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Wi/Fi Wireless Home Network

Discussion in 'Community Broadband & Computers' started by TD11, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. TD11

    TD11 New Member

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    I need to set up a wireless home network, and was wondering if anyone had any experiences/tips with doing this with the Open Band Set up in Broadlands.

    Do I need to replace the Network Interface provided in the Open Band box in the basement with a wireless router, or is it a different configuration?

    Any assistance would be appreciated!!

    Thank you
  2. Pats_fan

    Pats_fan Former Resident

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    One option is to insert a wireless router between your fiber/CAT5 converter and the switch in the Openband box (NID). See: http://hoa.broadlands.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=976

    There are others, but this is the only one that will allow you to network all of your hardwired network connections throughout your home (in addition to whatever you are running wirelessly).

    A wireless router in your NID may be limited in terms of signal strength, so you may need to look into strengthening your signal. I seem to recall a thread on this subject as well. Try the Search feature...
  3. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    Another suggestion is that if you have a hardwired network in the house, instead of adding a wireless router, just add a wireless access point. This will allow you to place it at the highest point in the house, which will give you the best coverage.

    All you need to do is connect it to the wired network via the ethernet port in the WAP to the CAT5 port in that room. If you buy a Linksys WAP, the setup is very easy, and can be done by anyone.

    Our wired network handles all of our desktops, and laptops with docking stations, but we often use our laptops in the backyard or in the family room using the wireless access point.



    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
  4. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    you can also use a wireless router as an AP too, and they're probaly cheaper too (because of demand).... I have a freebsd router and a wifi router with the DHCP server turned off... works fine!
  5. sharse

    sharse TeamDonzi rocks!!

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    Or do none of the above and just hook into your neighbor's network. [:eek:)]

    Kidding of course. Do set yours up with security. I can find, at any given time, at least 5 of my neighbors' networks. Some are password protected so of course I can't get on, but others, well, if I was so inclined, and didn't mind that it was much slower, I could use.
  6. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    Its funny, many times I'll go to a customer's home who is still using dial-up (usually older customers). I'll be trying to fix an issue with a printer or something that needs an new driver, and rather than wait on the dialup line, I'll fire up my laptop, and usually find an unsecure wireless connection to download the driver. Much faster, and less cost to my customer.





    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
  7. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    True ... the problem is that you need to get into the router setup to turn off the DHCP and routing capabilities. Would not cause issues for some on the boards, but for others, its way beyond their capabilities.

    I always recommend the least technical way of doing things when I'm not sure of a person's computer savvy!



    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
  8. Pats_fan

    Pats_fan Former Resident

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    Speaking of unsecure wireless connections...

    What do you computer gurus suggest for encryption? My firewall/router supports 64, 128 or 256 bit WEP encryption. I'm using 64-bit (10 characters), simply because I don't like keeping track of the 26 or 58 characters that 128/256 bit keys require. (I need to program the encryption key into my Tivos so that they can access my network, and it is a tedious exercise. In addition, I'm not even sure my Tivos will let me put a 26-character key into the password block.)

    Anyway, how secure is 64-bit encryption? I'm in a neighborhood where the homes are all fairly well-separated (at least 1/2 acre lots), and there no apartments/etc. nearby, so there is probably a pretty low risk.
  9. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    For a typical household wireless LAN, 64 bit is fine. Unless you've got a top secret, NSA listening post in your basement, no one's going to take the time to intercept your wireless signal to try to break into your network. Its not worth the time or energy.

    What you're trying to do is keep the neighbor's 12/13 year old computer geek/hacker from accessing your network and trying to access your computers. Or keeping 50ish computer geeks like me,sitting outside on their deck, using your network to access the Texas Hold-Em Poker sites on their laptop because they're too cheap to invest in a $60 wireless router.

    If you have the newer routers (or can update the firmware to add this capability), you can use WAP encryption, which allows you to use a plain text word as the encryption key. You don't have to 'generate' the key and then carry it around to all the computers on the network.

    This type of encryption can only be used on the network if all receiving network adapters are capable of using WAP encryption. Some adapters only need a driver update, other's can't be updated to use this newer method.




    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
  10. Pats_fan

    Pats_fan Former Resident

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    Thanks, neilz. For my desktops and laptop, I use a plain text keyword to generate the 64-bit encryption key (I guess that means I'm using WAP encryption). My problem is that my Tivos don't accept this plain text key (at least not that I have seen -- someone correct me if I'm wrong). So I carry the key around to my Tivos and manually program it in.
  11. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    If you're generating the 64-bit encryption key, and getting something that looks like this: A8 F1 18 90 BB EE, then you're using 64-bit WEP encryption. That converts it to a HEX number that is used as the 'seed' for the encryption.

    WAP just uses a word like "Jonesweb" which is entered at each location, no 'generating' needed all you do is enter the word at the router, when you first access the Wireless network on your computer, etc.

    Can't help you on the TIVOs, but I suspect that since they're running Linux, they would need a software patch to upgrade them to use WAP.



    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
  12. TD11

    TD11 New Member

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    Thanks to all for responding to this. Will probably try the Wireless Access Point first and see if I can get that up and running!!!

    TD11

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