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Author Topic: Anyone have experience setting up WiFi?  (Read 1592 times)
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« on: December 21, 2004, 09:14:40 PM »

I have a computer at home with a DSL router attached.  I also have a Dell Axim x30 which has 802.11b support built in.  I want to be able to do file transfers, syncing between the Axim and the PC and also surf the web on my Axim through my DSL connection.

Is this possible?  What exactly do I need to do this?  It seems like I need a wireless access point but I also read that I might need a network card or USB adaptor for it to work.

Anyone done this?  Or know of a good place/article that could walk my inexperienced butt through it?
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2004, 09:21:25 PM »

http://www.wi-fi.org/OpenSection/design.asp?TID=2

Everything you could possibly ever need to know is right there on that site listed above.  

in short, you'll need an access point  of some type and a wireless NIC for each machine requiring access.  it's easy as pie to set up.
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2004, 09:47:37 PM »

All you need is a wireless AP. The Axim talks to that, and it in turn talks to your router in the same way your PC does.
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2004, 09:50:06 PM »

whoops, failed to notice that your comp already had a wireless nic built in.  sorry.
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2004, 10:04:19 PM »

Quote from: "zinckiwi"
All you need is a wireless AP. The Axim talks to that, and it in turn talks to your router in the same way your PC does.

But will this let my Axim also talk to my computer (i.e. syncing and file transfer)?  Don't I need a separate adapter for my computer and Axim to talk to each other?
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zinckiwi
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2004, 10:22:35 PM »

No, that's what the router's for (assuming it is a router and not just a modem). A router lets each thing that connects to it see all the other things that connect to it.
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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2004, 10:25:51 PM »

access point plugs into router.  home computer is plugged into router.  pocketpc has wireless which connects via radio to access point.  viola.  connection.
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2004, 10:59:21 PM »

the post that hepcat listed has a lot of good info on it, so i'll add to it.

you didn't say what type of router you have, so i don't know how capable it is of securing IP addresses.  the dlink router i have allows me to hand out specific ip's based on mac address.  using this route, you would hook up an access point and set the router to give one ip to the axim and the home pc's and to nothing else.  if the router doesn't have this capability, then give the dell a static ip and disable dhcp on the router.  

the AP should have its default network name and administrator account changed.  disable upnp, as it can be used against you.  also disable remote web access for both router and AP:  it just gives hackers a front door to pound on.  don't broadcast your ssid and set up the highest level of encryption possible that both devices support (802.1x>WPA-PSK>WPA>WEP).  use a strong password and passphrase.  

make sure you secure the AP down as much as possible.   you can be very easily taken advantage of if you don't tighten down your wireless.  

small example;    i took my laptop to my dad's house to show it to him  and it has 802.11 built in.  without doing anything shady, i pulled up the wireless utility and saw that there were 4 networks in my area.  only one had any sort of protection and i could connect to the other 3 just fine.  speed was slow, but i could surf the net and do whatever i want.  knowing what i do about networks, i could have easily attempted to attack these people's machines or take control of the router.  

or, i could have used that person's connection to run a mass mailer and get them in trouble.  by the time they knew something was wrong, the damage would've been done.  their isp would disable the account and it could take weeks to prove they had nothing to do with it.  by then, any chance of catching a spammer would be gone.

one last thing to add.  once someone is inside your router, it becomes much easier to set your machine up with all sorts of nasty things.
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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2004, 10:59:32 PM »

I'm mucho estupido about this so bear with me.

So for a file transfer from the PC to the Axim the PC will talk first to the router, then the access point then the Axim.  And in reverse, to send a file from the Axim to the PC the Axim talks to the access point which talks to the router which talks to the PC.

Do I have all this straight?  If so, all I need to buy then is an access point which sounds good to me.  I'm basically using this setup in my home - a ranch house with the PC in the basement.  What's a good access point for my situation?
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2004, 02:24:52 AM »

You should (hopefully) have your router functioning as a DHCP server.

The DHCP server will give out IP addresses, which (sorry if you know this) allow the DHCP client (in this case, your PDA) to attach to the network.

Once the device has an IP address, your problems go from being connectivity to application, which is a different arena.  So start with that first.

[edit] woah, I completely neglected the layer below (from a OSI model perspective) DHCP.  You need to first make sure you have a hardware connection with the WiFi device.

