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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Networking > Ugh, Windows XP Networking. Help a Mac Guy Cope.

Ugh, Windows XP Networking. Help a Mac Guy Cope.
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selowitch
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Location: Rockville, MD
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Jan 10, 2005, 08:25 PM
 
I have to set up a wireless network of four clients running Windows XP with a 802.11b Linksys Router (WMP11). I want to make sure I have the correct strategy. Please critique my procedure:

There our four clients, whom I'm call Dave, John, Mike, and Steve (names have been changed to protect the innocent):
  1. Make sure Windows XP has had all of the most recent updates applied;
  2. Install the wireless PCI cards and update their drivers to the latest available;
  3. Our DSL provider uses DHCP for our "external" IP address (or WLAN address), so configure the router for that. I'd like to have predictable and known IPs for our "internal" address (LAN) for the various clients, so I think that means I ought to use Network Address Translation (NAT), which is activated through the router's web interface. The reason I want known LAN IPs is to simplify such things as printer and file sharing.
  4. Create four user accounts on each machine (Dave, John, Mike, and Steve [give each his own icon, too, just for mnemonic purposes]), making the owner of each machine the Administrator and everbody else a "limited" account. This is so everybody can share resources.
  5. Create a workgroup called "MS HOME" of which everybody is a member.
  6. Configure each of the four clients to a fixed IP in the 192.168.0.x range, all with the same subnet (e.g., 255.255.255.0) and DNS servers identical to those listed on the router in the WLAN area.
  7. Configure WPA. One thing I don't quite understand is the difference between the key you enter in the dialog for creating wireless connection and the key that is requested by the router once the connection is made. Are they supposed to be the same thing? Is it possible to use Wireless Zero Configuration for this purpose?
Comments, please.
     
olePigeon
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Jan 10, 2005, 08:55 PM
 
Seems good. Only recommendation is that your Windows PC is connected to the Firewall before you even turn it on. Then run the updates. Your PC has about 2 minutes from the point you connect to the internet (I'm not exaggerating) before it will become infected with malware.

As for the keys, I'm not sure what you mean. On the Linksys router you can enter a phrase and it'll generate a 64-bit or 128-bit WEP key. That is the key the clients will use to logon to the wireless network.

I'm certain Zero Config is just a non-intervention DHCP. It automatically detects what computers and/or peripherals that are on the network and applies the settings.

Originally posted by selowitch:
I have to set up a wireless network of four clients running Windows XP with a 802.11b Linksys Router (WMP11). I want to make sure I have the correct strategy. Please critique my procedure:

There our four clients, whom I'm call Dave, John, Mike, and Steve (names have been changed to protect the innocent):
  1. Make sure Windows XP has had all of the most recent updates applied;
  2. Install the wireless PCI cards and update their drivers to the latest available;
  3. Our DSL provider uses DHCP for our "external" IP address (or WLAN address), so configure the router for that. I'd like to have predictable and known IPs for our "internal" address (LAN) for the various clients, so I think that means I ought to use Network Address Translation (NAT), which is activated through the router's web interface. The reason I want known LAN IPs is to simplify such things as printer and file sharing.
  4. Create four user accounts on each machine (Dave, John, Mike, and Steve [give each his own icon, too, just for mnemonic purposes]), making the owner of each machine the Administrator and everbody else a "limited" account. This is so everybody can share resources.
  5. Create a workgroup called "MS HOME" of which everybody is a member.
  6. Configure each of the four clients to a fixed IP in the 192.168.0.x range, all with the same subnet (e.g., 255.255.255.0) and DNS servers identical to those listed on the router in the WLAN area.
  7. Configure WPA. One thing I don't quite understand is the difference between the key you enter in the dialog for creating wireless connection and the key that is requested by the router once the connection is made. Are they supposed to be the same thing? Is it possible to use Wireless Zero Configuration for this purpose?
Comments, please.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
selowitch  (op)
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Jan 10, 2005, 09:26 PM
 
Originally posted by olePigeon:
Seems good. Only recommendation is that your Windows PC is connected to the Firewall before you even turn it on. Then run the updates. Your PC has about 2 minutes from the point you connect to the internet (I'm not exaggerating) before it will become infected with malware.
Scary, isn't it? I'm pretty sure I got ZoneAlarm running on each of them pretty darn quick, although I admit that I did connect to the Internet first to download ZA, so who knows. Sheesh.
     
ghporter
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Location: San Antonio TX USA
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Jan 11, 2005, 08:48 AM
 
You can use wireless Zero Config on all the XP computers, but you should connect to the router by cable to apply its settings. However, Zero Config is not what OlePigeon says it is. ZC is XP's built in driver suite for wireless devices; it will allow you to let the OS configure your devices instead of needing some application from the vendor to do it. What OlePigeon is thinking of is UPnP (Universal Plut and Play), and it's far more "plug and pray" than the device plug and play protocol. Just use the web interface for the router/access point-it helps keep things compartmentalized and prevents problems.

Yes, the hex key you enter for all the clients MUST be the same as the one the access point has. Also, the authentication type must match.

And if you're behind a NAT router you have a large amount of time before anything actively infects you. Just sitting there connected to a network will NOT automatically infect a Windows computer. There are, however, a number of web sites that are themselves infected, and will pass ActiveX, scripts and more just because you visit them. Hurray for "progress" in the browser front, eh? XP-SP2's firewall is pretty good, but it's only built to watch incoming data; a piece of spyware can still call home. Get a REAL firewall, like Symantec's or Zone Alarm's, and keep it properly configured.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
winwintoo
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Jan 11, 2005, 08:55 AM
 
Originally posted by olePigeon:
As for the keys, I'm not sure what you mean. On the Linksys router you can enter a phrase and it'll generate a 64-bit or 128-bit WEP key. That is the key the clients will use to logon to the wireless network.
But he said he was using WPA keys - in my experience if you put "olePigeon" as the key in the router setup, that's what each user enters as they log on to the network. It's always worked for me.

Margaret
     
olePigeon
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Jan 13, 2005, 05:12 PM
 
Originally posted by GHPorter:
You can use wireless Zero Config on all the XP computers, but you should connect to the router by cable to apply its settings. However, Zero Config is not what OlePigeon says it is. ZC is XP's built in driver suite for wireless devices; it will allow you to let the OS configure your devices instead of needing some application from the vendor to do it.
I thought that's what I said. Apple's is called Rendezvous, same thing. It's still a fancy DHCP.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
   
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