Wireless DSL Network in coach

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Steve CDN

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I am about to install a wireless network router to use with a Bellsouth DSL modem.  Never having had experience with wireless, would you advise of what I need to be concerned with and preventative measures you would recommend.

My obvious concern is unauthorized use of my connection, and/or unauthorized access to my computers.

The router I bought is a Netgear 54 mps router.

Thanks!
 

blueblood

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Steve said:
I am about to install a wireless network router to use with a Bellsouth DSL modem.? Never having had experience with wireless, would you advise of what I need to be concerned with and preventative measures you would recommend.

My obvious concern is unauthorized use of my connection, and/or unauthorized access to my computers.

The router I bought is a Netgear 54 mps router.

Thanks!

You don't specify the  specific router model so hopefully this applies but might not.  The router will give you browser based access to set it up.? In the setup, rename your SSID. I would conside enabling the feature to limit access to your computers via using? the MAC addresses of your equipment. ALso, enable WEP or WPA2 if you have it. After this has been done save and reboot. Once your computers having successfully located the router, and you have provided the WEP?WPA to them,? go back and disable the SSID broadcast. The router itself will provide further secutity just by being there and of course your normal firewall, etc.
 

Ned

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If you use WPA or WPA2 encryption, you will be as secure as possible with todays hardware.  Turning off the SSID broadcast will not hide your access point from anyone really looking for open networks and may cause connectivity problems for some clients.  If the router has a firewall be sure it's turned on.  MAC address filtering is also overkill if you have enables WPA.  It can also be spoofed by a serious hacker.  You should be able to limit the number DHCP addresses issued by the router to only the number of computers you have, so even if a third party could connect to your access point, and had the WPA passphrase, they couldn't get an IP address assigned.  However, if you want to let someone access your AP, then you have to change the DHCP setting to allow them in.
 

Steve CDN

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The model of this Netgear router is WGR614.

Please explain SSID  and WPA x....I have no previous experience with wifi and networks.  My new Dell Inspiron laptop is equipped with a wifi card and it already detects surrounding wifi signals here at TGO.  What configuration do I need to do on the laptop to make it accessible to my new network?

Furthermore I bought a USB Netgear wireless adapter  model WG111 v2  for use with another machine.  What will I have to do with that one?

I doubt if I have to be concerned with malicious hackers here at TGO, but when we are up north, we are on the 28th floor in the middle of an urban area.  I would see the risk greater there.

Thanks for any suggestions!

 

Ned

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SSID is the name you give to your access point.  I would name it something unique but not related to you so you can identify your AP from any other in the vicinity.  WPA is an encryption standard, much more secure than WEP, another encryption standard, but WPA isn't support by some older WiFi hardware.  Once you configure the router/access point with the SSID and WPA passphrase, then you should see it on the client computer under Available Wireless Networks.  Select it, click Connect, and enter the WPA passphrase when prompted.  You'll have to enter it twice, thereafter Windows will remember it and you won't need to reenter it.

If your client adapter don't support WPA, then you either have to get newer adapters or use WEP.  WEP is bettern than no encryption, but not as strong as WPA.
 

Ned

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Thanks, Steve.  Lorna, at the moment, is at 37,000 feet enroute to St. Paul for Christmas with daughter and granddaughters, and cold :)  I'm staying warm in AZ.  Happy Holidays to you and all at TGO.
 
A

Albslb2

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Don't let that Netgear unit get warm, it will kill it in a heartbeat.\, then it's just a high priced router.  Beeen thru 3 before  it found out a piece of paper falling on them will overheat it/
 

Steve CDN

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Don't let that Netgear unit get warm, it will kill it in a heartbeat

Should I be taking any precautions with regard to heat?  Is it more sensitive to heat than one would expect it to be?
 

blueblood

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Steve said:
Should I be taking any precautions with regard to heat?? Is it more sensitive to heat than one would expect it to be?

Steve - FWIW the Netgear model that you purchased has been the subject of serious complaints on the Netgear forum for several years. It has to do with losing connection after 10 minutes or unable to connect, etc. All kinds of possible solutions are offered by posters, none of which apparently have worked. Netgear doesn't seem to have ever responded to the question and people report back that when contacting Tech Service their answers don't work. You may wish to read and decide if its not too late whether you want ot keep it or return it. http://forum1.netgear.com/support/viewtopic.php?t=399
 

Steve CDN

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Thank you for the warning, Leo.  I'll read the reference you posted!  Very much appreciated.

Happy Holidays to you and your family!
 

Steve CDN

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You should be able to limit the number DHCP addresses issued by the router to only the number of computers you have, so even if a third party could connect to your access point, and had the WPA passphrase, they couldn't get an IP address assigned

Ned

Would you please elaborate on this please.  I have 2 possible computers (laptps) I would use on the network, so where do I get the IP addresses that have to be entered?

I've just set up the router this evening here in our Northern home, and have the WPA-PSK set for security, Broadcast SSID turned off and Block ICMP ping disabled.

I cannot see the drives of the desktop on the laptop's Window's Explorer.  How do I set up access to each other's drives and peripherals?

As always, your help is appreciated. ;)
 

Ned

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You can set the DHCP address range to exactly the number of computers you have on the network.  Once all the addresses are assigned, any further attempts to get an IP address will be refused.  Of course, this is only workable if all computer are connected all the time.  Frankly, using WPA or WPA2 security is sufficient to keep out any non-authorized computers.  Turning off SSID only causes problems for some Windows computers and is no security at all.  MAC address filtering is also only minimal in terms of security and neither will stop a determined hacker.  A good, long, strong passphrase for WPA is the best security today.

For file sharing, run the Network Setup Wizard on all of the computers, using the same workgroup name (NOT the default of MSHOME) and turn on file and printer sharing when so prompted.  Other procedures will depend on whether the computers are running XP Home or Pro.  XP Home can use Simple File Sharing, but with Pro there are many more options.  Home networking is a subject that has many web sites devoted to it and there are many ways to do it ranging from simple to complex.
 

Steve CDN

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Thanks Ned for the info. Two of the computers OS are Windows XP Media center Edition, which I understand in on the XP Pro platform while the third and less likely to be used, as it is giving up the ghost..is XP Home.

One of the functions I would like to activate is to be able to access all the hard drives on the desktop from the laptop and to be able to use the printer on the desktop from the remote laptop.

Simplicity is what I strive for.

So I'll run the Network Setup Wizard and let you know how it goes.

I bought a Belkin router which has 4 ports for hard wired network plus the wireless capability.  The wizard that came with it was foolproof and I needed to make a small manual configuration change when the wizard failed to connect to the internet during installation.  However the wizard pointed me in the direction I needed to go to make the manual change.  So I was impressed with the ease of installation of the Belkin router.

I'll be interested in testing its range...from the 28th floor to the ground level ???
 
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