Wireless Networking router questions + recommendations

Usual disclaimer: My apologies to the mods if this is in the wrong forum and please move to the appropriate one. I realize this could be put in GQ, but I’m up for some anecdotal advice here.

Ok, so I’m looking for a new wired router for a home network. I’ll have it connect to the internet through a cable modem. The modem will go the router and from there to the two wired PC’s in the house. But I would also like to connect a wireless laptop to the router. Initially my question was if there was a device that I could buy to plug into the router to give it wireless capabilites. Then it occured to me that on most wireless routers there’s the antenna and ports for ethernet wires. This leads me to think that I can get all I need in one wireless router box, is that right?

In other words, wireless routers have the capabilitiy to proved wireless access to the network, plus wired access, is that correct?

I arrived at that conclusion in a backwards manner, so this may seem like a very simple question. I’m fairly confident that my conclusion is right, but since I came about it in a round-about way, I’m looking for confirmation.

This is my first plunge into routers and I’ve only begun looking into it today, so I’m new at this router business. Previously we’ve used a hub, but searches here have showed me that a router is the way to go. From what I’ve read I’m looking for something that can provide a strong level of wireless safety, yet something that I can control the network through. By that I mean I’ve read where some routers give one parental control abilities, and that’s what I’m looking for. So with that being said I’m thinking of getting this one. Would that meet my needs?

You know, when I looked at that router I think I answered all my own questions on this. I guess I needed to write it out to get it straight. I’m fairly confident that I read that that router does provide all that I need, but I’ll post this anyway to get some feedback and confirmation.

Thanks for your time.

Wireless routers can also be wired routers. My new linksys WRT54G (802.11G standard) router has 4 wired ports and also does wireless links at the fastest current standard. Total cost, about $50. It is a good router. As an IT professional, I usually go for Linksys products although I know other brands work fine as well.

I didn’t even look at your link before I recommended basically the same thinh you were looking at. Good router, although you can probably get it cheaper.

Yeah, I just noticed that too. In that link I provided there’s a customer review page and they have the part number that, which is the same as yours. So I’ll get that one, then. I’m sure I could get it cheaper than that, but I want to get it today and get it going today.

Ok, thanks for your recommendation, it sure is appreciated and sets my mind at ease.

I’m using the earlier version of that box (only capable of 802.11b, pout), and I couldn’t be happier with it. It worked great out of the box, it’s reasonably easy to secure the wireless network, and the wired part has so far worked flawlessly.

And of course, for someone like me who has sold his soul to Cisco, the fact that Cisco has taken over Linksys just adds to the product line’s qualities…

Well, I bought and got the wired part set up. That was easy as heck. I was a bit worried about that aspect, but it was a piece of cake. Just a matter of plugging everything in and powering on. I like the web-based control interface as well.

Yeah, when I was doing my window shopping for a router I definately didn’t want Netgear as that is the brand of hub I got and every now and then it gets wonky. So out of all the other names out there Linksys seemed the most familar so I went with that.

I’m having trouble with the wireless connection, but I haven’t even really begun to troubleshoot it yet, so I’m not that worried. I really like the security aspects of that router and the limitations I can put on individual computers on the network. Also, I was pleased to find the wireless computer has the 802.11G already on it (if I got that number right, that is. But out of B and G, it’s the G one).

The wireless part will work but sometimes they are a little tempermental when you first set them up. For mine, I needed to turn the cable modem off and on after it was plugged into the router to get it to work. After that, you can be pretty confident that the unit is braodcasting correctly. You may have to do something on the receiving end especially like changing the SSID of the receiver to “linksys”. You can play around with the web based interface. If you screw something up to badly on the router, you can also use the reset button on the router to restore the factory defaults.

Let me just add that my linksys router is a little finicky. In order for it to work, I absolutely HAVE to turn the cable modem on first - let it initialize - and THEN turn on my wireless router. If you have any problems, try this simple (potential) fix. Good luck.


And to be clearer - when I say turn on, I mean plug in (in order to turn on).

      • Some do and some don’t. I have the Linksys WAP54G that has no wired outputs, just a ethernet “input” and the aerials for wireless. The wireless access point can just be plugged into a port on the wired router just fine. I had my two desktop PC’s set up through a (wired) router already and with static assigned addresses so that the router could actually route to them, and that caused a bit of grief setting up the wireless IP/gateway/DNS’s but after an hour or so I entered the magic combination. Ask if you need to know this and I will furnish a diagram of mine and save you about 58 minutes.
  • Also–enable the 128-bit security on your wireless!!! And when you set this up in the router, you need to copy down the “seed word” you use, as well as the actual 40-character key. The wireless access point I have will only let me see the key on one screen, ONE time–and even then only as a tool-tip, as the textbox characters are bulletted. So you have to copy this key off whenever you see it, or else you’ll have to hardware-reset the access point and redo it all again.

A computer will need the 40-character key to connect to the router, but if the router has to be re-set, then you can just re-enter the same seed word and it will generate the same key as before–so you can avoid having to reset the keys on everything.

Also, be sure to change the admin name and password from the factory default.

And also please turn off the broadcast SSID function. You know what your network name is, and no one else needs it. If you live in an appartment complex your neighbors will thank you for it (unless they are smart enough to not connect to random wireless networks.)