# Home WiFi, How to?

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#### quickburst

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I want to add WiFi to my home. We have a need for WiFi and Ethernet (hard wire).

We have Comcast Cable, TV and Internet already. I do not want to rent any more equipment from Comcast, I'd rather buy what I need. We also have Vonage.

The system:
Cable enters the house and drops into my wifes office.
There it goes into a cable modem.
Out of the cable modem and into a router.
This router directs Ethernet cables to two Vonage devices, her PC and a 100 foot cable that runs to my PC on the far end of the house.
I'm not sure if there is an open slot left on the router or not (possibly).

Is it possible to buy a wireless transmitter (router?) and place it it the middle of the 100 foot ethernet cable running to my PC? Hopefully this device, and excuse me for not knowing the terminology, would have an ethernet connection input and an ethernet connection out along with WiFi. This way I could keep the existing options of hardwire in the offices and wireless through out the house. If there is such a thing all I would need to do is buy a 50 foot cable and put this thing in the middle. Logistically this would be a central location in the house.

#### n5wd

##### Well-Known Member
The system:
Cable enters the house and drops into my wifes office.
There it goes into a cable modem.
Out of the cable modem and into a router.
This router directs Ethernet cables to two Vonage devices, her PC and a 100 foot cable that runs to my PC on the far end of the house.
I'm not sure if there is an open slot left on the router or not (possibly).
David,

The quickest, easiest, and most sure thing to do is to replace your current router with a router/Wifi Access Point. Nothing else needs to be changed.

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#### RocketsNorth

##### Well-Known Member
Hi David
I would in general agree that replacing your existing router with one that has wireless ability is the way to go. However, your network setup maybe more out of the ordinary than most in complexity with regard to your VoIP devices.
If you PM me we can discuss the ugly details

#### quickburst

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Guess I won't see you at the launch this weekend - maybe in August if y'all decide to have that one. Hope the recovery is prgoressing well. Hugz to Deb.

No, I'm grounded for the time being. Possibly six weeks or longer. I'm back in the hospital now, my fourth surgery is tomorrow morning. They are doing the skin graft, thank God, I have waited a long time to get the hole in the top of my head closed. Deb is fine, I'm sure that if it wern't for her, I'd be dead. Next time you see her ask her how she managed to drag a 280 lb man out of a wrecked truck. It's beyond me.

#### n5wd

##### Well-Known Member
Deb is fine, I'm sure that if it wern't for her, I'd be dead. Next time you see her ask her how she managed to drag a 280 lb man out of a wrecked truck. It's beyond me.
Well, having met Deb only the one time at Hearne (I still remember that extra fine Chili in the motor home that chili day) I can imagine that what Deb puts her mind to, Deb can do!

Hopefully, you're getting some sleep before the surgery, but I'd guess there's about a 50-50 chance you'll be up reading this into the wee hours... if so, we'll be thinking good thoughts for ya tomorrow and expect a great progress report some time Saturday afternoon or evening!

#### Johnly

##### Well-Known Member
We have Verizon fiber with a wireless router and it's great. When guests come to stay with us we can give them a laptop to use in their room or enable their laptop if they brought one along if it has a wireless card. At 30 ft. or so you still have 90% signal strength, so anywhere in the house you still can get a >60% signal intensity. I spend more time in wireless mode than I do sitting at the desktop.

John

#### troj

##### Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
One thing with the wireless... If you go that route, learn to setup the strongest encryption the router will take, or have someone who knows how to do it help you.

Why?

Unless your goal is to provide wireless to the neighborhood, and have goodness knows who hop onto your access point, you need encryption & security.

FWIW, unsecured wireless is how TJ Maxx had their credit card information compromised.

-Kevin

#### H_Rocket

##### Death by Powerpoint
Most of what was said above is essentially correct. I want to endorse what Kevin added and recommend a WPA-PSK implementation of security. I realize that is probably just a buzzword to you however it is reasonably straightforward and no more difficult than a WEP implementation. Of course a WPA2 setup would be better, however I doubt you would ever have the setup to implement it.

