Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Wired+Wireless home network purchasing recommendations...

  1. #1

    Question Wired+Wireless home network purchasing recommendations...

    [Note: this is a modified version of my original post -- some details have been changed to reflect current goals/knowledge...]

    Hello all.

    I am wondering if anyone can contribute any advice on my current wired+wireless networking activities...

    *Current* set-up:

    One cable broadband connection into upstairs room.
    Connection goes straight into a broadband modem and then into an ethernet connection for a desktop PC.
    Provider is ntl (UK).

    *Planned* home network development:


    -- Set up home network to serve both the desktop and new laptop via a fast/secure wireless router (G/multi-standard).

    Possible Solution 1:
    -- Internet connection will be ported into the wireless router, and the connection shared with the desktop PC (via wired connection) and laptop (via wireless connection) respectively.
    -- Possibility of adding Wireless Access Points around house at later date for better/more reliable signal.

    Possible Solution 2:
    -- Internet connection will be ported into traditional (wired) router. This router will feed both desktop PC and Wireless Access Point(s).
    -- Possibility of adding (more) Wireless Access Points around house at later date for better/more reliable signal.
    (Enables manual shut-down of wireless network, while wired network remains operational)

    Possible Solution 3:
    -- Internet connection will be ported into traditional (wired) router. This router will feed both desktop PC and Wireless Router. Wireless router will then feed either laptop directly or various Wireless Access Points.
    -- Possibility of adding (more) Wireless Access Points around house at later date for better/more reliable signal.
    (Enables manual shut-down of wireless network, while wired network remains operational)


    -- Wish to keep broadband connection point in the same place, meaning that the wireless router will be incorporated at the desktop location on the upstairs floor.

    -- Wish to use the wireless laptop around the house/garden. Biggest distance likely to arise between the wireless router and wireless laptop is around 20m. Average distance will only be around 5-10m. (Both distances are estimated in diagonal straight lines from the upper floor wireless router position to possible seating spots down in the garden) Distances will be a lot less, when, say, laptop is directly under the router, for example, in sitting room.

    -- Property is around 100 years old, with reasonably sized walls (nothing *too* thick, but old and sturdy all the same -- thicker than most 'new builds' but not excessive) It could have been built anywhere in between 1900 to 1925, so I hope you get the kind of building I'm talking about... I am told that this may require the addition of Wireless Access Points.

    -- May add another desktop to network. Means that the equipment must support expansion beyond current remits (but I will leave this out of the discussion for now)...

    -- Wish to opt for wireless router + laptop card of same brand. I hear such set-ups work better together with fewer problems...

    -- Laptop PCMCIA wireless card has to work with a wireless network that my employer runs in/around their workplace location. The signal is available for a substantial range around this working area (covering many blocks by means of powerful antennae). I have seen several of my associates use a particular kind of PCMCIA card in their laptops to receive this signal -- but I assumed this was a coincidence? Surely, the type of card one uses should not affect the operationability/performance in this area too much? Is this an important issue?

    -- Although it is unlikely that both the desktop and laptop will be used at the same time, it could in fact happen occasionally. In addition, as well as accessing the files on my desktop when it is on, I also hope to be able to use the laptop to access the broadband connection even if the desktop is off -- I assume that under the system I outlined above that this is possible?

    Usage requirements:

    *Network* usage requirements / capabilities:

    Must be secure/reliable/fast in each case.

    -- Internet use.
    -- Streaming of *multimedia content* throughout the house/garden.
    -- Support of tasks such as *quickly* transferring/copying large files.
    -- Other exemplary requirements include installation of progs/apps from desktop to laptop with little slow-up...

    A poster from the board provided me with a useful BB link on some of the considerations involved here. It is available from:

    *Laptop* usage requirements / capabilities:

    -- Pursuing a powerful model. However, do not intend to play games. Something that combines power, screen size and battery life is desired. According to the equipment available at this time, I will buy a powerful laptop unit then add a G/multi-standard compatible PCMCIA card...

    -- I am told that the current Centrino laptop models restrict users to the B-standard. Speed is important, and therefore, I wish to pursue a G/multi-standard PCMCIA card.

    Concluding Summary of current hardware investigations/solutions:

    Towards finding some solutions, here's what I’m currently considering / looking for recommendations on purchasing:

    -- Wireless Router: *fast + secure* wireless router desired... Have opted for G/multi-standard equipment (802.11G is the latest version at the time of writing; known to handle a 'claimed/apparent' 54mbps -- I understand that in reality speeds are commonly much lower). Notable/desirable brands include the usual suspects, such as SMC, Buffalo, Linksys, D-Link, and Netgear... BUDGET: ~ŁUK 70-150 desired; will stretch to ~ŁUK 175-200 max.