SOOOOO..... you need to get the info your Wireless router/access point is giving out.  The necessary info-

SSID
WEP (or other wireless security) key, if used

I always recommend 64-bit WEP, because it stops your data from being sent out as clear text, and while 128-bit WEP is more secure, it is slower, and quite frankly if someone can break 64-bit WEP they can most likely break 128-bit too, or figure it out.  And
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2004, 07:05:10 AM »

Caine and unbreakable... you guys make me feel so dumb.

I literally know nothing about networks.  I have no idea what DHCP means.  Go easy on me. biggrin

The DSL router I have is the Netgear DSL Modem Internet Gateway DG814.  It is not wireless. It is attached via a cable to my computer's network (ethernet?  I have no idea) port.  I have an Nforce 2 and it has built-in networking so the guy set it up and I didn't have anything to do with it.

Going into my router's settings under WAN port it says DHCP none.  Under LAN port it says DHCP Server.  I have no idea what the difference is between LAN and WAN.

So if I understand this correctly, the Axim and PC will talk to each other (sync and do file transfers) using the access point and DSL router as intermediaries.

Axim <--> Access point  --  DSL Router <--> PC

Does that seem correct?  And so both could connect to the internet using the one DSL router?

Why would I not also need a wireless Network Interface Card (I assume that is what a NIC is?)?  Or does my router communicate adequately with the Access Point?  Does the Access Point have the ability to "broadcast" the signal?

Sorry I'm so dense but I really appreciate any/all help. :oops:  Even if I don't understand everything, I'm printing this thread out and will eventually figure it all out.

One more thing: for the Access Point I've been reading about the Linksys WAP11.  Does that look like it would fit the bill?  I can get it shipped for $50 from Amazon.

Thanks again!
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zinckiwi
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2004, 06:26:57 PM »

Your computer is attached to the router with an ethernet cable; a similar cable will connect the access point. In other words:

Axim <-airwaves-> Access point <-ethernet-> DSL Router <-ethernet-> PC

and, independently:

router <-ethernet-> dsl modem <-phone cable-> wall jack

combine the two and each thing attached to the router can both communicate with each other as well as access the internet. You don't need a Wireless NIC in your situation because the AP will connect physically to the router using an ethernet cable. Think of the AP simply as something that allows your wireless devices to connect to your router -- a middleman.

In terms of those abbreviations... DHCP is something that assigns IP addresses to devices connected to your router. Everything that uses your network needs an IP address assigned to it. You can set them manually, but there's little need: you've got DHCP.

WAN (wide area network) means your cable connection -- your router is acting as a client on that network. LAN (local area network) means the network created by your router -- your router is the server, if you will. Externally, only your router would be immediately obvious. Since your cable company only gives you one IP address to use, the router assigns (virtual, internal) IPs as necessary to anything connected to it, and handles the sorting of which packet of data goes to which computer as it comes in.
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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2004, 06:59:32 PM »

don't worry about it warning, i feel the same way when it comes to coding smile

a bit of network information for you.

DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol) is a method by which your pc can recieve an ip address from a router automatically.  in its default mode, the router will hand out IP addresses to any pc or device that asks it for one.  this process is contrary to a different form called:

Static IP addressing.  here, you define the ip address that the machine uses and the other settings a pc requires to be able to access other machines on the network and the net.  if you run
Code:
ipconfig /all

on your machine, you will see information such as default gateway, wins,dhcp and dns servers.  you will also see what is referred to as a physical address, aka MAC address.  this is a unique id specific to your network interface card (nic).  i saw that the AP you are looking at has the ability to filter connections based on mac address, so it is a good choice.

WAN/LAN means wide-area network and local-area network.  simply put, the outside network and the internal network.  based on the settings you specified, you have dhcp enabled for the internal network.  you will need this enabled to allow the dell to recieve an IP address.  the AP will need to be set so that only the dell gets connected via wireless, or you could end up sharing your connection with the neighbors (and war drivers).  

you are correct in your understanding of how the pieces fit.  the dsl modem feeds the router, which connects via cables to your home pc and the AP.  you will need to hook up the AP to the router via an ethernet cable, which means you have to set it up close by.  the AP will broadcast the signal to any devices within range (this can vary depending on where in your home you place the AP and what type of wireless you have). you don't need a seperate wireless card unless you plan on moving the pc away from the router.  

re: the linksys wap11.  while the mac address filtering is good, the lack of wpa support is not.  wep can be broken easily, and if you are moving sensitive information between devices, this could put you at risk.  also, if you find a good 802.11g AP with mac filtering and wpa, you could use that instead.  802.11g supports a higher transfer rate (54mps vs 11mps) and is compatible with "b" devices.  you will end up spending a little more however.