Also, nobody has said anything, however remember, along with the access point you also need a network adapter for the client PC. Most every notebook PC will have one, however if you are using a desktop you will need an external one (the only internal one I know of is made by Cisco and is not very inexpensive).

#### troj

##### Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
Most of what was said above is essentially correct. I want to endorse what Kevin added and recommend a WPA-PSK implementation of security. I realize that is probably just a buzzword to you however it is reasonably straightforward and no more difficult than a WEP implementation. Of course a WPA2 setup would be better, however I doubt you would ever have the setup to implement it.
WPA-PSK is a form of WPA2, the difference is there's not RADIUS server involved. Linksys refers to it as WPA2-Personal as opposed to WPA2-Enterprise.

Also, nobody has said anything, however remember, along with the access point you also need a network adapter for the client PC. Most every notebook PC will have one, however if you are using a desktop you will need an external one (the only internal one I know of is made by Cisco and is not very inexpensive).

FWIW, for stationary computers, I'd still recommend hard-wired connections unless the computer is somewhere where it's not feasible to run a cable. They're faster, not susceptible to interference, etc, etc.

Wireless is great for surfing via your iPod, Wii, laptop, PSP, etc.

-Kevin

#### m85476585

##### Well-Known Member
It might help to clarify some terminology.

Router: handles network addresses, typically has one input for the modem, a few wired ports, and possibly wireless too. You only need one of these on your network in most cases, but if you have more they can be made to work together with some configuration.

Switch: Adds extra ports. Connects to a router with one cable and lets you add 4, 8, or more wired devices. The router still handles addressing, though.

(Wireless) Access Point (AP): has one port to connect to the router or a switch and no other ports to connect more wired devices. Can be used to extend the range of a wireless network (with a wire to the router), or add wireless on a network that already has a router.

You can do what you describe with a switch and an access point as shown in this picture, but you could probably get away with replacing the wired router with a wireless router, even if it is on one side of the house (unless you have a very large house and need coverage in rooms far from the router).

If you get a wireless router and it doesn't give you enough coverage, many routers can be set in AP only mode, then you could move it the the middle of the cable and add a switch. It can be a little tricky, though, depending on the router.

This works for the WRT54G:
Connecting two SOHO broadband routers together.

Configure the IP address of the secondary router to be in the same subnet as the primary router, but out of the range of the DHCP server in the primary router. For instance DHCP server addresses 192.168.0.2 through 192.168.0.100, I'd assign the secondary router 192.168.0.254 as it's IP address.

Disable the DHCP server in the secondary router.

Setup the wireless section just the way you would if it was the primary router.

Connect from the primary router's LAN port to one of the LAN ports on the secondary router. If there is no uplink port and neither of the routers have auto-sensing ports, use a cross-over cable. Leave the WAN port unconnected!
Other routers might have a nice AP only option that does all that for you.

I recommend the WRT54G. If you want more range, you could try one of the new N routers, but they are expensive and you will only get the extra range and speed from devices that support wireless N.

Be sure to set up at least some security. WPA is best. WPA2 is more secure, but it can be slower on older hardware (computers, routers, or wireless cards). I have an old router that becomes painfully slow with even WPA, and doesn't support WPA2 at all, and something on my network now doesn't work well with WPA2, so I have it set to WPA. WEP is an older encryption scheme that is not very secure, but it's better than nothing. Any new router will have at least WPA support.

Finally, I like to use everything on a wire if possible/practical. It's faster, cheaper, more secure, and more reliable. Wireless is convenient, but there are trade-offs.

#### H_Rocket

##### Death by Powerpoint

FWIW, for stationary computers, I'd still recommend hard-wired connections unless the computer is somewhere where it's not feasible to run a cable. They're faster, not susceptible to interference, etc, etc.
Wow, these guys have fleshed out their offerings over the past several months. Last time I looked most of the SOHO type manufacturers like you mentioned had discontinued the PCI type of adapters.

I do agree the cracking the case to install one of these fo a desktop PC if hardware is available is probably not the best idea.

