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So, I decided to jump on the wireless bandwagon...

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So, I decided to jump on the wireless bandwagon...

Old 06-13-02, 10:19 PM
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Location: Boston, MA
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So, I decided to jump on the wireless bandwagon...

I hate those network dongles. The one I had just broke, and now I have to push the dongle down in order to get an outside connection. Well, I've had it! I hate having the notebook wired when I'm on the sofa surfing the Internet.

And so, I've decided to take the plunge. I'm looking at the popular Linksys wireless access point/4-port router at Amazon. I've heard people's experience with it have ranged from poor to excellent, but I was hoping to hear from some DVDTalkers about it. The model I'm looking at is BEFW11S4. I was also looking at the SMC wireless Barricade and the Netgear MR314 Wireless. The Linksys options seems to perform the best in its price range, but what do you guys think?

Also, about the wireless PC card, I was going to get the Linksys WPC11. Should I get something different? I'm correct in assuming any wireless PC card will work with the Linksys access piont, right?


quietsoul is offline  
Old 06-14-02, 08:17 AM
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Just know that your bandwidth can be stolen and your data packets can be sniffed. Also if you have anything shared on your computer...password protect it so no one can read your share.
palebluedot is offline  
Old 06-14-02, 03:15 PM
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I've got the linksys wireless / router with a orinico pc card. I really like it. Turn on wep unless you live out in the boonies.
Shay is offline  
Old 06-14-02, 07:10 PM
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I think most 802.11 devices are WECA Wi-Fi certified nowadays for interoperability, but you might want to double check that they are if you're buying parts from different manufacturers. It's just an added level of assurance that you won't run into any compatibility problems.

Like any wireless devices, there are the usual caveats about effective range, susceptibility to interference, etc. It's all going to vary depending on your particular situation. For most people, it works very well and when it does, it's quite glorious.

palebluedot and shay make good points. I'm not sure if the manufacturers have changed this recently, but typically these devices come configured ease of setup at the expense of security. Basically, no security features are turned on by default. So, definitely invest some time and effort to learn how to turn on WEP encryption, and perhaps also configure the router/bridge/AP to recognize only certain MAC addresses.
belboz is offline  
Old 06-17-02, 03:19 AM
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: St Louis, MO
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I purchased the Linksys Wireless router w/ 4-port switch and the Linksys wireless PCMCIA card about 10 months ago or so. I use it daily with no problems. The router sits in my basement and I can wander throughout the inside of my place, sit outside on the patio and work, etc, etc. This first wireless networking experience has definitely sold me on Linksys products.

As far as wireless security goes, of course your bandwidth can be stolen and packets be sniffed --- if you never change the default security settings and configuration. Change the defaults and you'll be good to go with no worries. Specifically:

  • First thing's first - download and install the latest Linksys firmware updates.

  • Change the router password.

  • Change the Wireless SSID name.

  • Disable SSID broadcasting.

  • Enable WEP and setup a 128-bit key.

  • If you need to use DHCP, reduce the number of DHCP users to the minimum you need.

  • If you don't want or need DHCP, disable it, assign your computers static IP's, and use the router or software on each system (like ZoneAlarm) to filter the network traffic based on the IP.

    Of course, nothing is foolproof. Anyone that really wants to get into your network bad enough will be find a way. Taking these basic steps, however, is rather like having the common sense to simply close and lock your front door before you go to bed, versus leaving it wide open all night.
  • roark1138 is offline  
    Old 06-17-02, 03:28 PM
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    Location: San Jose
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    I just did a whole slew of research and found that the SpeedStream 2623 Wireless/Lan DSL Router was well thought of. I have gotten it, installed it and everything is working great. WEP works fine, though I'm ironing out some XP issues.

    I am able to sit in my back yard and browse the internet through three stucco walls and a couple huge windows. (About 100' in all).
    quad is offline  

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