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  1. #1
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    How to add a wireless network in a wired network?

    There is a wired 10/100 network inside the house. The network is connected to a DSL modem and a router.

    If a visitor wants to use his notebook wireless feature to access the internet in the house, what kind of equipment does this visitor need?

    Is simply connecting a wireless router to the wired router the way to get this done without intensive configuration change in the existing wired network?

    All computers, including notebook, are windows XP.

  2. #2
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    Re: How to add a wireless network in a wired netwo

    Firstly, I'd suggest that if the home owner doesn't intend on using wireless network equipment themself, than the best way to have a visitor connect to the network would be to have them use an ethernet cable to connect via their RJ-45 port. Most of the portable computers these days have built-in RJ-45 ports.

    However, if the homeowner decides to have his own wireless equipment in the future, a simple Wireless Access Point (WAP) such as the Linksys WAP54G will plug in nicely to your wired network. Selecting a Wireless Router, would replace the current wired router. A Wireless Router would contain everything in one box, the WAP might be a a cheaper option for the existing setup.

    Personally, if I didn't have a need for wireless myself, I'd stick with the cable for visitors, then the WAP, and finally the Wireless Router.
    Christopher Baldrey

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    Re: How to add a wireless network in a wired netwo

    Hi Chris,

    It seems Wireless Access Point (WAP) is exactly what the home owner needs for this guest.

    Thanks!

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    Re: How to add a wireless network in a wired netwo

    Do note that a WAP is more expensive than an wireless router, most of which include wired ports as well. Personally, I would avoid wireless if possible. Unless that home owner is fully up on securing a WiFi network, and self-disciplined enough to keep it secure (and experience tells me that clearly the vast majority of WiFi users are not) - then stick to wired.

    I am not saying that a WiFi network cannot be secure - but I am saying that out-of-the-box, they are not! And sadly, most WiFi users run though the quick setup guide, get connected, then don't touch it after that - often out of fear they will break it. ALL THE TIME I find networks that broadcast their SSID, and then I discover the admin passwords are still at the defaults - allowing me to connect and quite often access shared folders and drives on computers on that network. My neighbors are lucky I am not a badguy. Badguys frequently drive around and look for networks to hack into, then use to send spam and malware from that user's Internet connection - not a good thing - and certainly a good way to bring the wrong kind of attention your way from the security folks at your ISP, or worse yet, law enforcement!

    I have a wired router and a WAP. The WAP is set to NOT broadcast the SSID (the default, sadly, does broadcast it) and it is set to ONLY allow the specific MAC addresses of my laptop and my Palm PDA. If a guest (welcomed or not) wants to connect to my network, they use Ethernet.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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    Re: How to add a wireless network in a wired netwo

    Hi Bill,

    Since the guest notebook is far away from the wired router, it seems that wireless access is the only choice for the owner to offer.

    You mentioned the wireless router also include wired ports as well. Does it mean that the wired network can get the full 10/100 speed from this wireless router?

    Let

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    Re: How to add a wireless network in a wired netwo

    If you scroll down and look at the specs of the popular Linksys WRT54G, you will see that it has 4 10/100 Ethernet (LAN) ports, in addition to being a wireless access.

    If the choice is to use a WAP such as the Linksys WAP54G, it connects to the existing router, just as a wired computer does. Access to the shared files on the other connected PCs can easily be controlled by the software based firewalls (such as ZoneAlarm) already installed on those PCs. They do have a firewall installed on all computers, right? If not, they should.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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    Re: How to add a wireless network in a wired netwo

    Just a question for you Bill, or anyone else who can answer for that matter. Why would the Access Point be more expensive than the router? In my mind, the router is doing more work, and had more parts - requiring a bigger cost.

    Ah heck... it's computer stuff. Nothing makes sense.
    Christopher Baldrey

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    Re: How to add a wireless network in a wired netwo

    My guess is it is a matter of numbers - more wireless routers are made and sold so the manufacturing costs can be spread across more units. Just a guess though.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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    Re: How to add a wireless network in a wired netwo

    Thanks for your help.

    I have bought a Linksys WRT54G for setting up the wireless access for the guests in the house. The signal strength is strong enough.

    The next step is set up the security for the wireless network. There are so many choices in the security set up. The following are the list of the choice:

    Disable, WEP, WPA-Personal, WPA2-Personal, WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-Enterprise, or RADIUS

    All I need is the password or key for the guest to access the wireless network. Which one of above should I use?

    I have already changed the Administrator password. But, the SSID name is still remain default.

  10. #10
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    Re: How to add a wireless network in a wired netwo

    You will need to setup the security at the lowest common encryption that your guests will have available to them, and that you will willing allow on your network.

    Personally, I have 4 wireless devices at home, and in order to use all of them, I can only secure to the WEP (128bit Shared Key) settings. Once I upgrade that one particular NIC, I'll be able to go to one of the WPA settings.

    WPA is better than WEP, but WEP is better than nothing (but not by much).
    Christopher Baldrey

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    Re: How to add a wireless network in a wired netwo

    Definitely change the SSID name to something else - and make sure you turn SSID broadcasting off. This will prevent a badguy from parking out front and learning the SSID.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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  12. #12
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    Re: How to add a wireless network in a wired netwo

    > This will prevent a badguy from parking out front and learning the SSID.

    What this will actually do is add about 20 seconds to the length of time it takes a badguy to learn your SSID. It will also prevent neighbours from seeing your network (unless they are also badguys).

    StuartR

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    Re: How to add a wireless network in a wired netwo

    That's true - if a true badguy really wants it, he can get it - with the right scanners/sniffers, and know how - just as no security system will keep determined burglars out of your house, or keep your car from being stolen. But let's not downplay the importance of not broadcasting the SSID. If you want to keep 99% of the badguys out of your house, or from stealing your car, you don't leave the front door unlocked or the keys in the ignition!

    If you are broadcasting your SSID, and the teenager next door tells his laptop to scan for networks, he's going to see your wireless network. If you have not changed the default password, or you've changed it to your dog's name, he's in and surfing porn sites with your IP! If you are sharing folders on your PC and have not setup your personal firewall properly, he's seeing what's on your computer - and potentially infecting your network with malware. If you live in an apartment complex, any number of people could see your network.

    My advice is to wire the house with Cat-6 and get rid of WiFi - and all the headaches and responsibilities that come with it. If you must use WiFi, hide your SSID, change the default password to a "strong" password using alpha, numeric and special characters too. I would also advise you assign static IPs to those nodes that will connect to the WiFi, and then tell the WAP or WiFi router to ONLY accept those IPs, if the device allows that - the router should. Most (if not all) WAPs and WiFi routers allow "Filtered MAC Addressing". Every device that can connect to a network has a unique MAC address - look for a label on the device - then tell the WAP to only accept connections from those specific MAC addresses.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

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  14. #14
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    Re: How to add a wireless network in a wired netwo

    If I change the SSID name, disable the SSID broadcasting and assign a WPA-Personal TKIP Shared Key , what will happen when the guest try to access the internet from his or hers notebook? Should I give the guess the SSID and WPA Shared Key?

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    Re: How to add a wireless network in a wired netwo

    That is correct Dennis. You'll need to supply the information to anyone you wish to allow access.
    Christopher Baldrey

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