Author Topic: Wireless ADSL modem router  (Read 11490 times)

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Wireless ADSL modem router
« on: September 16, 2003, 02:09:15 pm »
I wonder whether any of our techical experts can help me please.
I have had ADSL, installed by BT, for more than 18 months now.
It is fine and never lets me down.
I have an Alcatel Speed Touch USB modem which plugs into the phone socket and into a USB port in the computer.
So far so good.
I have set up a LAN using an ethernet cable so the kids can do their homework browsing without kicking me off my computer.
It works fine.
Now I want to go wireless so that a third computer can work off the same network. However I also want to continue to use a cable from any new modem/router to my main computer.
I have bought a Belkin 802.11b 54g Wirless Notebook Network Card for the laptop.
What I now want, I think, is either a router that can take the Alcatel Speed Touch USB modem (most seem to want an ethernet connector) OR I want a piece of kit that does the lot so that I can ditch the Alcatel Speed Touch.
So, I think I want a wireless ADSL modem/router that can do both wireless connections and allow me to connect a couple of computers with ethernet cables.
I have had a look around at D-link, Belkin and Lynksys, but none are that clear about whether you need a modem or not or what can be plugged in (USB) and what can't (USB).
I found this description for a product, which seems to do all I want, but will it? I also want to benefit from the speed offered by my 54g card.
http://www.homestead.co.uk/dsl604p.htm.
What is concerning me is that this piece of kit looks so cheap at £108. When I last looked in PC World and John Lewis something I thought might do the job was £199.
Can anyone tell me whether the D-link 604 will do what I want please?
Thanks
David Brewer
« Last Edit: September 20, 2003, 06:49:33 pm by admin »
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Offline sasquartch

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Re: Wirless ADSL modem router
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2003, 03:15:40 pm »
Dave

I think it will do all you need but Wireless 802.11b is I think 11Mbit. Are you saying your laptop has  a 54Mbit card ? This is a newer standard but as far as I know this isn't 802.11b. Bear in mind you never get the full speed in anything other than ideal conditions, certainly if you want to use the laptop in the garden for example.
If you're using it mainly for a mobile internet connection then 11Mbit will be fine as that is far faster than your ADSL connection.

The price of 108.00 seems OK, the cost of home routers etc has plummetted over the last year - good news !

There are lots of products on the market, D-Link is a reasonable make. I use www.dslsource.co.uk

Hope this helps !
 

John_fraser

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Re: Wirless ADSL modem router
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2003, 03:48:29 pm »
Last week I set-up a wireless network at home. Equipment was bought from Broad Band Buyer:

http://www.broadbandbuyer.co.uk/

I have a DLink access point connected to a Dryteck router, which includes the ADSL modem. This cost a little more than what you are planning, but it does include a Firewall so I see it as a good buy. Buying them separately allowed me buy what I needed when I needed it. I’ve had the router for several months.

If you have 54Mb, then it’s 802.11g, which is backwardly compatible with 802.11b, or possibly 802.11a which I think is the same speed as g, but not compatible with b. My wireless PC has an 802.11b card. The access point is at the front of the house and I’ve found that the walls very much cut the signal strength. When I’m in the next room, the strength is low, and while it penetrates to the back of the house, it does not make it to the garden. This isn’t a problem for me and 802.11g may travel further.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2003, 03:48:50 pm by John_fraser »
 

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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2003, 11:15:39 pm »
Thanks for all the advice. I will go wireless eventually. I have a Belkin 802.11b Wireless Notebook Network Card, which I took with me, along with my laptop, to a business meeting in London this week. As soon as I arrived I fired up the laptop and, within three minutes, was online. It is so easy. I took JF's advice (thanks John) and found this produce http://www.broadbandbuyer.co.uk/Shop/ShopDetail.asp?CategoryID=80&ShopGroupID=38&Alt=Yes&ProductID=532, which seems much cheaper than what I could buy on the high street. One is on order. Thanks for all the advice and help.
Cheers
David Brewer
:)
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Offline Largey

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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2003, 12:16:44 am »
Hi David,

I have not read the forum for a while so I have missed this thread. I could have loaned you a Linksys modem router (Wireless compat.) SR41W for you to test for yourself before buying.
I totally agree with John's findings in respect of signal strength. The signal indoors flies through stud walling but put a couple of 9" brick walls between you and the AP (Access Point) and you all but lose the signal completely. The americans have the luxury of being able to use signal boosters and this enables pretty much widespread coverage throughout the home easily. Sadly these are illegal here. If you need anything like this Dave, give me a shout first, I may be able to assist.

