desktop on the
third floor, which would obviously make a wired connection a royal pain. I've
already connected my laptop to the router, and was surprised
to find that the signal was pretty strong at my computer desk on the 3rd floor.
So it seems that purchasing a wireless adpater is the way to
go.

Several questions:
1) Linksys or Netgear? Any advantages/disadvantages to using the same brand as
the router?

2) USB or PCI? I'll have to confirm whether I have USB 2.0 but reviews on the
wireless USB routers I've seen seem to consistently report
heat issues, which will certainly be exascerbated in my 3rd floor room since it
is summer here, and A/C is lacking. Do I gain anything is
using PCI?

3) As an aside, my housemates do not have WEP enabled but do have an approved
MAC address list. They have changed the default router
password to a non-trivial one. Is this suffcient security for general use or
should I tell them to enable WEP anyway?

TIA,
    -Mark

Re: Choice of wireless adapter: Netgear or Linksys, USB or PCI, security?


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Well it depends on what they want to do.  It's quite likely that the
management of the router is done via a web or telnet interface.  If so,
that password, however complex is transmitted in clear text.  Given that
they have no wireless encryption, it *could* be sniffed.

However, as ever the likelihood of someone sniffing it for the odd
moment when they make a change is probably unlikely.

On the other hand, the MAC list is trivial to defeat by cloning and WEP
is pretty simple to crack too, better to use an alternate encryption
method.

David.

Re: Choice of wireless adapter: Netgear or Linksys, USB or PCI, security?


On Mon, 29 Aug 2005 08:29:34 -0400,  wrote:

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I was having a lot of trouble with Netgear and switched to Linksys.
Linksys is holding up pretty good so far but I did have a problem with the
utility program for my Linksys PC card running on XP Pro on a ThinkPad T41
- the XP Pro wireless utility program was much more stable.

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I would say that PCI has better throughput.

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WEP is considered broken but it's better than nothing. I would recommend
using it but you should change the WEP key routinely. But, if you have WPA
capable devices that would be a much better way to go.


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