Setting up a wireless network
I just converted our wired network to a wireless one (Wi-Fi based). It was fun and pretty easy. You just need right mix of networking devices and a bit of knowledge about playing with IPs and stuff.
In a typical scenario you’ll need following devices:
- DSL modem (for Internet connection) – D-Link 502T which was provided by my ISP – MTNL
- Router (For sharing the connection) – D-Link 502T is a DSL router so I didn’t require it separately
- Switch (Not necessary as such) – I’ve already got an 8 port switch
- Wireless Access Point (It will distribute the Wi-Fi signals) – I used D-Link DWL G700AP
- WiFi adapters (Either USB based or PCI based – one for each computer) – My Compaq notebook had it built in, I bought D-Link DWL G122 USB Wifi Adapter for other computers.
We can also use a wireless DSL router(D-Link DSL D524) that combines the properties of DSL modem, router and access point in one single device. Since I already had the DSL router and switch, I only needed the wireless Access Point.
So here’s what I did –
I connected the switch with the DSL router. Earlier the DSL router was connected to a computer and all the computers had static IP addresses in the 192.168.0.x series. We were using an HTTP proxy server for sharing the Internet connection. Now when I connected the router to the switch, I had to change the IP addresses on the computers with the series specified by the ISP. I set the default gateway to the IP of the DSL router and I was able to connect to the Internet without any proxy.
Then I connected the Access Point to the switch. Access Point is basically a wireless hub. It is used for broadcasting the WiFi signals. I configured the Access Point though the web interface to give a name to the network and set an encryption key. Security is an important feature in the wireless networking. It is WiFi based and anyone in the range of the signals can get into your network. The G700AP supports 128 bits encryption (It’s called WEP). I set an encryption key – a sort of password for the network.
Now since the network was on, I tested it on my notebook which has a built in WiFi adapter. I searched for the available wireless networks and my new network was found. It asked me whether I want to connect. It asked for the encryption key and after providing the correct key, it connected me to the network. My IP was provided by the DSL router and it was in the series specified by MTNL. I disconnected all the network cables, took the notebook in another room and opened Janoos.com and voila! I could connect to Janoos.com!
I then installed the USB adapter on one of the desktop computers. After a simple driver installation and same process for connecting to the network. it worked perfectly!
So now we have a wireless network at Uconomix. The WiFi standard used for this network is 802.11g. The range of the WiFi signals is 100 meters indoor and up to 400 meters outdoors!
Here’s how the setup works –
So what was the cost?
Since I already had a DSL router and switch, I had to buy Access Point it cost me Rs. 2699 and USB adapter was for Rs. 1549. I bought them from Hypercity – a giant mall near my home. I could have got them for probably 100 rupees less from Lemington road.
If you wish to setup a wireless network with Internet then you should go for a wireless router. Your ADSL connection from the ISP can then straight go into that device and all you need is WiFi adapters on the computers.