Regards,

Paul
 

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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2003, 06:54:12 pm »
I'll mail you Paul. Perhaps wireless is not right for me. Our walls are 9" thick in places. Perhaps the wired solution with a switch might be best. Thanks for the advice. Will talk off-line.
Dave
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Offline sasquartch

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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2003, 08:16:26 pm »
You can of course use more than one base station, although this will obviously cost more and probably need a LAN to link them together. One person I know has a base station mounted outside so he can use a laptop in the garden, this being hard wired to his LAN, another base station being under the stairs, ie near the centre of his house. It depends on how complicated you want to get !
 

Steve_Da_Man

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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2003, 12:31:21 am »
You sure should get youself a wireless Mr Brewer!  Out here in Wallace and Futuna we use them all the time.  The BBC is the best, of course, plus Radio Australia and we got our own station!  Do you have your own stations in Britain or is it all Government run?  We been reading about that Mr Gilligan.  He sounds like a very bad man.  Why he want to help that Sadman Hosain?  My Momma says, that Sadman, if he come out here, she soon show him about destrution of weapons!
 

John_fraser

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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2003, 11:49:14 pm »
Definitely worth going wireless.  Even though I can’t sit in my garden with the computer, I can’t see this as a big loss, as realistically it just isn’t something I’d do too often. Much better is the fact that I can now setup computers almost anywhere in my house without having to run cables.

There are a few precautions you should take with a wireless network. These sound “techi“ but they are simple to do if you dig around a little. Firstly  set WEP on - its off by default. This is “Wireless Encryption Protocol” and although it isn’t great, it’s better than nothing. Also ensure that the access point limit’s the MAC addresses that can use it to those on your network. The MAC addresses uniquely identifies the network card in your computer, and by limiting which MAC address can access your wireless network you can stop others gaining access. To find out your MAC address in Windows,

goto  the Start menu and chose “Run”
Type in “Cmd” and press Enter
In the DOS window type ipconfig /all’
The MAC address is shown as the “Physical Address”

Finally, you should install a firewall on your computer. They cost only a few pounds and could save your hundreds if not thousands of pounds should someone malicious get onto your PC.
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2003, 11:21:30 am »
Just to add a couple of things to JF's advice - to improve security ALWAYS make sure you have up to date anti-virus software running and run Windows Update regularly, making sure ALL critical updates are applied.
 

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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2003, 09:18:32 am »
Has anyone seen a better price than this for the Belkin ADSL Modem 54g Wireless Router. Amazon is selling it for £120 inc VAT. It's a new model just out I think and offers an ethernet swith so you can wire four computers and also run wireless. The package seems too good to be true.

Click here for more details
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Offline Largey

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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2003, 10:40:44 am »
David,

This is a good deal and the price is only very slightly above trade. (£5). I think availability may be the only issue here, otherwise a good deal.
 

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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2003, 10:59:10 am »
Thanks for that Paul.
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Offline James Bentall

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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2003, 11:20:49 am »
Simply Computers www.simply.co.uk are selling it for 112 including VAT (search for product code 45578 )

PC World www.pcworld.co.uk are selling it for 99 including VAT (search for product code 886496 ) although I'm not convinced that's exactly the same product - the picture looks slightly different.

