networking solution for apartment

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by sp3nx0r, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. sp3nx0r

    sp3nx0r n00b

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    Alright two questions:

    Moving into an apartment soon, and I need a networking solution that doesn't involve stringing cables up. The apartment expands upwards; it's 3 stories, 3 bedroom. So it's not a very wide apartment, just spreads up instead of out. Getting SBC DSL. Got 3 machines to hook up, two on the 3rd floor, one on the second (and ground floor is living room). Is wireless reliable enough? I've got a kinda old Netgear wireless router, and it's asstastic. Could I place a wireless router on second floor and that'd reach the third floor? Two computers are laptops with wifi cards, but my computer doesn't have any wireless cards. Internal/external? How much about? Suggestions would be t3h good. I don't really wanna string cat5s all over the apartment, cause it'd hafta get wound around the spiral metal staircase, which wouldn't be easy/good. Would a wireless router also splash downstairs so I could get coverage in the living room? I just need some good equipment I guess, I can handle all the config/security/setup. Thanks guys.

    Oh yeah! Second question, what's the difference between a hub and a switch? We lan and use a 12 slot hub. It's an older 10-Half hub, and I was thinking about getting a new way to put all of us together (non-wireless). Thanks again!
     
  2. Darkstar850

    Darkstar850 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have a netgear wireless B router, don't remember the model number. I live on the 1st floor of my complex. My girlfriend and her roomate lived on the 3rd floor. They both got about 90-96% signal strength, so I think it should work fine for you, unless you have some sort of super-resistant floors.

    As far as the hub: dump it. The difference between a hub and a switch: A hub is a single collision domain. It is basically a layer 1 repeater. So when you send traffic to a hub, it doesn't know who its sending it to, it just floods it out all ports. You get lots of collisions, and poor performance,
    A switch on the other hand has a collision domain for each connection to each machine. It is a point to point connection. So when you send traffic from a machine, it goes to the switch, and the switch checks its ARP table, finds the destination machine, and sends the traffic down the 1 connection to that machine. No collisions, full duplex.
    You can get a decent 8 port switch for 30-40 bucks, and a 16 port for 50-70. I see no reason at all to use hubs anymore.
     
  3. IceWindus

    IceWindus n00b

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    Aye, hubs=ass. Go spend the money on a nice 3Com Office connect switch or linksys/D-link one.

    Todays wireless G routers are pretty good about signal strength through walls. I get good signal quality through my 2 story house that goes through several walls full of wiring and piping. Wireless eminates in a circular pattern, so it would reach downstairs. If it didn't, my dad would be fooked in our case :p

    If your older netgear is a B model, it would probably be worth spending the money on a newer G model from Linksys, NetGear or D-Link. You will get faster LAN speeds and more reliable connections. PCI internal cards are about 50-80 bucks.
     
  4. lomn75

    lomn75 Purple Ace

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    For gaming, the hub you've got is fine. If you're doing much file transfer, you'd want faster. Unless you're regularly putting 10+ systems on that hub all doing file transfer at once, though, chances are you'll never notice a practical difference in that and a switch.

    Summary: If you need better, buy a switch. If what you have is fine, don't spend money.
     
  5. IceWindus

    IceWindus n00b

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    Hubs should be outlawed. I've seen so many network issues that were fixed from ripping out hubs and replacing them with decent switches.

    Trust me, spend the money and get a switch.
     
  6. sp3nx0r

    sp3nx0r n00b

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    are internal or external wireless adapters better? does it make a difference in signal strength? and how poor of wireless reception does it have to be to make a difference in throughput? do people walking thru the path change performance? there'd be no "clear sight" paths between router and access points. we do some serious webserving/gaming/file sharing, is wireless good enough for this? i read one post where this guy was using a wifi networking solution.

    does it matter which model then? i like netgear. just get a wireless G router and matching cards? is it backwards compatible with older wifi tech, cause the other laptops have some age.

    thanks for the quick and helpful responses guys, you rock
     
  7. Darkstar850

    Darkstar850 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I prefer external adapters for PC's. Some areas are just bad for wireless reception, and its nice to be able to move the adapter around to find the sweet spot. I have noticed a difference of around 40% signal strength just within the range of a usb cable for one of the external adapters.
    People walking "through" the signal path really shouldnt make a differece. For a comparison, you can't really stand in the way of a FM radio signal, right? Same sort of idea. Line of sight is not necessary for wi-fi.
    For serious file sharing/gaming, wireless isn't always the best. It can get a little flaky, particularly with alot of users.
    802.11G is backwards compatible with 802.11B. I also like Netgear equipment.
     
  8. versello

    versello 2[H]4U

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    i have a linksys 802.11g wireless router in my bedroom... it's on the fourth floor. Signal strength is good all the way to the 1st floor. So, that said, you should be fine.

    I would get a linksys btw. If you find your signal is spotty, linksys makes a wap54g wireless router which can act as a bridge / repeater. Works great in my basement where the signal isn't so good.
     
  9. IceWindus

    IceWindus n00b

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    I prefer internal wireless cards. Less likely to get stepped on or broken and I have yet to have problems with an internal card not getting a good signal unless its really far away or in a concrete bunker. External are also more expensive.
     
  10. Darkstar850

    Darkstar850 [H]ard|Gawd

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    And there ya go (directed to original poster), both have advantages and disadvantages. Just have to decide which are important to you.
     
  11. SilverMK3

    SilverMK3 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I much prefer internal cards as well. External USB adapters tend to have crappy, low power built-in antennas that cannot be upgraded. They sit on the USB bus rather than the PCI/Cardbus so they take longer to initialize when you first boot as well as having having lower overall bandwidth to your system. Depending on your manufacturer you may end up with flaky USB drivers that will hog resources and cause hangs, etc.

    The other option is to upgrade the antenna(s) on your existing Netgear router if it has a removable antenna. Do you know the model number?