HELP! network novice

Discussion in 'Home Networking' started by Jim, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. Jim

    Jim Guest

    I would like to set up a wireless network between my desktop and laptop
    computer but I am a complete beginner when it comes to networking, I have
    had so much conflicting advice from the likes of PC World and Curry's that I
    don't know where to start.

    I have a Medion desktop running XP with a 10/100 Ethernet socket on the
    back, I have an E Machine laptop with built in WiFi and a Belkin wireless
    Router, I am connected to Freeserve Broadband.

    First of all, my desktop is the main computer which sits next to the USB
    modem and phone line, can I connect my dtop to the router using just a cable
    or will I have to buy a desktop wireless network card, some of the experts
    in PC world say no, experts in Dixons say yes.
    Can any of you good people point me in the right direction, I have to
    teenage daughters, (there bloody computers) waiting for me to set it up so
    they can both go on line at the same time.

    Secondly, just how easy is a wireless network to set up, I read in Computer
    Active that it can be tricky, (I don't like tricky) can I end up loosing all
    my settings for the internet, how does a router work, will the kids ever
    stop staring at me with a look of utter disappointment on there faces.

    If anyone can help me out they will have the pleasure of knowing they have
    saved the relationship between a Father and his Daughters

    Thank you thank you thank you in advance

    Desperate Dad

    Jim, Feb 10, 2004
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  2. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Sorry, forgot to mention, router is still in the box with the cellophane
    wrapped around it, have had it for nearly two weeks now, but did not want to
    open it in case it had to go back, when I said novice, I meant it

    Kind Regards

    Jim, Feb 10, 2004
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  3. Jim

    Ferger Guest

    Forget anything you have been told from these sources, it's almost certainly
    That bit's good....

    , I have an E Machine laptop with built in WiFi

    and that bit
    Where did this come from? Assuming it is the correct router (ie for use with
    a USB modem) then the modem will plug into it directly via a USB port. If it
    has ports for a wired connection (likely) then you don't need a wireless card
    for the desktop, just connect it directly with some CAT5 cable. If it's too
    far away, then you can go wireless instead - but then you will need a wireless
    card for the desktop. Is there a picture of the router that you tell one way
    or another? Failing that, what's the model number?
    Not really. In a perfect world: Turn on the router, laptop immediately
    detects the connection, it works, you resist the temptation to leave it alone
    as it now works for everyone in the street, so you need to do a bit of
    fiddling to ensure only you and your girls can use it - which means enable WEP
    or WPA encryption, change the default SSID and don't broadcast it. This is
    not actually that difficult, but it's a lot easier to show than describe.
    You'll probably have to log into the router to do this, and it'll probably
    have a web interface that makes it straightforward.
    Make sure you know your login name and password, everything else can be
    You don't want or need to know :) But it's a lot cleverer than a hub or a
    switch, which in practice means it's easier to set up as it tells the machines
    connected to it what they need to know.
    I'm a sucker for father/daughter relationships. If this doesn't give you some
    confidence let me know and I'll try and help you through it. I'm not an
    expert (software is my thing), but I have laboured through this a couple of
    Ferger, Feb 10, 2004
  4. Jim

    Dave Stanton Guest

    Thats the best bit of advice you will get !!

    Dave Stanton, Feb 10, 2004
  5. Jim

    Jim Guest


    First of all, apologies for this reply, I am not up to speed with snipping,
    and I know your not sposed to top post, God I know more than I realised.
    Secondly, thank you for the reply, I can feel the confidence starting to
    surge through my veins, the kids are looking on with eager
    anticipation.....................................will sleep on it and give
    it a go tomorrow.
    I have had a good look at the router box and it does not mention a USB
    connection, any way, here is a photo of the router, copyright of those
    wonderfully helpful people at PC World[email protected]@@@1802433
    [email protected]@@@&BV_EngineID=cccfadckjhfjffkcflgceggdhhmdfhl.0&page=Produc
    I was told this was the router I needed when the girls picked there laptop
    All the other info you have supplied is 500% more than our friendly store
    supplied, and probably 10000% more accurate, after looking at the router, if
    there is any more info you can give me, it will be gratefully accepted.

    Many thanks, this could get me some cred back with my two offspring


    Jim, Feb 10, 2004
  6. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Just clicked on the link to see if it would work and you guessed it, it
    the front of the box says "Wireless Cable/DSL Gateway Router 54g,virtually
    Can't seem to find a model number, sorry, but hope this helps

    Confidence draining

    Jim, Feb 10, 2004
  7. Jim

    Ferger Guest

    I've just done a quick scan round and I think this is the wrong device. You
    have an ADSL modem that plugs into a USB port, yes? As far as I can see,
    this device has no USB port and is designed to share a connection that is
    presented over Ethernet ie, a cable broadband connection or a DSL
    connection in some countries, but not this one :-(

    I would give PC World a ring, tell them you have a USB modem and can't see
    how this router could be used and see what they say. I think it's probably
    possible to use it, but only after some nasty network fudging via the
    desktop. There are plenty of devices designed to work in exactly the way
    you need (I have one - a Vigor 2200USB, although it's not wireless, I have a
    separate Wireless Access Point connected to it)

    Let us know how you get on....
    Ferger, Feb 11, 2004
  8. Jim

    Jim Guest


    You were right, went into PC World and a lad who seemed to know what he was
    talking about said there was no USB connection on that Router

    He has got me looking into a BelkinWireless USB Adaptor, he says this is all
    I need to get to get both computers to communicate with each other, only
    problem is the laptop would not run at top internet speed, I am not really
    worried about this, just as long as both girls can access the net at the
    same time will do for me.

