View Full Version : Wireless Fidelity (WiFi)
12-30-2004, 11:01 AM
You talk about different screens. Did you note that Linksys has different software for desk top and lap top computers - the screens are different and the functionality is different. I set up a Linksys system thinking that Cisco is a good company. I started with a system that had a WiFi router and four desk tops that are on carts to move around the small school. Worked great. Then the Executive Director of the school decided that her lap top should have access also. I got the Linksys card and it did not work. Linksys support was nearly useless. The setup was different than on the desk tops. The documentation did not cover all the options. I tried a D-Link card after the third Linksys card did not work. It works fine. Indidently, the Linksys did not work on another netword where I tested it until I uninstalled their software. Then it worked (using the Microsoft support for wireless). Unfortunatly, all the schools computers are on Win98, so they do not have the support in the operating system for WiFi. I think if I had it to do over, I would just try some other vendor than Linksys.
12-31-2004, 02:18 PM
Good point, Steve. My problem right now is that I loaded the Linksys software on my laptop, but I don't think I loaded it on the desktop. The laptop is working, the desktop is not. I'll try loading the Linksys software on the desktop and see if that helps. Joe
01-01-2005, 09:48 AM
Good article Joe, and good timing. I just set up my Linksys wireless network a few days ago, and really knew nothing about it. My config has an option to use WPA encryption and I set the "key" to be change every 10 minutes. There was also an option that defines the max # of DCHP devices which I set at 2. I'm guessing that when both my PC's are connected, no one else can get in, but I'm green. I didn't see options that would decrease the signal strength to "just my house" or change the key based on the # of packets sent/received. Those would have been nice features. I think other routers have these. I was also confused as to why my laptop would try to connect to someone elses wireless network until I figured out that you have to specify the connection preference for all the detected wireless networks in the area, so I made mine #1. Chris
01-04-2005, 01:10 AM
Good article Joe. As someone who has done this already, I know I sure would have appreciated an article like this when I was trying to figure it all out. Just one thing I'd like to pick up on. You suggest that you can upgrade to 11g as and when the higher bandwidth becomes required. This is technically correct, but the results would be disappointing. The "backwards compatibility" in 11g is of the stupid variety - if the 11g router detects an 11b client it will revert to 11b mode for all clients. (At least this is what the standard says - individual vendors may have workarounds)(Caveat - I'm no more of a networking expert than Joe claims to be - this information has been gleaned from magazine articles) If anyones thinking of setting up a wireless network (I hate the term wi-fi too!) from scratch I'd recommend only buying 11g equipment. The cost is little more these days. Chris Price
01-10-2005, 09:25 AM
I don't believe Linksys supports controlling signal strength - you'd have to look through the advanced options on the wireless tab in the configuration to be sure. I have always preferred D-Link equipment because both the router and adapter software is significantly easier to use. D-Link WAPs let you select from four signal strengths to limit access. There was recently (last week) a complete crack of WPA encryption published (although it does require "sniffing" a large number of packets - it's not instantaneous), so beware of overselling WPA as the panacea to all WEP concerns. In general, disabling SSID, rotating WEP passphrases, using MAC filters, and limiting power should provide enough security for home use. As long as your neighbor has a completely open WAP, you will almost always be left alone.
01-10-2005, 09:25 AM
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