James
« Last Edit: December 03, 2003, 11:36:03 am by James_Bentall »
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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2003, 11:55:11 am »
Thanks James, the Simply Computers once looks right, but I think the PC World one is just a wireless router without the modem.
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Offline Alfred the Great

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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2005, 09:52:19 pm »
Hi Folks,

I am thinking about getting a Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop (currently £441 including delivery, etc, 15.4 widescreen, mmmmmmmm.....) and the website says it has the following:

 Intel® ProWireless 2200 802.11b/g Mini PCI Wireless LAN Card

So I would like to ask the experts the following:

1. Does this card sit inside the machine and is there an aerial?

2. If I want to use this with a wireless adsl modem router (we're fully wired at present) would I be able to ensure absolute security of the stuff going between the laptop and the web? And of the stuff stored on the hard drive?

3. If all the above is OK, what would be a good wireless router to get?

Thanks in advance for all your help.

ATG
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Offline sasquartch

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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2005, 12:12:16 pm »
The Dell is a perfectly good machine. You might also want to check out the HP Compaq nx6110 which is a similar price and spec.

Yes, the Mini-PCI card is internal.

All of the laptops I've seen with built in 802.11 have internal aerials with no bits sticking out or any add-ons etc. Certainly this is the case with HP Compaq and IBM Thinkpads. Generally you have to switch the wireless on (on laptops you normally turn it off to save battery life when not in use)

You can effectively secure a wireless network, but this will require more work than leaving everything on its default setting.

In essence, you need to secure a. the computer, and b. the wireless network.

To secure the wireless part of things I'd make sure you use WPA-PSK encryption, disable the broadcast of SSID and use MAC address access control. If this scares you you MUST get someone to do it for you, every router I've seen is wide open (ie no security) out-of-the box.

To secure the computer (we'll assume it uses XP Home) make sure you allocate decent passwords to each account, enable the XP firewall, use up-to-date antivirus software, ensure all critical updates are applied regularly etc.

Additionally make sure you're careful opening attachments etc, generally use common sense.

Also, you can lock down the firewall in the router to only allow the bare minimum of traffic, this will help minimise the risk of being compromised. For example I restrict SMTP traffic leaving my network to just my ISP's mail server to guard against any my PC being used to relay spam.

Whilst you can never guarantee absolute security you should be perfectly safe if the follow the above advice.

There are lots of routers available, I recommend the Netgear DG834GT although there are lots of cheaper alternatives. You get what you pay for !

 

John_fraser

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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2005, 12:25:46 pm »
In answer to 1, the “card” will probably be built into the motherboard and the arial will probably be internal to the case.

The short answer to question 2 is “No”. No computer is absolutely secure and connecting a computer to the internet is makes it less secure. This is true regardless of a wireless connection.  Wireless connections introduce some new  issues because the radio signal can be intercepted. You can – and should - improve security by turning on Wired Equivalent Privacy (AKA WEP), but be warned it doesn’t take a good hacker long to crack this – I’ve heard “under an hour” although the FBI claims to have cracked it in 3 minutes.  You can tighten up the security a little more by limiting the MAC address allowed to connect to your router. The manual should explain how to carry out both of these security updates.

Most sites that require good security (e.g. your bank) will use 128bit encryption, which in theory can’t be read in any meaningful time scale. There are, however, some hacks on a wireless network which could make even this insecure. It is very very unlikely that you would encounter them – a keyboard scanner is a much greater danger - but I do not connect to my bank account over my own wireless network.

My personal opinion is, that with the above precautions, it’s probably safe as long as you’re not in charge of a nuclear power station and you avoid doing banking transactions over it.

As for protecting your hard disk: You have to assume the internet now ends at your laptop. So install a software firewall on it. Also do not share the hard disk of this or your wired PC. If you need to move a file, then plug it into the network and do a temporary share on a directory of the disk.
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2005, 02:47:20 pm »
Note that WEP is inferior to WPA-PSK, most current routers will support this.

Whilst WPA-PSK is not impossible to crack WPA-PSK addressed many of the concerns about security with WEP. Unless you have a reason not to use WPA-PSK I'd use it.
 

Offline Alfred the Great

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Re: Wireless ADSL modem router
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2005, 09:18:53 pm »
Thanks for the advice, I'm very grateful. I've spent the last few years deliberately not learning anything about wireless on the basis that I would never need it, but the thought of yet more cables, digging up carpets, etc, makes me think that now may be the time. Thanks once again.

ATG
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