    He did not know how to stop anyone else accessing my computer though, say a
    neighbour with a WiFi laptop.

    Any thoughts on this gratefully accepted, half term starts tomorrow, kids
    have started to pack their bags, not living with a dinosaur any longer, hang
    on, this might not be so bad after all

    Jim, Feb 12, 2004
  9. Jim

    Ferger Guest

    Jim secured a place in history by writing:
    Thought so. Honestly, PC World numpties shouldn't be allowed to sell this
    True (ish). But if he's suggesting what I think he is, the range would be
    limited (and whats the point of WAP if you can't use the laptop in the back
    garden :) ) and you would have to set the desktop up as a router in
    software using Internet Connection Sharing - which I believe is relatively
    easy under XP, but it was a fiddle when I did it a few years ago under
    Win98. I never found it particularly robust and had to occasionally reboot
    machines because it stopped working. Critically, a solution along these
    lines would require the desktop to be on in order to use the internet from
    the laptop.

    , only problem is the laptop would not run at top internet speed,

    I don't know why he would claim this, can't see there is any truth in it.
    Sounds like the sort of qualification offered by a PC World numptie to make
    it sound like he knows what he is talking about.
    What you really want (from an economically sound perspective) is a router
    that accepts a USB Modem input (like the one I have) but also has wireless
    capability. Googling around, it looks to me like no-one makes one -
    Draytek doesn't even make my router anymore, I suspect because routers with
    the modem built-in have become so cheap, there is no point in a two-box
    solution when you can build it into one. Several companies however make
    routers with built in ADSL modems and wireless capability - including

    and Draytek

    These give you everything you want, you sell the old modem on eBay and they
    are likely to be the easiest to set up because of their one box nature.
    All 11g products are going to be capable of WEP encryption at least, which
    is not particularly difficult to set up and is more than robust enough for
    home use, as long as you don't tell your neighbours your passphrase. In
    practice, you can change the ID of the network to something unguessable and
    stop it from being broadcast, so the hacker with a laptop wouldn't be able
    to scan for it's existence or guess what it might be called even if he knew
    it was there, which makes it very difficult to use it. And most 11g WAPs
    allow you to limit the hardware which can connect to it, so you could
    restrict the use to only the girls laptop. In practice, WEP (or the
    stronger WPA) enryption, a change of ID and disabling broadcasting is more
    than enough.
    See above :)
    Ask them for their recommendations on setup. When they fail to come up
    with anything of any use, point out that Dad is not an IT expert but an
    (insert chosen profession) and is labouring to become an expert solely for
    the love of his children. Some of us didn't even have a radio in our
    bedroom when we were kids.... :)
    Ferger, Feb 13, 2004
  10. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Thanks for that Ferger, have just had a quick glance through, printing it
    off, and will have a good read through, like the tip with the girls.

    Here is the latest greatest (according to PC Woeful) and only thing I will
    need to get me up and running the way I want, see what you think.

    All the best

    Jim, Feb 13, 2004
  11. Jim

    Jim Guest

    And the link doesn't work again...............sigh

    Go to
    type in Wireless USB Network Adapter

    Think I'll go back to pen and paper...............
    Jim, Feb 13, 2004
  12. Jim

    Clansman Guest

    The links you post don't work because of `wrap-around'. the text is `wraping'
    onto the next line. The `original' links are too long.

    The simple cure for this is to `paste' the original link into

    and then `post' the tiny url link given to you by

    Clansman, Feb 13, 2004
  13. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Bril, thanks for that, now all I need to find out is how you snip so I can
    stop top posting.

    Well here goes, many thanks


    Jim, Feb 13, 2004
  14. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Well you learn something new every day, once again thank you for that,
    really appreciate it


    Jim, Feb 13, 2004
  15. Jim

    Rob Morley Guest

    Rob Morley, Feb 13, 2004
  16. Jim

    Ferger Guest

    This is not what you want. This will allow the Desktop to communicate with
    the laptop, but it will know nothing about your internet connection, so you'd
    have to set up the sharing in software (fiddly and IME flaky), and even if you
    got it working, would have to have the desktop up and running for the laptop
    to be able to use the internet.
    See my previous post - you need a wireless
    router and modem.
    Ferger, Feb 15, 2004
  17. Jim

    Sunil Sood Guest

    I presume you have returned the Belkin router you brought incorrectly?

    What PC World should really have sold you was something like - £115 from Amazon

    It contains an ADSL modem so you would connect it directly to your phone
    line/ADSL and your desktop - you won't need your current USB modem
    either.(so you can sell that/keep it for emergencies)

    The model I have linked to is the Belkin version - there are other companies
    with their own models (maybe cheaper) as well

    Sunil Sood, Feb 18, 2004
  18. Jim

    Ferger Guest

    Except that this is an 11b device and he'd be better off with one of the
    examples I linked to earlier in this thread....
    Ferger, Feb 18, 2004
  19. Jim

    Sunil Sood Guest

    Sunil Sood, Feb 18, 2004
  20. Jim

    Ferger Guest

    Bizarre. When I clicked the link earlier, this definitely went to a different
    Belkin router, kind of curvy and clearly described as 11b. Amazon piddling
    around I guess.
    Ferger, Feb 18, 2004
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