other than all that, if you have your ssid set with a non-standard name and not broadcast, you will fall off the radar of most entry level hackers, as the cost to set up a real war-driver is higher than most people would consider.  

hope that helps, and if you need more information, don't hesitate to ask smile
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« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2004, 11:38:35 AM »

Sorry to but in on the conversation, but as I read the initial question, you want to sync over wireless, and I didn't know you could do that.  If it's possible, that would be awesome, I wouldn't have to cart my cradle to and from work all the time.
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« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2004, 11:56:15 AM »

The DSL router I have is the Netgear DSL Modem Internet Gateway DG814. It is not wireless. It is attached via a cable to my computer's network (ethernet? I have no idea) port. I have an Nforce 2 and it has built-in networking so the guy set it up and I didn't have anything to do with it. <<<<

You must have a wireless router in order for this to work. Think of the router and the network cards as walkie talkies. You need to be able to send and recieve from both ends of the connection. The 2 wire homeportal that SBC sells is also a wireless router, but you still need a wireless network card in order for it to work wirelessly.
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« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2004, 12:05:46 PM »

DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol) is a method by which your pc can recieve an ip address from a router automatically. in its default mode, the router will hand out IP addresses to any pc or device that asks it for one. this process is contrary to a different form called:

Static IP addressing. here, you define the ip address that the machine uses and the other settings a pc requires to be able to access other machines on the network and the net. if you run <<<<<

If you use a router or 2 wire homeportal or DSL modem they have an IP assigned to them just like having an internet address. The computer must use the same IP in order for the device to be recognized properly. If you type in the IP for the device and you have a connection you will usually get into the modem's brain just like going to a webpage. But you don't want the DHCP assigning random IP's to these or they are not going to work. Also a static IP will only exist if you ask for it and usually pay extra for it. It's not necessary unless you have a business with computers in different locations and you need the IP to remain the same so they can talk to each other.
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« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2004, 05:42:08 AM »

Ok, Im going to try not to overcomplicate this.  I tried reading what was written, and I didnt get it, so Im not going to expect a networking novice to.

I didnt realize your router wasnt wireless, so you will need an access point.  I would recommend getting one of those wireless routers which go on sale all the time, and you can just config it for access point mode.  Or, if you have the money, just buy a real access point- it definitely has it going on with simplicity.

In a way it would be easier if your router and modem werent combined, but oh well.

If you want to stick with Netgear, you can look into this, but personally I've been liking Linksys stuff more and more.  I cant complain about Netgear's warranty support, aside from the fact that I have to use it so much.  Im on my fourth wireless router.  Since each new one they send me restarts the warranty period, I may have the same model for the rest of my life.

Anyway, here is the Linksys WAP11.  Either way, this is the thing that will establish a connection between your network hardware and your wireless devices (in this case, the Axim).  

Once you have the WAP, you should be able to just plug it into your router, maybe do some light config, and your Axim would get its IP address from your router.  If you need any help setting up the access point (or anything else), let me know.
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« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2004, 06:15:59 AM »

Thanks for all the help guys.  I ordered the WAP11 from Newegg and it should be here next week.  Nearest I can figure out it is all I need to add to make this wireless thing work.  I would have just bought a new wireless router all-in-one jobbie but my router is also a DSL modem and I don't want to mess with that right now.

Anyway I'll post back on this next week.  With any luck I'll be posting wirelessly from my Dell Axim.  Which is one sweet PDA by the way.  I'm loving it so far.  And it was my wife's Christmas present!
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« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2004, 08:41:09 PM »

i should clarify.  the information that vagabond quoted regarding static/dynamic ip addressing was targeted to the router's LAN addressing.  of course, the external ip you get from the ISP could be of either type.  the company knows that a static is more useful to a person as it allows you to host a web page or game server, so they charge you for that option.  

basically, if you assigned a static ip to the router's external, or WAN address, you would lose your connection to the net.  especially if you used an ip in the most common internal ranges for home routers, in the 192.168.x.x or 10.0.x.x ranges.  those ranges are specifically for internal use.

i realize this is probably much more information than you need, but it's in my nature to teach people about this stuff.  disregard if uninterested.  biggrin
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« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2004, 12:20:20 AM »

So I'm posting this now from my Axim x30 connected over my wifi network at home.  Thanks for all the help getting this thing set up.  My next step is to make it secure but that will wait until tomorrow.
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