    -- PCMCIA wireless card for laptop: G/multi-standard compatible card desired... Wish to avoid USB-based products. (Have been told there are less problems with PCMCIA products, plus they're apparently easier to carry around). This card has to work at home and in the city wireless area... I also understand that some laptops come with wireless cards already, but in my experience, superior equipment is gained from separate purchases... Notable/desirable brands again include SMC, Buffalo, Linksys, D-Link, and Netgear... BUDGET: ~ŁUK 20-30 desired; will stretch to ~ŁUK 100 max.

    -- Laptop: Blend of *battery life + performance* is desired... Have seen notable/desirable units from Dell, Toshiba, IBM, Sony and HP (previously Compaq)... BUDGET: ~ŁUK 700 desired; willing to stretch a little further for quality equipment.

    Conclusion and Ending Requests/Questions:

    If anyone has any *specific* hardware recommendations/exemplary set-ups, these would be very much appreciated! Input from those who already running such a set-up would be especially useful. Any other advice that I haven't considered is also highly valued!

    Thanks in advance.


    PS: Here are some useful links, very kindly provided by others during this investigation... (please don't get too distracted by these -- remember to post hardware recommendations! )

    Introduction to the subject of wireless networking.

    -- http://forums.practicallynetworked.c...threadid=1937.
    Discussion on considerations involved in setting up powerful home/garden wireless network. The originator of the thread went with SMC equipment. (This thread is also presented above)
    Last edited by D001; 09-04-03 at 07:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Advanced Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    On Wireless:

    802.11b vs. 802.11g.

    For Internet surfing it does mot matter since Internet broadband connection is slower than 802.11b

    For traffic across Internal LAN, 802.11g is significantly faster.

    General Wireless info.

    802.11b = 11Mb/sec. Network "Speed" (Carrier transmission 2.4GHz)
    802.11g = 54Mb/sec. Network "Speed” (Carrier transmission 2.4GHz)

    Wireless Ethernet needs additional protocol over head for the transfer. In addition, it is not as stable as Wired so it needs extra processing procedures.

    As a result the 11Mb/sec. of the Network chipset is translated to a much lower actual performance. Usually 4-6Mb/sec.

    Few 802.11b hardware units are also capable to work at 22Mb/sec.(usually referred to as b+) it is nice if it works, in real term will yield 20%-40% more than 11Mb/sec. systems.

    The 802.11g line that is rated 54Mb/sec. in the real world it yields 18-22Mb/sec.

    The differences between the first set of graphs to the second represent the performance differences between 802.11b to 802.11g

    Link: 802.11a/b/g SOHO Routers & Access Points: Performance.

    The following collection of links might help.

    Ignore the prices in the links bellow. The same or similar hardware can be found for 60%-90% less.

    Link: What do I need for wireless Networking?

    Link: Wireless Cable/DSL Router or Access Point - What should I get?

    Link: Wireless Security for the Home User.

    Link: Wireless Network Troubleshooting.

    Link: How do I use a Wireless Cable/DSL Router as a Switch with an Access Point?

    What should I get.

    Networking in General is no CPU OverClocking or "squeezing" few frames from a "puny" Video card, it is more complicated.

    The number of variables that goes into the equation of each situation is so variant that it is impossible to give one rule of thumb.

    If the Wireless Computer is going to be used in the vicinity of the Wireless Gateway, and you are going for 802.11b buy the cheapest you can find. You can get a Wireless Cable/DSL Router for about $19.99 + PCMCIA card for $9.99 (both after rebate).

    If you go with 801.11g get a set from D-Link or Linksys. Both seem to be at the top of the current rather limited "crop" of 802.11g Entry Level hardware.

  3. #3


    Hello JackMDS and thank you for your swift reply.

    Excellent post. Well-structured and very informative. I appreciate your efforts very much.


    Yes, I had also considered the 802.11b vs. 802.11g debate, but in the end opted to pursue .g-standard / multi-standard equipment...

    What I'm trying to do now is gauge user perceptions of what are contended to be among the more 'robust'/'superior' units in each particular category (wireless router, wireless PCMCIA card, and laptop respectively) before moving towards making any purchases...

    Progress on decision towards purchasing equipment:

    -- At this time I am leaning towards pursuing the wireless router + laptop PCMCIA card from Linksys, D-Link, SMC or Buffalo... The reason for this is due to the large number of communications I have received which have recommended these manufacturers' .g-standard products...

    -- I am still investigating what appears to be the best laptop available to me in the circa Ł700 region. (As I say, a combination of power and battery life is desired. I should also add that games will not be played on the laptop.).

    If anyone else has anything to add, feel free to do so...

    thanks again

    Last edited by D001; 09-02-03 at 10:25 AM.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts