Friday, July 23, 2010
Now go to Control Panel and check to see if you have a wireless network adapter already installed. Most of the laptops and netbooks these days come with an internal wireless network adapter (look for ON/OFF WLAN switch).
Once you have all the hardware you’re ready to set up the network. Read the manual that came with the router and connect your internet connection to the router. Basically, you have to connect the cable from your cable/DSL router to the wireless router, turn the router on, connect to the router’s signal, access a web configuration page and do some minor tweaks.
Modern wireless routers are extremely easy to configure, and most come with wizards and walkthroughs that explain everything as you go along. Here is a screenshot of my configuration panel that I access by typing 192.168.10.1 in the address bar of my browser. That address is the IP address of the wireless router, and may be different for your router, but it is clearly pointed out in the router’s manual.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Here’s how the network topology will look like:
1. Buy a router with a number of ports close to the number of computers. For most people an 8-port router will suffice. You can start your search by looking at the Newegg page for wired networking. A good choice would be the LINKSYS BEFSR81. This router will connect to your existing internet connection via an Ethernet cable. It will also connect to your other computers through the same type of cable.
2. Connect the cable to the port available on your computer, as shown in the picture below. Do this for all the computers you wish to connect.
3. Connect the other end of the cable to the router. Afterward, connect the internet cable to the indicated port. In 99% percent of the cases, this is all you need to do in order to set up a network. The router and computer is already set up to use DHCP and should configure automatically.
4. If your computer doesn’t automatically recognize the internet connection, you need to apply the settings your ISP (Internet Service Provider) gave to you when you registered to the router. This may be a PPPOE username/password combination or another validation method. The router manual contains instructions on how to access the configuration application of the router. These days, router interfaces are user friendly and are easily configured, just refer to the manual.
Once the network is set up, read through the sections that explain how to share files and do other network related tasks. Modems are devices that negotiate a connection between your internet service provider and a network interface (computer, laptop, and router). Most routers have integrated modem capabilities (for PPOE connections for example), but cannot interface directly to connections that don’t use the RJ-45 connector. That's why usually internet providers have a modem that connects the internet line with the router from where connection distributed to all connected PCs. Also modems do not usually have the capability to connect to multiple computers at the same time but routers do. That's why when you want to use one internet line for multiple PCs you almost always need a router.
Wireless networks today offer enough speed to satisfy even the most prolific file sharing, movie streaming, network backup fanatic. Using the latest generation of wireless routers, equipped with MIMO(multiple inputs and outputs) and 802.11n transmitters, you can at least in theory get a throughput of 108Mbits, which is many times over the capacity of your internet connection.
A wireless network gives you freedom to use the Internet anywhere around the house or even in the backyard. Considering how many mobile devices support wireless networking today, it’s a good investment for the future.
Wireless networks are slower and less reliable than wired connections. Some security researchers consider that wireless is an inherently flawed technology – data can be trapped and analyzed later without the need of a physical tap. Setting up a wireless network is hassle free and can be easily upgraded later, no need to change the cables in all of your house.
In order to set up a wireless network you need a router and a device with a wireless network adapter. This could be your PC, laptop or iPod touch. A good place to start shopping for a wireless router is the Newegg page
Networking]. A good wireless router is the LINKSYS WRT610N available here
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Sunday, July 4, 2010
MAC Address - Media Access Control address (MAC address) is a unique identifier assigned to network adapters, similar to your unique Social Security Number.
Network Card – otherwise known as a network adapter, is a piece of computer hardware that enables computers to communicate to each other.
Network Bridge - A network bridge connects multiple network segments. Consider it to be like a traffic police man directing traffic in an intersection.
Network Switch – A network switch usually forwards all the traffic by using MAC addresses to differentiate between peers.
TCP/IP - The Transmission Control Protocol is one of the main protocols of the
Internet Protocol Suite, with which it works in tight integration. It’s like a computer program that makes the internet work.
Ethernet Cable – is a twisted pair (4 pairs) high signal integrity cable type with the RJ45. It is also known as CAT5 cable.
DHCP - DHCP basically takes care of various settings automatically, so you don’t have to read a 300 page book to set up a network.
WiFi - is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance for products based on the IEEE 802.11 (W-LAN) standards. This certification warrants interoperability between different wireless devices. There are many variations of IEEE 802.11. The most important and current standards are contained in this table:
Name Frequency Release Date Speed Range(Indoors/Outdoors)
802.11N 2,4Ghz January 2010* 600 Mbits/s 38 Meters/250 Meters
802.11G 2,4Ghz June 2003 54 Mbits/s 70 Meters/140 Meters
802.11Y 3,7Ghz November 2008 54 Mbits/s 50 Meters/5000 Meters
802.11n is the standard most used today and is recommended if you’re trying to set up a wireless network. *The standard is set to be ratified in Jan 2010, all the currently available wireless routers are certified using Draft specifications.
Set up a local wired network
Setting up a wired network is not as common as it used to be a few years back.
Wired connections still have the best bandwidth and are not affected by common household RF(radio-frequency) interference. However, it can be inconvenient to install Ethernet cables around the house, so wireless is slowly gaining in popularity. If your house doesn’t have Ethernet cables in the walls and the appropriate wall plugs, you should consider the wireless alternative.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Before diving in to the how-to part of this guide, it is essential to know some basic terms and acronyms. You don’t need to learn them immediately, just look them up as you encounter them in the guide. This will help you make logical connections between the terminology and real-life situations.
1. Computer Network – computers that are linked to each other (by a physical transport layer) using Optical fiber, Ethernet, Wireless LAN, HomePNA or Power Line. By connecting computers or network-capable appliances you can choose to share and access resources and information.
2. LAN - A local area network is a computer network with a limited range, usually considered to be less than 1KM. Common examples where a LAN might be implemented are at home, office, or small group of buildings, such as a school, or an airport. LANs are characterized by high speed data transfer rates.
3. Network Architecture –
•The client-server architecture differentiates client systems from server systems. A common example that illustrates this model are websites. Your computer establishes a connection to the server which sends back the web page over the Internet. An analogy would be broadcasting (one to many distribution model). This model is illustrated in the first image.
•A peer-to-peer (or P2P) architecture uses the cumulative bandwidth of network participants rather than centralized resources (servers). On a peer to peer network every participant is both a client and a server. This architecture is widely used in various file sharing software, including the notorious BitTorrent protocol. This model is illustrated in the second image.
The client-server architecture
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Friday, June 25, 2010
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