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dteowner December 26th, 2006 17:07

Stupid hardware question
Ah, the times they are a-changin. Technology has finally left me spitting dust and muttering about getting old.

Got my DSL set up at the new house. They sent me a wireless router, and I have a few questions.
1) Is there a big performance hit going to wireless versus using the same equipment with copper?
2) If I were to take advantage of the wireless (Mrs dte would appreciate that since at the moment I have to run wires across the living room and can't close up the PC armoire), is there anything special I need to do hardware-wise, or will "any" wireless board do the trick as long as it will plug into my mobo?

Thanks in advance. I'll go sit in my rocker for a while and gripe about "kids these days".

lostnumber December 26th, 2006 19:17

Read here my wireless wanting friend:


In essence speed shouldn't be an issue, I say go for it. As far as HW goes, just make sure that you have the proper standards. G is the current standard, B and A are out, and N will eventually replace G. You could try and stay ahead of the curve and get a pre-N card but from what I've seen they cost more and wouldn't provide any incremental benefit with a G router. My guess would be that you have a G router so obtaining a G card would make the most sense. My work station is hardwired to my router, all other computers are wireless. For ease in setting up the network start off with a wire. Once the router is configured correctly you can add in computers at will. Lock down the router, copy the encryption key, and broadcast your SSID. This makes connecting other PCs very easy. If you are really paranoid you can set your router to stop broadcasting your SSID once each PC is connected. If you experience any issues hardwire back to your source and go to the manufacturer's website. Linksys for instance, has a utility that can trouble shoot any wireless connection issues. Finally, if any of your PTP programs are having connection issues it is most likely your router's HW firewall. Type your router's IP into a browser and set an exception for your PTP programs. That’s pretty much it, if any of your torrent client programs require port-forwarding search Wiki for some help, port-forwarding takes a little effort; more than any post here should cover. If anyone here finds any errors or omissions in my post please correct them.

dteowner December 26th, 2006 20:02

At the moment, I've just got the one PC, so all I'm trying to accomplish is eliminating the phone cord running across the living room floor.

Sounds like I should be good for hardware. If the setup goes poorly, I'll be back. Thanks for the assistance, lostnumber!

Prime Junta December 26th, 2006 21:40

Definitely don't get a pre-N. They provide no discernible benefit over G cards today, and won't work with N once it's finalized -- not without a trip to the manufacturer on your dollar anyways. The only reason to get an N card is to impress your nerd friends.

And nope, wireless won't make a discernible impact on your Internet activities, including gaming -- but if you do stuff like share files across two computers on the same network, then copper is much faster as well as less troublesome (WiFi connections often hiccup on very large transfers, for example).

And yep, do make sure your WEP security is properly set up.

Ozymandias December 26th, 2006 22:04

I see you already got an answer but I have already typed it out. :-/

1) No, unless you have the fastest DSL and a 11b router (unlikely). See standards below for speeds.
2) Make sure it uses the same standard as the router.

Name Max. Speed
IEEE802.11a (54 Mbps)
IEEE802.11b (11 Mbps)
IEEE802.11g (54 Mbps)
SuperG (108 Mbps)

IEEE802.11n (250 Mbps) This standard was approved early 2006 and is expected to give speeds up to 250 Mbps. I don't think these are out yet.

  • Use WEP (Encryption) or the better WPA (Encryption and Dynamic keys) if your gear supports it.
  • Use MAC filtering.
  • Create a SSID and turn off SSID Broadcasting in your router.
  • Use login/password if you don't mind the hassle.

KazikluBey December 29th, 2006 20:56

Bandwidth is very unlikely to be an issue with an 802.11g network, but the additional delay can be deadly if you play any online games. (I'd never even use wireless mice or keyboards, myself.)

BTW, anyone interested in sniffing wireless internet traffic can easily break the WEP encryption, use WPA or better.

JemyM December 30th, 2006 16:00


Originally Posted by dteowner (Post 13941)
1) Is there a big performance hit going to wireless versus using the same equipment with copper?

When transfering data on SuperG: Huge.
A cable connection between two computers can go past 1000mbit while SuperG, even if the box say higher, rarely go above 2-3mbit of actual speed. (transfering a 500mByte file over the wireless network can take 30 minutes!

Only use wireless, at least SuperG, on stuff that runs on battery such as laptops and PDA's.

Ofcourse, if your internet connection is only 512kbit or up to 2-3mbit, it's ok.

Note that 1byte = 8bit so 2mbit per second equals 0,25mByte per second.

dteowner January 1st, 2007 19:33

Well, after a fair bit of teeth-gnashing and having the exact same install sequence work the 3rd time I did it, it appears we're up and running. I've probably got every hacker in the neighborhood borrowing my bandwidth, but my response times seem the same as it was via copper so I'll just wish them well.

And the wires are off Mrs dte's floor, which is the important part of the whole process. ;)

Prime Junta January 1st, 2007 20:56

@dte, hackers borrowing your bandwidth isn't a major problem (in fact, you might even consider what you're doing as a minor service to the community), but their getting direct intranet access via unsecured WiFi may be, even if you haven't set up services like file sharing. It's way easier to break into a computer if you can get past the firewall.

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