Diamond HomeFreeA good wireless LAN solution
Step 1: Installation of the Network
The basic installation of both ISA and PC Card adapters was a simple procedure. The ISA adapter may not be appropriate for many of the new systems that support PCI ports only. Unfortunately, Diamond only sells a notebook kit with the ISA/PC card combo. Additional PCI cards can be purchased separately. They also sell a desktop kit consisting of an ISA/PCI card combination.
The software drivers installed effortlessly from the CDROM and the system was up and running within 5 minutes.
The system easily recognized all my local printers and set up a shared “Transfer”folder. Additional files/drives and folders can be enabled using Microsoft’s Network Neighborhood and enabling sharing.
Step 2: Internet Sharing
Unfortunately, the included WinNAT software did not work with my ADSL adapter / Access Manager. Indeed, despite installation of various sharing products (Win98 SE Internet Connection Sharing, WinNAT, Wingate) none of these programs were able to go through the Access Manager / wireless network combo.
I must admit, I am an expert user but NOT a network GURU. However, if I had trouble setting up this network for internet access, I CANNOT believe that the average user would be able to without great trouble.
Step 3: Workaround to enable Internet Sharing
On the internet, I found a vague reference regarding the use of a proxy server for internet sharing for ADSL / Home LAN networks. With this idea, I downloaded a freeware app, IProxy from AnalogX. This is a simple 128 k download of a proxy program.
It was a simple case of installing a) the proxy program and running it on the desktop/ADSL connected computer and b) setting Internet Explorer on my laptop to use a proxy when accessing the net.
VOILA -> Internet Access on both LAN computers over a 2.4 GHz wireless network
1) Registry keys problem
Over the course of my installation process of the various Windows internet sharing programs, I upgraded the network drivers (a download from Diamond). However, it put an extra key in the Windows Registry so that a different CoNetID was used. This is much like the “workgroup” option in windows 98 and allows greater security on the wireless network. In order for the diamond cards to work to establish the wireless LAN; they must be on the SAME workgroup and the SAME CoNetID.
Unfortunately, this problem was nowhere to be found on the diamond technical support web site nor was it documented in the manual. Indeed, the manual has only very BASIC troubleshooting tips. In order to solve this problem, I had to phone Diamond technical support which managed to narrow down the problem quickly and email me a solution.
2) System HANG while booting
Another problem I encountered was that with RASPPPoE installed, the desktop system would hang while booting. I was able to fix this by booting into safe mode and disabling some of the extra and unneeded bindings (ie: PPPoE for the LAN adapter) which solved the problem. I am absolutely sure that this was a problem of Windows binding everything together extraneously by default.