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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a linksys 802.11b router now and I'm looking to upgrade to the "g", I have found that LinkSys' tech support is completely the most retchid thing on the face of the earth, I had to figure out the problem I had with my router on my own last time cause they spent an hour and a half diagnosing every problem that I didn't have. I'm very savvy at computers and did everything they told me to well before I bothered calling Tech support for more useless answers.


What's gone wrong with tech support? Didn't these people use to know this stuff and actually diagnose a problem thru real troubleshooting? It seems as if everything has gone through the avenue of reading answers from a booklet that has standard answers like you'd hear from a form response from DirecTV. It seems to me that they MIGHT be doing this for a liability issue and they don't wanna mess people's computers up by giving wrong answers, either that or they really have no clue at all.


If I want a good wireless solution for "g" what brand should I buy?
 

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I've been using my Netgear WGR614 router for about 4 months now and its been so reliable that I forget I even have it.


I use G mode for my laptop and B mode for my HTPC and have a couple of other pc's connected via 10/100. I've heard that they have great tech support which I believe is 24/7 but I've never had to use it, thank God. I recommended it to my parents and a friend and they have had no problems either.


I've had a few Linksys routers in the past, while they were not wireless, I had some connectivity problems with them. They liked to disconnect from my cable modem about once a week and constantly needed to be unplugged for a few minutes to restart.


In four months, I've never had to restart this thing even once and the setup is a snap.
 

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It will cost you a few extra dollars, but you may want to consider separating the router/gateway function from the wireless access point function, rather than buying an integrated wireless router (unless cost or footprint are the foremost considerations). I have found that the Linksys wireless access points work quite well, but their router functionality sometimes hangs. You might pair a Linksys AP and a Netgear gateway/router as a cost-effective pair, for example.
 

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I have 3 different AP's, a Lucent, Netgear and a Compaq, the Lucent is by far the most reliable but tempermental regarding using other manufacturer's client devices. The Netgear is very versitile except it does not allow me to turn off the SSID beacon, but does allow WEP and MAC access restrictions. The Compaq needs a reboot weekly, I do not recommend it. I use a separate Router (SMC Barricade, 8 Port) so that my AP's are just that and it works well for me. I do HIGHLY recommend using WEP encryption, MAC address restrictions and anything else you can do to restrict access to your network because I just did a scan in my house and found my neighbors Linksys router broadcasting to me and I could easily connect to him without a problem, SECURE your network, P-L-E-A-S-E.


Jim
 

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Ditto on the Netgear WGR614. Tried the Linksys G setup first and returned it 2 days later because I didn't get good reception with my laptop in the den (where my HTPC would eventually go). Netgear is far much more reliable. My HTPC's motherboard has built-in Ethernet, so instead of getting a wireless PCI NIC for it (which would be essentially boxed-in inside my entertainment center), I splurged on a Netgear bridge which can be outside and high up (camouflaged behind a house plant, of course) and have been very happy with it. I have other RF 2.4 GHz devices (wireless phones, etc.), and haven't had any conflicts.
 

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OH ya, if distance is what you want, go with the Lucent products, I was at 500+ ft with a yellow reading and could surf reliably.


Jim
 

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I went the separate AP and router method. My first set-up had a Netgear wireless router. At first there was an bug, that made me reboot it every day or so, but a patch fixed that problem. The biggest problem was that the wire closet was in a corner of my basement, and I had to be in the same room to connect. So I bought a d-link 11g access point and a separate router. I tried to configure my old wireless router to be just a router, but it locked up, so I replaced it with a more robust Netgear router/firewall. I then moved my AP to the center of the house, and attached a 5db external antenna. Whoa, world of difference. I now get strong signal everywhere in my house, and well into my yard.


I activated WEP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, I am now in the new stage of my purchase decision.


Netgear seems to be the best way to go, and now I am wondering what I should buy to do this properly. I have a Playststion2 with Network adapter and the HTPC near the TV. What should I buy to make this the easiest setup as possible?


I know I need the Access Point but from there on, I'm not sure. Will I need a bridge? Will I be able to share the bridge?


Please help me clear this up.
 

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I am a wireless novice, but I have a very large 3 story house with a basement. When I tried to solve my coverage problem I looked into several solutions.


At first, I thought I needed a bridge, but I was wrong. Bridging is when you have two wireless segments that broadcast directly to one another. An example: You have a detached garage 700 ft behind your house, and you want to put a small office in it. Rather than run wire, you can get two wireless APs with directional antennae, and bridge the garage segment to the house segment.


I then considered multiple access points to cover the entire house. Supposedly, wireless allows for roaming among multiple access points. The connection with the strongest signal wins, just like your cell phone. I am not certain that inexpensive home units really do this, but commercial gear generally supports roaming.


