First, the disclaimers. Although I am relatively computer savvy, I am not a networking expert (that will be obvious if you read the rest of this post). Also, I have read several postings that appear to be trying to get a similar setup working to what I am describing... those posts are enlightening, but I am going at this more from a greenfield approach rather than trying to fix something that I already have.
Quickly, what I want is a wired network for my desktop machines with a wireless access point hanging off of that. I have had way too many problems with wireless routers as the center of the network in the past: some were stable, but would not pass my work VPN; some were unstable and required constant recycling; some worked ok, but only within a short radius. Because of this, I have decided that the center of my network will be wired.
That said, I still need occasional wireless access. My thoughts were to have a wireless access point hang off the wired router. The AP needs to be placed well away from the router to have it placed appropriately to provide reasonable coverage.
I would like all machines that connect via the wireless AP to have access to the machines that are connected via the wired network (appear as one single network) and vice versa to facilitate file and printer sharing etc.
Once the network is reliable, I plan to introduce a NAS and start trying out video streaming, VOIP and other network heavy applications that demand reliable connections.
Some particulars if they are needed: - I have a mix of different OSs on my network currently: WinXP, Mac OSX, Linux and Win Mobile 5.0. Plan to introduce XBox 360 to the mix soon.
- My budget is not huge, but if something would bring about a corresponding increase in reliability (capacity, speed, etc) to the price increase, I would tend to lean that way.
- I use DSL (BellSouth) to connect the network to the internet.
I have several questions that I hope someone can help me with:
- First, does this setup makes sense or should I be trying to handle this in another way (just don't suggest using a wireless router as the center of the network... I want the reliability that wired ethernet brings)
- Does anyone have an example of a working setup like this that I can emulate? I have no problem being told what to do if it removes headaches ;-)
- Does anyone have opinions on hardware selection?
Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.