Newbie wireless home question

Hi, I am told by a (major vendor) salesperson that, of his various brands and offerings of wireless routers, that there is no equipment that he can provide to meet my needs, and he carries all of the major brands of wireless equipment.

I do not have DSL or CABLE internet access. I need to connect computers on the first and second floor in the house, and that's it! The saleman tells me that unless there is DSL or CABLE internet access, that there aren't any wireless routers that will work.

I have a Windows XP machine downstairs, and it has a modem in it, and that's what connects to the internet. It can serve up DHCP and even pass-through on ports Ok, and I have on the first floor a hub and a couple of ethernet connections (100-base T) to machines that get to the internet fine.

What I need to be able to do is connect a couple of computers on the second floor without wiring. The idea was a wireless router on the second floor and a wireless NIC in the first floor office machine to take care of it. But, apparently, I mean, is this true? Is there no hub-like wireless equipment? I want machines on the second floor to be able to access the XP machine downstairs in the same networked way.

Thanks very much in advance. If you know of something nice combo of inexpenisve/easy to setup stuff to do this, suggestions also appreciated! I'm on a tight budget.

I am very surprised that routers cannot act like hubs in this case, too. I have an 100 Mbs/s D-Link that I can make act like a stupid hub, and have done so, but also, I have used it as a router.

- Mark

Reply to
Mark G. Meyers
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I will take a stab at it. I think you want your router to act as a switch (better than a hub anyway), rather than as a router. This will allow you to place all the PCs on the same subnet, allowing them to communicate with each other. This may be accomplished as follows (at least it can on my wireless router, a Netgear WGR614):

(1) Since you won't be connecting through the WAN side of the upstairs router to the Internet, you leave this port unconnected. (2) Plug all the PCs on the second floor into the LAN ports of the router. (3) Turn off DHCP in the router (on the LAN side). (4) Assign fixed IP addresses to the machines so that they are on the same subnet; e.g., 192.168.X.Y, where X is the subnet and Y is the IP for a given machine. For example use for the first PC, and for the second PC. I would not use, since that is probably the gateway address of the router. If your machines on the first floor are on a different subnet, you can adjust these numbers accordingly.

Since you have been able to get the machines on the first floor to talk to each other (and the Internet), there should not be much more to it, but I have probably left out a few steps on the wireless side that you will need to figure out.

Reply to
Jim Fox

Thanks much for your reply! If DHCP in the NetGear can be turned off, then DHCP requests, I might wonder, would be best to pass through it. Did you find that you had to establish static IPs?

The whole topic makes me silly with wonder. Aren't there people out there who just want to use wireless within their subnets, just to avoid the wiring, where it isn't necessarily performing the function of a router or gateway?

Thanks again.

- Mark

Reply to
Mark G. Meyers

And he went off and consulting with the networking people! (The saleman)

Here's the deal with the internet connection. The modem is dial-up, 56K, in the XP box. How would I use that box for access to the internet, but also use the router for DHCP? I mean, how would the various boxes get out to the internet?

This is why I had the thought of saving on equipment. Since at least 2 machines are going on the second floor, instead of getting wireless NICs for all of them, to just get a single wireless NIC downstairs, and everything else is wired. I know it seems a little backwards. Another consideration is one of these machines is a Mac, and it appears a wireless card for that machine will cost as much if not more than a router. So all the hardware I wanted to get away with was enough to connect the two floors together, via a wireless card in the 'gateway' machine, and a router on the other floor.

You know, if it sounds stupid, please let me know. Thanks a bunch!

- Mark

Reply to
Mark G. Meyers

The salesman is full of sh*t.

Easiest way: Get a wireless router. You don't need the WAN port, so forget about it. Get wireless cards for the machines that can't connect to the wired LAN. Then wire one of the router's LAN ports to the hub, disable DHCP on either the XP box or the router (XP by preference), configure all other machines to use DHCP, temporarily disable all wireless security and it should work. Once its working, play with security.

This is backwards - you want wireless router downstairs, wireless NICs elsewhere.

You could do it sort-of like you want, by using two Wireless Bridges, to link the wired LAN on the two floors together. This is likely to be more costly but might be more robust.

They do. A consumer wireless router unit is actually 3 units - a switch, a wireless access point attached to the switch, and a router. (The switch is functionally identical to a hub, but with some extra intelligence.)

Reply to
Mark McIntyre

In article , Mark G. Meyers wrote: :The whole topic makes me silly with wonder. Aren't there people out there :who just want to use wireless within their subnets, just to avoid the :wiring, where it isn't necessarily performing the function of a router or :gateway?

I've done that with a Linksys BEFS11v4 in conjunction with a Linksys WET11. The WET11 bridges the wired devices to the wireless AP which is also serving wireless devices.

If you just needed to join two wired segments together, with no need for any wireless access, then you could use a pair of WET11. You could also use a pair of WAP11, but I wouldn't recommend that as the WAP11 will only talk to other WAP11. There are D-Link equivilents of these devices.

These days, an increasing number of APs are also willing to act as wireless bridges.

Reply to
Walter Roberson

What is an AP?

Reply to
Mark G. Meyers

Access Point.

Reply to
William P.N. Smith

I use Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) in a totally wireless network as you are looking to do. Instead of two floors however, I am in two different buildings. One XP machine has the dial-up connection that is shared (ICS), this provided the DHCP function as well. All machines are wireless except for one in the outlying building and it is wired to a wap 11. all works well.


Reply to
Jay R. Hickman

I agree, the problem with salesmen is they are exactly that - SALESMEN not engineers, this, however, is a very simple setup and he should have been well aware of how to do it.

If you are not connecting multiple machines to the internet(or any other network for that matter) via a single connection, then you do NOT need a router, a simple access point (wifi switch) will do all you want.

Shopping list:

1 x 802.11g (or if you are really low on cash 802.11b) access point. 1 x PCMCIA, or USB wifi adapter for the laptop. maybe a couple of patch leads?

What to do:

Plug in the access point on the 2nd floor. Plug your existing hub into the LAN port on the AP (if the ap does not come with an integrated ethernet switch). Plug your wired PCs into the hub. Install the drivers for the card onto your laptop. Install the card. You should then be able to see and connect to the access point from your laptop downstairs. If you cannot, try playing around with the placement of the AP until you get a signal. Set all PCs to have static IP addresses on the same network with the same subnet (192.168.0.x/24 or similar) Unless you have a dhcp server which you want to use instead.

Setup WPA on the laptop & AP, and use MAC address filtering (for each directly connected device) to deter the drive by intruder.

VERY basic stuff that the salesman should definitely know.

As for prices, say $60 for an AP and $40 for the laptop card should be about right (I'm in the UK so not sure about US prices).

Hope this helps

Peter Phillips Software Director Kinetiq Networks Ltd (UK)

Reply to
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