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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger
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    Wired / Wireless

    I'm currently using a Linksys BEFSR41 router and have been for several years. I've been uninterested in switching to wireless for several reasons: 1) Did not won't to jump on the newest technology until the bugs were worked out, 2) I'm very comfortable with drilling holes and running cat5 cable, 3) Didn't trust the security of wireless.

    Now, I need to put a PC in a room that's on a different floor and on the other side of the house. Fifty feet of cat5 and all the holes I can drill still won't get it connected to the router. So, I'm wondering about a couple of things...

    1. <LI>Is making the switch from wired to wireless a fairly simple task?
      <LI>Is security as good? Using a wired router works as a great firewall.
      <LI>Am I going to take a performance hit on my internet connections (upload / download speeds)?
      <LI>I currently have a Vonage adapter, two PCs and a laptop wired to the router... Is it possible to use wireless just for the remote PC that I'm going to add? (Still worried about performance)!
    I know how to google but I have zero interests in laboratory tests, etc. Tips and guidance from personal experience would be much appreciated.

    <small>All systems are Windows XP Pro and I use a cable modem rated 3m down / 256 up. </small> <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>
    - Ricky

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Wired / Wireless

    From personal experience:

    1] Yes. To cut down on hardware, I swapped my router/modem for a wireless/router/firewall/adsl modem .
    D-Link and Netgear both have plenty of info - I use the DG834G which I got going in under 5 minutes. It has several LAN ports as well as the wireless connection.

    2] Security is as good as you make it. There is plenty of advice on the sites mentioned above, as well as posts here such as StuartR's <post#=470,830>post 470,830</post: >.

    3] Depends on how fast your Internet connection is - wireless speeds are typically 54 Mbps and above.

    4] Yes - use something like one of these Home Wireless Routers & Gateways which you should be able to connect to your current router with a patch cable (may need to be a cross-over type).

  3. #3
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Wired / Wireless

    As a variant of "wired", have you looked at Ethernet connection by the electrical mains? Interesting review of such a product on ADSLGuide. Not cheap, but apparently effective...

    John
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  4. #4
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Wired / Wireless

    That's an interesting alternative. Wonder if any of the loungers have any true-life experience with such a setup? <img src=/S/electric.gif border=0 alt=electric width=15 height=15>
    - Ricky

  5. #5
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Wired / Wireless

    Thanks - I guess I was thinking that it had to be wired OR wireless.

    The DG834G looks looks like just the item I would need, allowing me to keep my current devices wired and have the wireless option for the remote PC. In your own application, do you have a wireless PC that is several rooms / obstacles away. And if so, do you experience frequent disconnects or slower performance than you would've expected from a wired device?
    - Ricky

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Wired / Wireless

    I live in a very old cottage made of cob (literally mud walls) that are about 18" thick. This can cause severe problems because they are quite good at blocking the wireless connection. However, once in the right location, connection is reliable and consistent.

    Fifty feet is not excessive, but it will depend on what lies between the router and pc, and I don't know of any way of testing this without a trying it. Worst case, you could perhaps use the wireless router as a 'sub-router' if you have a hard-wired point that is nearer to the new location.

    (Range was briefly discussed in this thread.)

  7. #7
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Wired / Wireless

    I asked in the Lounge a year last August about a similar device called <!post=Net2Plug,396773>Net2Plug<!/post>, which used a USB connection rather than Ethernet, but with little response.

    The current Ethernet device has been upgraded in that period to faster-than-your-average-wireless speeds, and there are at least two manufacturers for the "HomePlug" type of device which can be purchased in the UK. One even has a USB variant! In the USA there are probably half a dozen manufacturers with the prices half those in the UK!

    John
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  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Wired / Wireless

    Ricky,

    50 feet, and a number of walls, is beyond the acceptable performance range of most Wireless adapters.

    Your best chance is to go for one of the new MIMO, or Pre-N (802.11n is not yet ratified) devices. These use multiple antennae and can take advantage of the multiple reflected signals between client and Access Point.

    StuartR

    edited to add
    Beware of the devices advertised as Wireless Range extenders or similar. These pick up the wireless signal and radiate it on to a greater distance, but the ones I have seen don't support any encryption stronger than WEP which makes them unusable in my opinion.

  9. #9
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Wired / Wireless

    <hr><center>50 feet, and a number of walls, is beyond the acceptable performance range of most Wireless adapters. </center><hr>

    I appreciate that.

    And there's even a flight of stairs between my base unit and the remote PC I'm looking to install. So in regards to the MIMO unit, can I use one along with my current configuration or will it have to replace my current router, etc.? Leif had supplied a link that led me to this NetGear RangeMax MIMO. I've read over the specs and I still can't determine if I can just add it to my current router so that it is used exclusively for the remote PC...

    Thanks again,
    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>
    - Ricky

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Wired / Wireless

    If you already have a router then you only need a Wireless Access Point, such as this Netgear RangeMax one. You could also use the one with the built in router, but you don't need the extra functionality so there's no need to pay for it.

    Don't forget you will need matching RangeMax wireless cards, like these.

    StuartR

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