I have been enjoying a simple two computer home network for a while now, and have recently acquired a notebook with wireless -g networking ability. I already have a good router and 4 port switch which has been flawless. What is the best way to add wireless access for the notebook so that I can access the internet from anywhere in the house and also access my printer from the notebook? Cost is a concern.
For the printer, a wired or wireless "print server". Hawking makes great little wired print servers for both parallel and USB printers for not much money.
A wireless 802.11g router for the wireless communication, or a wireless access point to connect to the existing router. The cost for each is about equivalent although wireless routers are often on sale.
Now see, I've read various professionals (and now a couple usenet posters) advise adding a wireless "g" access point to an existing (wired) router. I don't agree with that. Every time I've bothered to check (several times), I have ALWAYS been able to find a wireless "g" router on sale for considerably less money than a wireless "g" access point. I've concluded it is almost certainly cheaper to just replace the (wired) router, if you are a reasonably smart Internet shopper. For good prices on wireless routers, check Amazon, Froogle, Pricewatch, and Newegg.
But even if you happen to find a wireless access point just as cheap as a wireless "g" router, the wireless "g" router with built-in switches for "wired" operation (such as Netgear WGR614 or Belkin F5D7230-4 or similar) is STILL a better choice. I've got quite a rat's nest of wires around my desk already, and I'm constantly needing more electrical outlets. Why would I want to add yet ANOTHER component to this mess, that needs a spot for a bulky tranformer to plug in, and needs to have more cables routed through the existing rat's nest, etc? It's much easier just to replace the wired router, as then you end up with the same number of components that you currently have.
Yes, it might seem wasteful to replace a perfectly good wired router, but you can always sell it on ebay to recover part of the cost of the new wireless router. Not everyone needs wireless capability, and many people are quite happy with a used "wired" router in good condition.
Right now, buy.com has a Belkin F5D7230-4 wireless "g" router for $37, FREE SHIPPING. That looks like a heckuva bargain.
Depending on how much printing you intend to do wirelessly, I've found it's quite easy to enable print sharing on your "main" computer and your notebook, and just leave the main computer running if you think you will need to print anything from the notebook. It works great, and it costs NOTHING to implement. Essentially, print jobs are spooled in the main computer as they are sent wirelessly over your LAN from the notebook. Then the print jobs are printed as soon as the printer is ready to print, just as if the print job had been initiated on the main computer. -Dave