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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Networking > Please help me get into a wireless router

Please help me get into a wireless router
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Jbroad572
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Apr 21, 2004, 06:23 AM
 
Well, I want to go Wireless once I go back home for the summer. I will have my Xbox, Laptop (Powerbook), and a Dell desktop. The laptop and the xbox will be in the same room, so I'm guessing I will keep the router in my bedroom. My laptop has a built in wifi card, so I won't have to worry about plugging it in to the router and can just have the router next to the xbox hooked via cat5 cable. It will be about 15 feet away from my laptop.

I live in a 2 story house with 3 levels (make sense?) Currently we have a 2wire Homeportal (serves as a dsl modem and router all in one), which makes use of the telephone lines and acts as a router through the phone lines, not exactly wireless, but similar. When I was back at home awhile ago I was able to hook up my Linksys router to the Homeportal and it worked fine. I had to mess with some settings, but eventually it worked fine. Could I do that with the wireless router as well? If so, that will prevent me from having to worry about a wireless card for the desktop downstairs.

Would a wireless router be dependable enough where I can rely on it to work with my laptop consistently? Could I walk all around my house, up and downstairs with my laptop and still have it connected? I guess this greatly depends on the range of the router. Last question, what router is best under $80? I was looking at cnet and noticed the Netgear and Dlink are the most popular.

I feel like I'm rambling on and on, it's late and Im taking a break from this essay I have due tomorrow, so please forgive me.
17" Apple Powerbook 1.33ghz
     
Applefreak01
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Apr 21, 2004, 03:45 PM
 
From what you described it sounds like you can plug a wireless router into your DSL modem/router and have everything working.

I would use a wireless router with a built-in 4 port switch assuming your DSL/router box only has one ethernet out port.

If you need to setup the wireless router first hook it via ethernet to your laptop and login to it then and set it up then hook it up to your DSL/router box.

You should be able to plug the wireless router into the ethernet port on your DSL/router box and then your desktop to the wireless router 4 port switch and your laptop will use the wireless part of the wireless router and plug your xbox into another ethernet port on the wireless router and everything should work.

If you need to setup the wireless router first hook it via ethernet to your laptop and login to it then and set it up then hook it up to your DSL/router box. Sometimes connecting directly to a router via ethernet is easiest to set it up.

I would go with Netgear. You should be able to get a signal for anywhere in your house although some parts of your house might have a weaker signal than other parts.

Is your current DSL/router box right next to your Dell PC downstairs? The only problem I see is that if you want the router in your room then you might have to run some cat5 for the Dell downstairs.
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Jbroad572  (op)
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Apr 21, 2004, 06:02 PM
 
No the other router is in the bedroom. Since I can use that in additon to a Wireless router everything should work without running any cables.
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Applefreak01
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Apr 21, 2004, 06:13 PM
 
Cool. Sounds like everything will work just fine then.
[Riding a circus elephant]
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Jbroad572  (op)
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Apr 21, 2004, 06:16 PM
 
Thanks a lot for the help. I guess I will look into the netgear and dlink. Which has better range?
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Applefreak01
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Apr 21, 2004, 06:29 PM
 
The average range of wireless routers is about 300 feet. You should be able to get a decent signal downstairs.

I can surf the net on my wirless netgear router accross the street so they work great. You can change the channels on the routers (usually from 1-11) to see which channel gives the best signal to your downstairs if you are going to spend a lot of time there.
[Riding a circus elephant]
Peter: Look Lois, the two smybols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a fat white guy who is threatened by change. - Family Guy
     
Jbroad572  (op)
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Apr 21, 2004, 06:36 PM
 
Awesome, what model is it that you have?
I just thought about this, my xbox is like 15-20 feet away from my dsl router so would have to run a cable to connect the 2, maybe I'll just get a wireless adapter for the xbox.
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Applefreak01
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Apr 21, 2004, 06:50 PM
 
Well I got the Netgear 802.11b MR814v2. But where I live the streets are wide and the houses are spaced a good distance from each other so the signal doesn't have much to interfer with, that's why I can surf from across the street

