Wireless LAN(?). Advice requested.

It's getting to the point where I have several systems under my control and I find that it would be convenient for me and the users if we had a local network to link them together. My knowledge in this area is edgy at best and I'm basically wanting some guidance on what I'm after.

I don't know if it's relevant, but all the systems (save one that can have a card added) have ethernet/LAN ports (the 6 or 8 wire "phone" jack).

It must be at least partially wireless (a notebook) but may end up partially wired (the house is owned so I can run wiring if it looks like a good idea).

High-speed transfer is not a requirement, as files will rarely be transfered (mostly internet sharing and we only have dialup anyway), but would be nice.

Security is a must (Windows has enough holes as it is) though I'd prefer not to have to put in passwords. Perhaps static IPs that can be allowed and all others denied?

The network will be a 98/XP (and maybe Linux) mix.

Need more info? Just ask.

Thanks in advance,
KDL

Comments

  • Hey KDL!

    Nobody's answered you yet? And for all the help you disk out...

    I'd go ahead and pull cable. Wire the house. Pull an extra cable everywhere you think you want one. Put cables even where you don't think you'll want one!

    I'd use at least cat5 cable, though cat5e is widely available. Terminate the connections with cat5-certified connectors. Pick up a low-cost etherent switch with as many ports as you can afford. Try to get one with at least as many ports as you've installed cables, so if you've pulled 12 cables, get a 16-port switch.

    Bear in mind that this cable can be used for telephone or computer, and even for speakers. So it doesn't hurt to install an extra cable or two if you think you'll use it someday.

    In our new house we installed a pair of cables at the kitchen counter, which we currently use for a laptop and a phone. There's a set of three in the dining room for those times when I want to test out a couple of computers on the dining room table.

    There are four cables going to my upstairs office, and four more to the desk built-in in the kitchen.

    Cable is cheap (I bought a 1000-foot box), and once you have all the tools out and you're in the mood, you may as well do it all.

    Cable beats out anything for security - a breach would require physical access. The speed is the highest you can get - far higher than wireless.

    Cable is also cheaper than wireless, especially since you already have LAN ports on your computers. The rest of the stuff will cost little.

    Don't go limiting yourself to dial-up internet speeds either. One day DSL, or some other as yet unthought-of technology will become available, and you don't want to have to redo any of this stuff.

    "Hope this helps."

    :)



    : It's getting to the point where I have several systems under my control and I find that it would be convenient for me and the users if we had a local network to link them together. My knowledge in this area is edgy at best and I'm basically wanting some guidance on what I'm after.
    :
    : I don't know if it's relevant, but all the systems (save one that can have a card added) have ethernet/LAN ports (the 6 or 8 wire "phone" jack).
    :
    : It must be at least partially wireless (a notebook) but may end up partially wired (the house is owned so I can run wiring if it looks like a good idea).
    :
    : High-speed transfer is not a requirement, as files will rarely be transfered (mostly internet sharing and we only have dialup anyway), but would be nice.
    :
    : Security is a must (Windows has enough holes as it is) though I'd prefer not to have to put in passwords. Perhaps static IPs that can be allowed and all others denied?
    :
    : The network will be a 98/XP (and maybe Linux) mix.
    :
    : Need more info? Just ask.
    :
    : Thanks in advance,
    : KDL
    :



    [purple]Melissa[/purple]

  • : Nobody's answered you yet? And for all the help you disk out...

    I rarely get answers anywhere but on the VB board. Problem is, I rarely have VB questions...

    : I'd go ahead and pull cable.

    You've convinced me on the wired part!

    I have one more question that you may be able to help me with. Will I have trouble getting 98 and XP to cooperate? I spent a couple of weeks on and off trying to get them to connect through DCC and they refused to do so. At best, either XP would report a 24Mbps connection and 98 would report no connection or they'd agree that they were connected but XP would demand a password and 98 would refuse to supply one.
  • : I have one more question that you may be able to help me with. Will I have trouble getting 98 and XP to cooperate? I spent a couple of weeks on and off trying to get them to connect through DCC and they refused to do so. At best, either XP would report a 24Mbps connection and 98 would report no connection or they'd agree that they were connected but XP would demand a password and 98 would refuse to supply one.
    :
    I can't think of a reason why these two should give you grief on a wired network. There may be some initial configuration stuff to do, but that shouldn't be all that hard.

    Wireless networks tend to do weird things, especially with older vs. newer OS versions. XP is more sophisticated in the wireless department, whereas Win 9x is not. So I'm not surprised you'd have trouble.

    Toss in the fact that different wireless hardware has different default settings, etc., and you have a real potential headache!

    I worked on a one-station(!) wireless setuprecently. The person wanted to do wireless internet, so connected a device directly to the cable modem. and loaded up the supposedly appropriate software on Win XP. It worked, but then the conneciton disappeared. I worked on it for an hour, and got it back. I packed up my stuff, and went to show them that it was OK, and it had already disappeared!

    It turns out there was some goofy setting that was wrong...




    [purple]Melissa[/purple]

  • : I can't think of a reason why these two should give you grief on a wired network. There may be some initial configuration stuff to do, but that shouldn't be all that hard.
    :

    That's kinda what I was hoping.

    Thanks!
    KDL
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