#### gpoehlein

##### Well-Known Member
If you haven't purchased a wireless router yet, you might look at the Apple Airport Plus. It is a little more expensive than the D-Link or Linksys, but I've found that it is easier to set up (I had a Linksys before) and it is more stable. I was told by a Radio Shack employee that some of the other units out there can lock up if you are using a password for your system and someone from the outside tries to use your system. Too many tries to access the system without success and the unit locks down. I did have that happen once to me so I believe it is true - it even locked down the ethernet connections and was a royal pain to reset.

As to the Airport, my girlfriend bought one as well and we both love them. It has a decent range, several ethernet ports and a USB printer port for using your printer via WiFi.

#### Stymye

##### Well-Known Member
One thing with the wireless... If you go that route, learn to setup the strongest encryption the router will take, or have someone who knows how to do it help you.

Why?

Unless your goal is to provide wireless to the neighborhood, and have goodness knows who hop onto your access point, you need encryption & security.

FWIW, unsecured wireless is how TJ Maxx had their credit card information compromised.

-Kevin
People get a bit too paranoid over these things, I'm not overly concerned about someone accesing my internet connection
I'm set up so they can't get into my network, just surf the web . it has never compromised my speed and I have never been hacked.Anyone who comes by can surf the web with their laptop or Iphone ect without restriction...

If someone wants to hack in badly enough (and are capable) encryption is not an obsticle. Thats being realistic, plus I keep all sensitive data on a removable hard drive anyway.

Is it good to use encryption, ofcourse it's an extra line of defence but it's not foolproof to a hacker.
Nothing wrong with encrypting
but it's more essential to use common sense when dealing with your sensitive data.

#### troj

##### Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
People get a bit too paranoid over these things, I'm not overly concerned about someone accesing my internet connection
I'm set up so they can't get into my network, just surf the web . it has never compromised my speed and I have never been hacked.Anyone who comes by can surf the web with their laptop or Iphone ect without restriction...
What you've setup is even more complicated than just setting up encryption on the WiFi.

If someone wants to hack in badly enough (and are capable) encryption is not an obsticle. Thats being realistic, plus I keep all sensitive data on a removable hard drive anyway.
Anyone who's capable of making it past WPA2 is someone who's likely to easily get past anything anyone but a network security expert is going to setup, anyway. The key here is to protection from "script kiddies" and the casual, nosey hacker.

Also, unless you have some sort of separate security device in between your computer and your access point, by making the access point accessible to the public, you've just put a potential hacker inside your network. They're now able to try attacks directly against your computer, and there isn't an operating system out there that doesn't contain security holes, somewhere.

-Kevin

#### m85476585

##### Well-Known Member
Another risk of letting people use your network is that if they do something illegal (say, download copyrighted content), it is tied to your IP address, and you are going to be the one going to court. Making it completely open might be good for plausible deniability as long as people can't access your network, but it's probably better to avoid going to court in the first place.

#### sj_h1

##### Well-Known Member
If you don't broadcast your SSID could go a long way to keeping intruder out of your network. Not foolproof, but it does keep the causal user out.

#### m85476585

##### Well-Known Member
If you don't broadcast your SSID could go a long way to keeping intruder out of your network. Not foolproof, but it does keep the causal user out.
I've found that not broadcasting my ssid makes it much harder for me to connect. Most of the time my computers will see the router, but sometimes they will refuse to see it until I re-enter all the details manually. And it's better to have it visible and secure than invisible and insecure since a determined hacker can easily figure out the SSID.

#### sj_h1

##### Well-Known Member
I've found that not broadcasting my ssid makes it much harder for me to connect. Most of the time my computers will see the router, but sometimes they will refuse to see it until I re-enter all the details manually. And it's better to have it visible and secure than invisible and insecure since a determined hacker can easily figure out the SSID.
Yes, but you only need it on to connect the 1st time, after that there is no advantage.

#### m85476585

##### Well-Known Member
Even if I connect with broadcast on, sometime later--maybe a few days or a few weeks-- it will get disconnected and not reconnect. There can be disconnects in between where it will reconnect just fine, though.