I decided that moving my AP to the center of the house was a good first start. I also found that the embedded wireless in my laptop was a joke, and added a better one. These two steps alone would have likely extended my coverage to 90% of the volume I wanted to cover. When I ordered the AP, I also bought an external antenna, so I could move the antenna away from boundaries. The external antenna was icing.


I can now get wireless coverage everywhere with one AP. So unless there is some extenuating circumstance you should be able to get by with one AP.
 

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If you are not presently using a router, then you can use the Netgear as a AP/Router, I just used it as a AP since I had a central router already wired and it was in my basement and signals kinda die down there. So I have two AP being used as a bridge to connect to the router on my upstairs level so I can have a good signal all over my house.


Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
uhh, now I am totally confused...


Don't buy a bridge and just buy 2 AP's so that I can hook up all the units I need to?


I have DSL and am using a router now with two PCI wireless cards, one computer will be replaced for "G" and the playstation will need to be hooked up somehow cause I'm sick of draping a network cable for it.
 

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The d-link AP2000 allows 4 seperate modes. One of the modes is as a client. In client mode, you can attach it to your playstation and it turns it into a wireless client, if that is what you want to do.


I have a 7000+ sq ft stone house that is three stories, and a basement. I have one AP. Do not put the AP in the basement.
 

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first off what i would do is go on google and search.. do alot of reading. belkin is the only one that offers lifetime tech support. and they are decent. might have to spend some time on the phone but they will work with you. wireless g is still kinda buggy and you wont get for 54 if you try to use any legacy b devices. for coverage concerns look at a device that has removable or the ability to add external ant. there are other things others have done to put an ant. outside on a mast for good coverage. start with a single router/ap then add as you need. make sure also they work in bridge mode. not all of them will run bridge mode. Buffalo from what i have read is the best. also buffalo and belkin are the only ones who garentee thier devices to work with all cards and future upgradability. when g wasnt finalized everyone except them two said they would replace the device if you find it didnt work with a card because it was not a standard. from what i understand it still isnt 100% ITU approved.
 

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For some really detailed discussions, visit this forum:

http://www.dslreports.com/forums/18



They cover all major brands. I own a Netgear MR814 802.11b AP/router, and was frustrated at it with constant hangups/resets.


After installing a patch on this thanks to this site, I was able to get it stable.


BTW, I went through 3 other brands before I settled on the Netgear. IMHO, Netgear has best features/usability/configuration utilities, but LInksys has a better coverage in the house.


My recommendation is to purchase locally where you can easily return w/ no penalties, then trial 2-3 brands. D-Link, Netgear, and Linksys easily could be the ones to test.


Your mileage will vary..................
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
On a side note, I looked at all the SSID's in my setup and saw there were many people in this area, 4 to be exact. Put my SSID broadcast to off and enabled WEP. Maybe this will help me with the problems I've been having with my router recently.


I still don't get this "bridge" idea and what I should buy for my setup.


Simple setup:

1 hardwired to router

1 HTPC (Wireless 802.11g PCI Card)

1 Standalone PC (Wireless 802.11b PCI Card)


1 Sony Playstation with network adapter.


Why am I having such a hard time understanding this? I thought this stuff was supposed to be easy :)
 

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you wont get full 54meg with that b card in there.. you have to set the g router as g only and have no legacy b devices or it will drop the router down and limit to even below 12meg.. you can read the threads at dslreports about that as well. it is a good idea to set wep and not to broadcast ssid. also make sure you change your password use at least one uppercase and a # or other symble and do not use a word that is found in a dict.also another thing to do is set the mac security to only allow certain wireless macs access. that is if your router allows that. one other way is to change the ip address of the router to not standard.. change the subnet instead of 255.255.255.0 to say 255.255.0.0 and set static ip. even with this its not 100% secure. but it sure is allot harder..
 

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Think of a bridge as a way of joining the wireless devices to your existing wired network. It is very transparent to the devices with wireless cards and the devices with wireless cards get thier IP address from the hardwired router, not the access point. In fact, the wireless access point gets an IP address from the wired router and when you need to configure the wireless access point, you would type in " http:\\\\IP address of the access point" , not the default IP that is given to it by default (typically 192.168.0.1), there should be only one DHCP server (the hard wired router only) that assigns IP addresses.


Jim
 

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you would want to set the bridge a static ip address on both lan and wan. so you would say for instance have 192.168.0.3 for wan and 192.168.0.4 for lan. that simplifies the process or what ever the lan addresses are
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm giving up, I'm putting the wireless router in the living room with the playstation and HTPC with the hardwired connection to the DSL modem and putting the other computers in the house to a wireless "G". I don't understand why I have to do this but apparently I can't buy other items to accomplish the same thing. I hate the idea of wireless LAN on this main computer, I don't like worrying about possible signal drops even if I'm 10' away or a fluke from the router on the wireless side...


Please correct me if I'm making a mistake.
 
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