wireless LAN hardware recommendations

wireless LAN hardware recommendations

Post by pck2 » Wed, 06 Nov 2002 05:23:29



Hi

I hope to setup a small network using wireless lan. My thinking is to have a
linux which is connected to the isp and then have a small wireless network
for windows and linux machines. I have zero understianding in terms of what
is the easist hardware that I should get so that I will drivers both windows
and linux (critical, I guess). I will be running redhat distribution 7.2.

Thank you in advance for your recommendations.

 
 
 

wireless LAN hardware recommendations

Post by Richard Kimbe » Thu, 07 Nov 2002 08:52:12



> Hi

> I hope to setup a small network using wireless lan. My thinking is to have
> a linux which is connected to the isp and then have a small wireless
> network for windows and linux machines. I have zero understianding in
> terms of what is the easist hardware that I should get so that I will
> drivers both windows and linux (critical, I guess). I will be running
> redhat distribution 7.2.

> Thank you in advance for your recommendations.

You need a router - I have a Netgear MR314 which is easy to set up.  My CM
plugs directly into the router.  The Linux box has a direct ethernet
connection to the router, so no special wireless drivers are needed.  You
also need some adapters for the other machines. Windows drivers are
provided on CD for these. I use D-Link USB adapters (D-Link stuff seems to
be good, I might have bought a D-Link router if I hadn't already got the
Netgear).  USB adapters are easy to set up, and the cable enables you to
orient the adapter so that you get the best signal.  I'm not keen on
wireless cards, I don't think they pick up the signal so well, and are very
picky about orientation.  Much depends on the nature of the building you
are operating in.  The thicker the walls, the harder it is to pick up a
good signal.  Unless you're a professional, I think it's all a bit hit and
miss, but mine works OK, after some experimentation.  If one of the remote
machines is also Linux, then you need to make sure the right things are
enabled in the kernel (I'd do some research on what is supported before I
bought adapters for Linux, I have no experience of this).

- Richard.

 
 
 

wireless LAN hardware recommendations

Post by Andy Fis » Fri, 08 Nov 2002 03:21:48


I too have an MR314 and for the price, I think it's an amazing bit of kit.

I was thinking of having a server permanently switched on to do the NAT, but
the netgear is so cheap and easy to configure It's hard to discount on
"common sense" grounds.



> > Hi

> > I hope to setup a small network using wireless lan. My thinking is to
have
> > a linux which is connected to the isp and then have a small wireless
> > network for windows and linux machines. I have zero understianding in
> > terms of what is the easist hardware that I should get so that I will
> > drivers both windows and linux (critical, I guess). I will be running
> > redhat distribution 7.2.

> > Thank you in advance for your recommendations.

> You need a router - I have a Netgear MR314 which is easy to set up.  My CM
> plugs directly into the router.  The Linux box has a direct ethernet
> connection to the router, so no special wireless drivers are needed.  You
> also need some adapters for the other machines. Windows drivers are
> provided on CD for these. I use D-Link USB adapters (D-Link stuff seems to
> be good, I might have bought a D-Link router if I hadn't already got the
> Netgear).  USB adapters are easy to set up, and the cable enables you to
> orient the adapter so that you get the best signal.  I'm not keen on
> wireless cards, I don't think they pick up the signal so well, and are
very
> picky about orientation.  Much depends on the nature of the building you
> are operating in.  The thicker the walls, the harder it is to pick up a
> good signal.  Unless you're a professional, I think it's all a bit hit and
> miss, but mine works OK, after some experimentation.  If one of the remote
> machines is also Linux, then you need to make sure the right things are
> enabled in the kernel (I'd do some research on what is supported before I
> bought adapters for Linux, I have no experience of this).

> - Richard.

 
 
 

wireless LAN hardware recommendations

Post by Timothy Murp » Thu, 07 Nov 2002 12:02:57



>> I hope to setup a small network using wireless lan. My thinking is to have
>> a linux which is connected to the isp and then have a small wireless
>> network for windows and linux machines. I have zero understianding in
>> terms of what is the easist hardware that I should get so that I will
>> drivers both windows and linux (critical, I guess). I will be running
>> redhat distribution 7.2.
>You need a router - I have a Netgear MR314 which is easy to set up.  My CM
>plugs directly into the router.  The Linux box has a direct ethernet
>connection to the router, so no special wireless drivers are needed.  You
>also need some adapters for the other machines. Windows drivers are
>provided on CD for these. I use D-Link USB adapters (D-Link stuff seems to
>be good, I might have bought a D-Link router if I hadn't already got the
>Netgear).  USB adapters are easy to set up, and the cable enables you to
>orient the adapter so that you get the best signal.  I'm not keen on
>wireless cards, I don't think they pick up the signal so well, and are very
>picky about orientation.  

Your advice seems to me completely misconceived.
First of all, USB adapters are all too often NOT easy to set up in Linux,
and I would advise against them.
Secondly wireless cards are not "picky about orientation".
It seems bizarre in the extreme to advise someone who wants to set up a wireless LAN
not to use wireless cards.

From personal experience I would strongly recommend Lucent/Orinoco cards.
For one thing, the standard WiFi driver in the Linux kernel is orinoco_cs.
I have both PCMCIA and PCI Orinoco cards,
and I am more than happy with them.
They have worked with all recent Linux kernels.

For a simple home LAN, I would recommend just using WiFi cards in Ad-hoc mode.
(That's what I'm using at this moment.)
I don't think it is necessary to get Access Point devices,
and I'm not sure how "routers" come into it.

--
Timothy Murphy  

tel: 086-233 6090
s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland

 
 
 

wireless LAN hardware recommendations

Post by Richard Kimbe » Sat, 09 Nov 2002 02:06:51



> Your advice seems to me completely misconceived.
> First of all, USB adapters are all too often NOT easy to set up in Linux,
> and I would advise against them.

