All great points, in deed.
I can also concur that the most convienent place for my cable modem and wireless router (802.11a/b) wasn't the best place for an AP. Going the other way, a wireless router (built-in AP) can also be used simply just a router (with AP disabled) and then connected to a seperate AP. I recently ended up getting a seperate AP (802.11a/b/g) to do just this. Well, actually my intention was to use the new AP as a "repeater" (one of the modes it can do) for the wireless router's built-in AP. True, I could've ran CAT5 between the router and new AP (at a better location), but whole idea of using wireless equipment is to eliminate long cable runs. :^)
Unfortunetly, the new AP wasn't fully compatible (as an over-the-air repeater) with the wireless router. It wouldn't repeat the router's 802.11a (54 MBS or 108 MBS) at all, and would only repeat the router's 802.11b (11 MBS). I couldn't get 802.11b (22 MBS) to repeat. Both are D-Link, which I thought should be capable of working their "turbo modes" together. Actually, what I think was preventing it from working as a repeater wasn't the "turbo" but the "WDS functionality" of the new AP (which the router doesn't have). Router (DI-764) was from D-Link's "AirPro" (802.11a/b, turbo capable) family while the new AP (DWL-7100AP) was from D-Link's "Air Premier AG" family (802.11a/b/g, static/dynamic turbo and SuperG capable). Plugging the new AP directly into one of the router's LAN ports, it works great as an AP. To solve my initial problem, I ended up purchasing a second DWL-7100AP and now use it as a repeater (repeating the DWL-7100AP now hooked up directly to the router). I now have a strong 802.11a/b (static/dynamic capable) and 802.11g (SuperG and static/dynamic turbo capable) where I most need it. This ended up costing more than originally intended, but it also added 802.11g into the loop, which I didn't have before. It also freed up the router's built-in AP, which I'm now using as an open (no encryption or MAC filtering) "hot spot". (I don't have my LAN accessible from the router's AP, you can only get out on the internet. The DWL-7100AP's, which I use for internet and LAN, are encrypted/filtered though.) I just opened it up the router AP so family/friends can easily use it with their laptops/PDA's. I consider the distance from the open SSID's to the street a "security feature" against malicious outsiders anyway. I could care less about my neighbors using it to get on the internet, which (in fact) they have (from their back porch) after I told them it was open if they ever want to use it. Openly sharing the internet should be one of the key things with
802.11, unfortunetly there are probably many no-life-having malicious outsiders who think that open access translates into taking advantage of the opportunity to do malice (i.e., trying to screw with someone's private LAN). They probably have the mind set that doing such is to "teach the person a lesson" and to "one up the person", but I look at it as they are a no-life-having ahole. I have my LAN protected, but I shouldn't have to watch over internet acesss with clenched fists holding a shotgun. In fact, if a stranger uses my open internet from the sidewalk (signal is adequate enough to connect there) for some simple web browing and emailing, I still don't even care. With these particular SSID's, I have included the text "-OPEN" with their broadcast name -- stating that they are freely open. My philosphy is that I may be out in public and want to do same thing with someone else's. I think the adding the text "-OPEN" would be a great convention for those with the same mind sets. Note, however, that I am logging everything going on with the open SSID's. For the paranoid (but still wanting to be open), a good idea would be to have an online printer that automatically prints out new entries to the logs as they are added. My only "nightmare scenerio" would be someone using my open SSID's to send out spam or to download child p*rn. In my suburban neighborhood, I really doubt this would be happen -- but, if it does, life will not be good for that person. I'd have zero tolerance for spam or child p*
rn and wouldn't think twice about pressing charges. Adult p*rn, I could care less about -- athough if an outsider were to be download adult p*
rn and my girlfrield/fiance were to look at the logs, I'd have to explain MAC addresses to her, "It wasn't me!". LOL. Anyway -- didn't mean to get off on another subject. :^)
Also, another great advantage of seperate modem, router, AP's, etc is that you can also just disable portions of your network by simply turning the stuff off. As for router/AP built into computer, I'd hate that because that would require that particular computer to always be powered in order to get the network alive. Whenever I have to leave for several days, I power down my PC's, but the internet can still be accessed by friends/family.
Just some random cents to throw into the wind.