Standalone Wireless Router + Home Network

Linksys Etherfast Router (BEFSR41) Linksys Wireless Access Point (WAP11)

I'm pretty sure this can be done but I'm looking for potential issues or suggestions for a better setup.

I need to have the cable modem and router setup away from any computers. That is, once the router is setup, disconnect the computer from it so that the only thing the router is hardwired to is the modem and wireless access point.

Then all computers on the network will be connected to the network via the wireless WAP11.

To perform maintenance, I'd need to attach a computer to the router. I'm guessing I could do this wireless, but I don't think that would be too safe.

Will this work? Better suggestions?

I work from home using a VPN connection to my company. Will I notice a significant performance drop using wireless vs wired? I'll be about 15 feet from the wireless access point.


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"dan" hath wroth:

The WAP11 is not the worlds best access point. It's 802.11b only and will be fairly slow at 3Mbits/sec thruput maximum. There are about 5 hardware versions of the WAP11. Look on the serial number sticker.

The cable modem goes to the WAN (internet) port on the BEFSR41.

The WAP11 goes to the cross over port on the BEFSR41. Some versions of the BEFSR41 have automagic cable polarity. Some have a 5th LAN port labelled MDI/MDIX or something similar. Just try the CAT5 cable first in the regular LAN ports and check if the lights on the front panel light up when the cable is connected. If not, try the MDI/MDIX port.

Yep. That's what an access point does.

Nope. The WAP11 and BEFSR41 both have IP addresses. The default for the BEFSR41 is The WAP11 varies slightly by hardware version but is usually either or Just point your web browser at these IP addresses, login, and configure.

Some hardware versions of the WAP11 support WPA-TKIP encryption. With a long (greater than 20 chars) and convoluted pass phrase, the security from either hacking or sniffing is more than adequate. However, WEP encryption should be considered as insecure and useless. Additional security measures, such as MAC filtering, SSID hiding, are a waste of time if the basic encryption is insecure.

It will function, but I don't think you'll like it. The problem is that the WAP11 is 802.11b only and slow. Your cable modem is much faster than the 3Mbits/sec that the WAP11 can deliver *AT BEST*. The quality of the radio inside the WAP11 is tolerable, but also will be disappointing, as modern chipsets work much better. I suggest you do some shopping and buy a new combination router and wireless.

For 15ft, you could probably run a CAT5 cable. But, that's no fun and too easy.

Sorta. Your VPN performance is primarily limited by your outgoing cable bandwidth. The 3Mbit/sec maximum thruput of 802.11b is faster than whatever your outgoing bandwidth might be, so there will not be a huge slowdown. However, screen redraws, which are limited by the incoming bandwidth will be slower as will responsiveness to keyboard actions. I'm fairly sure you'll see a slowdown, but I can't really be sure how much.

Also, I have quite a bit of experience with the older BEFSR41 routers. There mostly ok, but are rather limited on horsepower. That shows up in various ways, but is really evident on VPN pass-thru performance. The later hardware versions were tolerable, but early versions were glacially slow if you ran an IPSEC VPN through them. They would also only handle one VPN session through the router at a time. For a typcial home system, that's not a problem, but I keep running into situations where it becomes a problem, such as dad working at home through a VPN, and junior picking up his homework from skool through the schools VPN. I've replaced a few routers because of this problem.

Buy some modern hardware please. Ask your office IT people for their favorite routers and wireless. The implication of having them make the recommendation is that they are able to set it up for you and possibly troubleshoot problems better with something they are familiar with.

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