You conveniently snipped the part of my message that made it clear I was
referring to Windows. He mentioned a mixture of Windows and Linux machines.
USB adapters are easy to set up in Windows.

Quote:> Secondly wireless cards are not "picky about orientation".

In my experience, much depends on which way the card is pointing.  If the
metal case of the PC is between the card and the source, the signal may
well not be very good, especially with thick walls intervening, as I found
to my cost. They may be fine for laptops where there is more scope for
orientation. A lot depends on the nature of the building in which one is
setting up the network. Cards *might* work fine, or (as in my case) they
might not.

Quote:> It seems bizarre in the extreme to advise someone who wants to set up a
> wireless LAN not to use wireless cards.

Personally, if one is not an expert, I think it pays to play safe, since
one buys the stuff before finding out whether it works OK.

- Richard.

 
 
 

wireless LAN hardware recommendations

Post by Anders Skovsted Buc » Sun, 10 Nov 2002 00:06:53



> Much depends on the nature of the building you
> are operating in.  The thicker the walls, the harder it is to pick up a
> good signal.  Unless you're a professional, I think it's all a bit hit and
> miss, but mine works OK, after some experimentation.  

Hi,

I'm considering making a home wireless network, too.  This would require
transmission distances of up to about 20 meters (60 feet), and bypassing
one armed concrete wall which is 15 cm (6 inches).  Is this going to be
cause any problem, say with a MR314 station?

Also, is it possible to keep a wireless network secure?  Are there any
good neutral FAQ's about this??  (The ones I looked at so far looked a
bit like adverti*ts for security companies.)

Thanks a bunch in advance!

Anders

 
 
 

wireless LAN hardware recommendations

Post by Andy Fis » Sun, 10 Nov 2002 20:08:41


When I bought my wireless kit, I checked with the vendor to and they said I
could return it if the reception did not meet the advertised range. I wasn't
expecting to get the advertised range (and I was right) but I had peace of
mind should it turn out to be unusable. In the end it was fine.

The actual range is also very difficult to predict without testing it, and
the reception can sometimes be altered quite a lot by moving it a small
distance. I reckon 60 feet is not a problem in clear space, but the wall
might be - I assume by 'armed' you mean it has steel embedded in it which
would certainly affect the transmission. I would suggest you either get some
kind of money-back guarantee or borrow some kit to test.

As for security, it is accepted that the WEP encryption algorithm has some
fairly significant weaknesses. You can improve security by disabling SSID
broadcast (which I don't think the mr314 supports) and by limiting wireless
connectivity to a specific list of MAC addresses (which it does).

If you are worried about security you should connect the wireless network
outside of a firewall and use VPN (you'll obviously need more hardware to do
this). However, for home use, I would have thought that using WEP and
limiting the mac addresses would give a pretty good level of security.

Andy




> > Much depends on the nature of the building you
> > are operating in.  The thicker the walls, the harder it is to pick up a
> > good signal.  Unless you're a professional, I think it's all a bit hit
and
> > miss, but mine works OK, after some experimentation.

> Hi,

> I'm considering making a home wireless network, too.  This would require
> transmission distances of up to about 20 meters (60 feet), and bypassing
> one armed concrete wall which is 15 cm (6 inches).  Is this going to be
> cause any problem, say with a MR314 station?

> Also, is it possible to keep a wireless network secure?  Are there any
> good neutral FAQ's about this??  (The ones I looked at so far looked a
> bit like adverti*ts for security companies.)

> Thanks a bunch in advance!

> Anders

 
 
 

wireless LAN hardware recommendations

Post by Richard Kimbe » Mon, 11 Nov 2002 04:02:22



> The actual range is also very difficult to predict without testing it, and
> the reception can sometimes be altered quite a lot by moving it a small
> distance. I reckon 60 feet is not a problem in clear space, but the wall
> might be - I assume by 'armed' you mean it has steel embedded in it which
> would certainly affect the transmission. I would suggest you either get
> some kind of money-back guarantee or borrow some kit to test.

I agree

Quote:> As for security, it is accepted that the WEP encryption algorithm has some
> fairly significant weaknesses. You can improve security by disabling SSID
> broadcast (which I don't think the mr314 supports) and by limiting
> wireless connectivity to a specific list of MAC addresses (which it does).

Just to add the obvious, you should make sure you change the default admin
password and the default ESSID :)

I haven't used encryption because I'm not sure what kind of overheasd there
is, and none of my material is sensitive.

I agree it's a good idea to limit access to specific MACs

- Richard.

 
 
 

1. only show Wireless LAN submenu if Wireless LAN is selected

Trivial: This is a follow-up to your "Gigabit Ethernet submenu" precedent.

Only show the Wireless LAN submenu if the Wireless LAN entry is selected.

--

diff -urN a/drivers/net/Kconfig b/drivers/net/Kconfig
--- a/drivers/net/Kconfig       2003-01-01 14:25:27.000000000 +0100

          end of the link as well. It's good enough, for example, to run IP
          over the async ports of a Camtec JNT Pad. If unsure, say N.

-
-menu "Wireless LAN (non-hamradio)"
-       depends on NETDEVICES
-
 config NET_RADIO
+       depends on NETDEVICES
        bool "Wireless LAN (non-hamradio)"
        ---help---

          special kernel support are available from
          <ftp://shadow.cabi.net/pub/Linux/>.

+menu "Wireless LAN (non-hamradio)"
+       depends on NET_RADIO
+
 config STRIP
        tristate "STRIP (Metricom starmode radio IP)"
        depends on NET_RADIO && INET
-
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