Understanding routers and wireless Internet

Author: Maxwell Z. Rubin

To begin with most any of the systems are beyond overkill. All will go faster than the even high speed broadband internet. Most use the same frequency as the standard cordless phones (2.4 GHz). Be reassured the phones and the wireless internet in most cases will co- exist and work well with each other.


Wireless b and g

The most common wireless setups wireless b and g use the frequency most cordless phone use. G wireless internet is sort of a faster b standard. What is important to know is that it is all standardized. B will work with G and G products will work with B. G is said to up to 5 times faster than B that is assuming that you are relatively close.

Wireless G is very useful primarily if you are sharing large files between computers. For ordinary browsing b wireless is still overkill speed, faster as said than most broadband Internet connections.

The usual stated range of these wireless products is 300 feet indoors range and 1000 feet outside. The range is basically line of sight. Heavy dense objects - primarily metal, metal doors, metal foil insulation, heavy bricks and pipes and objects such as furnaces, metal filing cabinets will block reception to some degree.


Wireless routers, adapters, and wireless speeds

As well if the manufacturer makes some ultra high speed claims remember that both the router and wireless network adapters will have to be that brand and that special computer networking hardware feature to work at those high speeds and transmission rates. Remember to that wireless internet transmission speeds fall rapidly with distance.

If you have an older laptop you can install a PCMCIA wireless network adapter into the credit card sized slot on your laptop.

If you have a desktop computer you will have several options. If you have the abilities and are allowed by your warranty to open your computer case then you can install a standard PCI wireless card. The advantage of the PCI cards is that they almost always work, are screwed in so that they cannot be dislodged to stop working. The disadvantage is that the antenna of the card is hidden behind the metal of the computer case limiting reception.

Same brand router and USB wireless adapter

Another option is USB wireless adapters. Not only can the USB wireless adapter be installed without opening the case but as well with a USB extension cord the YSB network adapter can be lifted away from the computer to a higher more open place.

Several points on setup to make your life easier. After all networking is often called "Voodoo Science ". First if you are buying both the wireless adapters as well as the router try to buy the same brand, There will be easier setup , perhaps faster speed and tech support will not be able to blame the other vendor's product for setup issues.

You can tell tech support even after the return period of the store: "I guess the products are defective and have to be replaced ". There will be no issue of blaming the other vendor's product. Case closed.

Wireless router interface

Secondly most of the routers are setup by a "web based interface ". Some will come with an install disc as wizard. With others you will enter a web address usually 192.168.x.x and a password.

To enter this setup interface. The instructions and passwords should be in either your instructional manual or disc that came in the box with your router.

If you have a standard cable broadband account then just follow instructions if you have a DSL type of broadband internet connection then you will need the paper the phone company gave you with your internet account name and setup password. The internet connection password is most likely different than your email password.

This internet connection password is of very little value to anyone else. If you do not have this information phone your DSL provider tech support.

Installing wireless adapters

Next install the wireless adapters. Windows XP has its own wireless utility program installed. With previous versions of windows (Windows 98, 2000 and ME) you will have to install the utility program that the manufacturer provided on the install disk. Most of his install manuals have 2 different sets of instructions - one for Windows XP, the other for the remaining operating systems.

Setting wireless router security

When you setup the router you will be given a choice of whether to turn on the security features so that other people can drive up in front of your house and freeload your internet signals. It is anyone's choice whether they wish to use this feature or not. Believe me there will be no shortage of wireless internet connections for those free loaders - estimate is 60 percent.

You can say to yourself if someone wants to waste gas to sit in front of my home to download songs or whatever good for them . If you wish to turn on the scrambling to sign onto your internet it will be in the advanced wireless or wireless security section of your router control panel.

There are a number of choices. Most common is a setup called "WEP". This is available in a standard 64 bit or more secure 128 bit WEP settings. 64 bit setup is easier. 128 bit has you enter a long string of characters twice. Lots of fun with mistakes on entering those digits correctly.

The easier to use security setup routines will allow an easy to use phrase code generator. For example in the phrase code generator you enter the word Badgerlinux.

The number / character code will then be generated that you must enter both the router and wireless adapter ends of your system. WEP is considered by purists not as secure as a newer system called WPA.

Not all of the older hardware supports WPA. You may look at it as - if someone in my area can break into my WEP protected wireless system then that is the least of my troubles.