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Home Networking 101

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Hawkwood, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood

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    I have just ordered a new laptop computer (a Dell Studio with the Intel i7 quad processor with 8GB RAM and a 500 GB hard-drive) ...my first foray into laptops and the world of wireless computers. I would like to set up a wireless network at my house, but haven't the faintest idea how to do this. Can anyone tell me what equipment I need to purchase? The laptop will be here in about two weeks, so I have a little time to get set up and ready.

    Currently, I have a desktop computer that will remain active (although I would like to replace it with something newer). We have high-speed internet cable.

    What do I need to get, hardware and software-wise?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. ppcrusa

    ppcrusa

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    pick up a simple wireless router.
    Linksys WRT54GL is a decent one.
    Hook your cable ethernet line into the "internet" connector on the wireless router.
    You will need to reboot your cable modem after this is done so it can see the new router.


    Connect your desktop to the wireless router LAN port. You log into your new router and set it up for the wireless. The router should come with a setup CD. It is really easy to do.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010

  3. Naelbis

    Naelbis

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    Takes 5-10 mins tops. And don't forget to secure your connection if you have neighbors.
     
  4. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood

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    What's the range on something like this, distance-wise? Also, what are we talking about in terms of cost?
     
  5. volky

    volky NRA Member Millennium Member

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    Take a seat facing the door.
    50 foot radius inside the house for a decent signal. The Linksus is a good unit at about 60 bux. As others have said, enable encryption to keep the moochers out.
     
  6. vram74

    vram74

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    Use WPA with AES encryption or better yet, WPA2 if your router supports it. Stay far away from WEP encryption! +1 for the linksys WRT54GL
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  7. Half-Breed

    Half-Breed ..... CLM

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  8. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    Try this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124190&Tpk=wrt54gl

    Follow the menu driven setup on the CD.

    If you can change a car tire or operate a firearm you can do this. I promise.

    You can shop with confidence at Newegg, I've spent 10 of thousands of dollars there since like 1999 or 2000 ... They have awesome prices, shipping and customer service (on the off chance something goes awry) ... they will take care of you.

    P.S. If you buy something from them and leave them a good review on Resellerratings.com and leave a product review on their site and send them an E-mail telling them so they will send you free stuff.

    Just sayin'
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  9. AWJGlock19

    AWJGlock19

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    Yes...Netgear makes good routers also.....
     
  10. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    That's a good router. I had one till a storm sent it to the grave...

    Also pay close attention to the people telling you to make sure you use good strong passwords, etc. Simple things you can do to make sure you're connection is as secure as possible... Use WPA2(do not use WEP), use a good, strong password to log into your router(mine is 58 characters long). Also make sure you change the password to actually log into the router. These passwords can usually only be like 10-15 characters, so again, just use a good strong password. The username is usually admin, and some routers let you change that as well, but I'm pretty sure that Linksys did not.

    Those two steps involving passwords, will keep most people off your network.

    I use a Netgear WNDR 3300.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  11. ppcrusa

    ppcrusa

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    If you want to, use a MAC Filter. This locks out all machines but what you put into the permitted list. This will further increase security. You will need to do an ipconfig /all from the command line to get your mac address of the wireless card in your laptop.

    If you get the Linksys WRT54GL later on you can step on up to DD-WRT firmware to replace the crappy Linksys factory junk. I would recommend reading the wiki at their site before making the transition, and cruise the forums. There is a proper method for changing to DD-WRT, and as long as you follow it your router will be fine and even more powerful once the transition is done.
    www.dd-wrt.com
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  12. jtmac

    jtmac Señor Member

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    OK, honest question:

    If you're a dude that is asking about home networking basics (nothin' wrong with that!)... What are you gonna do with that much muscle in a laptop? :supergrin:
     
  13. Half-Breed

    Half-Breed ..... CLM

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  14. minderasr

    minderasr NRA Life Member

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  15. vram74

    vram74

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    MAC filtering provides a false sense of security and can be bypassed easily if the offending person knows what they're doing. Same for assigning static IPs and disabling DHCP.
     
  16. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    That was actually my first question, I chalked it up to "If one can afford it and one wants it one should get it even if one won't use it." :tongueout:
     
  17. Glock Enthusiast

    Glock Enthusiast Banned

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    Actually it would be easier to set it up without MAC filtering. Once it is set up all he has to do is look at the log to find out his MAC address. At that point, I would enable MAC filtering. Even more, he will be able to obtain the MAC address of every device he uses on his network.

    I personally have mine set up for wireless MAC filtering. If you were to plug directly in to my router you would have instant access, even without the encryption key which is WPA-PSK. If you want to steal my internet you have to commit a home invasion first. If someone is in my home the last thing I am worried about is my internet, though. I keep mine set up this way because I have LAN parties fairly often. It makes the set up easier.

    ETA:

    To the OP, I would recommend a top shelf D-Link router.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  18. Puppy

    Puppy

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    Yea I like Netgear better than Linksys, my Netgear RangeMAX has a really powerful signal that provides complete coverage throughout the entire house & even out in the backyard.
     
  19. Half-Breed

    Half-Breed ..... CLM

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  20. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood

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    That's a damn funny question, being asked on a gun board...most of whose members could take over a small African country with the quantity and quality of arms only found at the boathouse at Hereford. :supergrin:

    I will also be using this laptop for work and travel. Quite frankly, I want it to last a while and I don't want to be in a situation where I wished I hadn't cheaped out on the components, especially if I am trying to run some intensive programs in the future. Besides, I like good stuff. When it matters to me, I buy the best I can afford and justify.

    Oh, and I acknowledge openly that IT is an area that I don't know much. I hope to learn more, but usually that has not the best professional use of my skills and knowledge.

    You guys are great! Thanks for all the good replies and keeping me out of trouble.