#### marcs

##### Well-Known Member
I have a wireless router which provides net connections to the machines in my office (wired) and the game consoles in the next room (wireless).

Just recently, I got a Netflix player and wanted to use it on the other side of the building. Didn't think Wifi signal strength would be good enough. I bring this up as you mentioned running a 100ft cable to the other side of the house.

This is what I got instead. Different companies offer them. They basically allow you to run a network over electric wiring :

Plug one into your router and a nearby electric outlet. Plug the other one into an electric outlet at the other side of your home. Presto, network connection.

Great alternative to wireless when the distance is too large.

Marc

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#### quickburst

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
OK, I never thought I'd be able to pull it off.

I bought a Wireless Router. TP-LINK Model # TL-WR941N/TL

see:
https://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4123532&CatId=373

Hey, I figured three antennas .. got to be better than one. Shows what I know.

Anyway I pulled the old router cables out and placed them into he new wireless router, exactly as they were before.

When I fired everything up the system came up and worked perfectly. I was scared to death I'd have to answer a bunch of techno garbage questions, which I had exactly 0 answers for.

Cool.

I now have wireless network available all over the house and even out side. Security? I have no idea how that works, I think I have a password but I never get asked for it. I'm assuming the system recognizes my computer and does not ask for it.

I enabled WPA-PSK1WPA2-PSK whatever that is. Security really isn't an issue around here.

WPA-PSK1WPA2-PSK
Version: Automatic
Encryption: Automatic
Group Key Update Period: 0

I have no idea how my answers above affect the system. None of this is explained in a manor I understand. I did have trouble logging in the first time, I ran Windows diagnosis and followed the suggestions I was given. All went well. Back online wireless and no problems.

I can do a lot of stuff, but the computer world is foreign to me. I know only enough to be dangerous.

#### sj_h1

##### Well-Known Member
I have a wireless router which provides net connections to the machines in my office (wired) and the game consoles in the next room (wireless).

Just recently, I got a Netflix player and wanted to use it on the other side of the building. Didn't think Wifi signal strength would be good enough. I bring this up as you mentioned running a 100ft cable to the other side of the house.

This is what I got instead. Different companies offer them. They basically allow you to run a network over electric wiring :

Plug one into your router and a nearby electric outlet. Plug the other one into an electric outlet at the other side of your home. Presto, network connection.

Great alternative to wireless when the distance is too large.

Marc
Bad idea, is slow and noisy! If the plugs are on different circuit it may not work at all. I have tried this twice, dismal failures both times.

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#### troj

##### Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
I now have wireless network available all over the house and even out side. Security? I have no idea how that works, I think I have a password but I never get asked for it. I'm assuming the system recognizes my computer and does not ask for it.
If you got prompted for the password the first time you connected form the laptop, but haven't been since, then it's working properly.

You should've had to enter it into the router once, and once into every device that connects via wireless.

-Kevin

#### troj

##### Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
Bad idea, is slow and noisy! If the plugs are on different circuit it may not work at all. I have tried this twice, dismal failures both times.
It's probably like X-10 -- if you're on the same side of the power into your house, it works nicely, but it won't cross over to the other half.

For X-10, they make gizmos that can be mounted into the fuse box to resolve this issue. I'm betting the same thing would solve this issue, as well.

I don't remember the specifics, I'm not an electrician, and I don't have any business doing anything in a fuse box beyond resetting breakers....

-Kevin

#### n5wd

##### Well-Known Member
OK, I never thought I'd be able to pull it off.
Yep - that's the way it's supposed to work. And you shouldn't have to mess with it unless there's a power outage. If you get a power outage, sometimes you need to reset the wireless because it'll come back up ready to go before your cable modem regains a link to the cable company. Just turn it off for a second or three and then back on. The symptom that you need to do that is when your laptop doesn't connect to the net any more and everything looks like it's should work.

Saw the update on the mailing list - glad to know things went well with the graft. Now if they can just make you prettier! :neener: (he says, having broken a few mirrors himself! :blush::blush: