[lug] OT: wiring a house for ethernet

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Mon Jun 28 12:15:47 MDT 2004

Ryan Wheaton wrote:

> Yes, we will most definitely get permission from the landlord.
> we have 802.11b right now (for laptops), but the speed difference is 
> just too much.  We do a lot of file transfers between computers and 
> such, and I find 802.11b to be tedious when transferring files.  Exactly 
> how much faster is 802.11g?  Still, the problem with that is that we'd 
> incur a lot of cost buying a new wifi router (802.11g) and new wifi nics 
> for all the workstations...  The cheapest G router i've found is $55 and 
> the cheapest G nics i've seen are $30 a piece.  That would be about $175 
> to get it in there across the board for all our workstations...  If the 
> speed is there, then i'd probably be completely willing to invest, but 
> I'm just not really convinced.
> -rtw

Hi Ryan,

I can only advise on what I like, but I did a mixture of 802.11g and 
wired, and like the combo very much.  The servers are in the basement 
hooked to a 10/100 switch, and the laptops are on 802.11g.  There are a 
couple of older machines with 802.11b cards in them that work fine with 
the Linksys 802.11g access point.

I did avoid the current trend of everyone selling 802.11g "routers" and 
went hunting specifically for the Access Points only -- this allowed me 
more flexibility since I run my own firewall, etc.

I have one room that's too far from the servers that needs wired 
Ethernet, and I had been planning to re-use two 802.11b access points 
(knowing that they'd interfere slightly with the 802.11g system) as 
bridges to the basement, but one of them is a super-old Linksys version 
1 AP - the V1 and V2 won't bridge to each other correctly, unfortunately.

I copied about 6 Gigs of data across the 802.11g in a couple of hours 
the other night (not sure exactly how long, I started it and ignored 
it).  It's considerably faster than 802.11b would have been, but not as 
fast as wired 100 Mb/s Ethernet.  I decided the trade-off of waiting a 
little longer for large file transfers was worth not pulling cable in 
the house.

I like the 802.11g and your old 802.11b clients will work fine until you 
upgrade them.  I think you take a performance hit on the 802.11g clients 
when an b client is active on the network, but I haven't measured it. 
The majority of the time, the two laptops that have 802.11g are the only 
machines online here on the wireless, so I don't worry about it too much.

Hopefully that helps.

Also the linuxant driver loader seems to work fine under Fedora Core 2 
for using the Linksys WPC54G.  I would prefer a native linux driver, but 
for now, I'll survive with the loader.  It seems to do everything I 
need.  I plan on trying it out shortly under Debian.

Nate Duehr, nate at natetech.com

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