[lug] Dumb Wireless Networking Questions

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Fri Apr 25 12:55:03 MDT 2003

Surprised you didn't get more responses Matt.

802.11b being the most popular, the Linksys'es and such seem to work fine.

I have two of the Linksys's - one old one with the USB port on it for
configuration and updates, and one of the new ones that has the web
interface.  The newer ones are nicer to deal with for configuration.  You
plop an IP address into a browser and they're already there listening for
you to configure them.  (Of course, if they come up with an IP conflict,
that's kinda a pain, so I always change their default IP address to
something that makes sense for my network(s).

Have used Lucent stuff also in the past.  Haven't tried anything else

Early models of the BSFR from Linksys had problems with streaming UDP
through the 4-port switch when the wireless was active... packet loss, out
of order packets... lovely stuff.  Haven't seen that problem for over a year
now, though, as all the v1 devices seem to have gone off the shelves long

Some of the newer wireless stuff has the dual-standard 2.4 and 5 GHz stuff.
More expensive, maybe worth the extra speed if you REALLY need speed on the
wireless.  However, your DSL connection won't keep up with 11Mb/s (the
slower speed) anyway, soo.... it's only going to help on your local network.

For client cards, I have used PCMCIA cards from Lucent/Orinoco, Cisco,
Linksys, and D-Link and all have interoperated nicely.  I also owned an
Apple Airport base station at one time, and it played nicely with all the
PC's too... and the Mac now goes out through the Linksys from two floors up
just fine.  (GRIN)

As far as the network goes... you'll always need something (DSL router) to
handle getting from DSL line to Ethernet.  Then you can choose whether or
not you want to do the DHCP/NAT at a router or whatever.  I don't know
anything about the ActionTec, but if it does NAT it probably also does your
DHCP if you're using that?  The Linksys can be configured as a bridge... or
you can buy their specific little bridge device and plug it into your
switch/hub and go that route.  I wouldn't recommend those though, I had to
RMA two of them for power supply issues within 30 days of purchase on both
of them.  They're not designed as well as the AP's are.

There's a wireless to ethernet bridge on sale right now at MicroCenter for
$59.  I forget who's but it looked sturdier than the Linksys.

Nate Duehr, nate at natetech.com

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