You can check out the router here:

http://www.netgear.com/products/prod...ID=151&view=hm


I know that Microsoft has a wireless adapter for the Xbox but it's like $149 or higher can't remember extactly how much it is. It would be cheaper to get a 25' or longer cable for your xbox.
[Riding a circus elephant]
Peter: Look Lois, the two smybols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a fat white guy who is threatened by change. - Family Guy
     
Applefreak01
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Apr 21, 2004, 07:16 PM
 
Actually your best bet for wireless router would be the Apple Airport Extreme Base Station. It will cost more than a Netgear, Dlink, or Linksys router but there is another thread in this forum about people with Airport Extreme cards having problems connecting to Netgear, Linksys, and Dlink routers.

I guess I'm lucky in that I only have the oringal Airport 802.11b 11mbps card in my iBook as that's the only one that will work with it.

The Apple Airport Extreme Base Station has two ethernet jacks one for WAN (Wide Area Network aka Internet) and LAN (Local Area Network or your network in your house). You can plug your DSL/Router into the Airport Extreme's WAN and then your Xbox into the LAN if you decide to go with a wired solution for the Xbox. But then your Dell downstairs doesn't have anything to connect to.

You can check out the Airport Extreme Base Station at http://www.apple.com/airport

If you decide to go with a wireless solution for the Xbox then you can just use the wireless access fromt the Airport Extreme Base Station and your Dell will plug into the Apple Airport Extreme Base Sation.

I did some research the wireless adapter for the Xbox from Microsoft is 802.11g or 54mbps compared to 802.11b which is 11mbps and it's $99.99 from http://www.gamestop.com

Here's Gamestop's link to the Xbox wireless adapter:

http://www.gamestop.com/product.asp?product%5Fid=801748

I would go with the Apple Airport Extreme Base Station it seems to work best with the Airport Extreme card in your powerbook.

Glad I caught that before you go out and buy a router.
( Last edited by Applefreak01; Apr 21, 2004 at 07:24 PM. )
[Riding a circus elephant]
Peter: Look Lois, the two smybols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a fat white guy who is threatened by change. - Family Guy
     
Jbroad572  (op)
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Apr 21, 2004, 07:23 PM
 
$250, I can't swing that one . I saw that Xobox adapter on sale at Target for $35, but it was on clearance and only available in a few locations I heeard about it too late. Amazon had it for $59 a week ago, so maybe I can catch a deal on it. I guess now I need to research and see what kind of problems I would hav with my PB.
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Applefreak01
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Apr 21, 2004, 07:31 PM
 
Your cheapest bet is to get a router with 4 port switch no wireless and some Cat5 cable. It's more of a pain to run the wire but it wouldn't cost $300 or so to do.

I use to have this http://www.linksys.com/products/prod...id=29&prid=561 before I got wireless and my iBook. It worked just fine with my Xbox and computers.

You would think that Apple's Airport Extreme cards would work with other routers that support the same draft certification but that doesn't seem to be the case.
[Riding a circus elephant]
Peter: Look Lois, the two smybols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a fat white guy who is threatened by change. - Family Guy
     
himself
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Apr 26, 2004, 05:55 AM
 
I picked up a Netgear WGR614v4 Wireless-G router from BestBuy for $80 bucks, minus twenty bucks with the mail-in rebate. They may have that deal where you are. It has a really good range, 4 10/100 wired ports, and is easy to administer with Safari. Shop around, inspect the specs. I'm sure you can find a good deal on a good wireless router somewhere.
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-John Crichton
     
tooki
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Apr 26, 2004, 08:01 PM
 
I use a D-Link DI-624 and it works fine, provided I completely deactivate the Super-G mode. (That is, bring the router back into full compliance with the 802.11g standard.)

Of course, if you can find it, the DI-524 is a hair cheaper (it's the same unit, basically, without Super-G capability).

In any case, I've had no trouble. The admin interface works perfectly in Safari, by the way.

My old Netgear (an MR314) died on me twice. It was nice while it worked. But the D-Link also has far more extensive management options.

tooki
     
   
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