Home networking between 2 PCs and a Laptop

This is a multipart question but it all deals with the same topic. I will raise and split points if I need to. In my new apartment, my roommate has a DSL connection (we're using SBC/Yahoo DSL, if you were wondering). She has a LINKSYS wireless router for her laptop, and her eMachines PC is the one hooked up directly to the DSL modem. I have a Dell PC (2 Ghz, P4, enough space for whatever). I currently use Norton A/V, but my edition doesn't come with a firewall.

What sort of network adapter card and/or router do I need to get my PC hooked up to the existing DSL line? What sort of pricing is considered decent? Can I just buy an adapter and get wireless service through her laptop router? I'd like to go wireless instead of running a 30' cable through the apartment. Also, what firewall software do you recommend I get, or should the firewall software be only installed on the machine that the DSL modem is hooked up to?
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Serena HsiMarketing ConsultantAsked:
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sirbountyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
>>a 2.4 ghz cordless phone<<  - uh-oh... This can potentially cause problems with DSL...just keep that one in the back of your mind...

Can you get to the internet from her PC?  If so, navigate to in your internet browser and check the status their for WAN IP address - make sure it's obtained one...
What model Linksys?  If there's an available wireless port, then the adapter should be all you need.  It probably includes a hardware firewall...
What operating system?  If you're using XP Pro - it includes a built in firewall as well (software: ICF).
Serena HsiMarketing ConsultantAuthor Commented:
I'm using XP Pro, the eMachines (my roommate's) has XP Home. I have a desktop system. I wasn't sure if I could get a desktop network card to work with the wireless router my roommate has for her laptop.
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magus123Connect With a Mentor Commented:
your description is a little confusioning , but ill take a stab at it.

1. linksys has many models in their line up , check the model number on the linksys router and
see on their sites what functions this router provides , if the router says  "nat" network address
translation" and dhcp ,s is a good thing it means it will give you a local ip address of 192.x.x.x.x
which says its hiding your ip address. much like a firewall it will hide your system and
will only allow certain types of traffic to come in ,  and a newer firmware or setting on the
routers default page can make your router more protected on to what type of traffic comes in.

heres a forum on linksys , and their options , look around for your model. see their qs and answers


2. will the linksys protect you , yes if it has extra features like nat,dhcp , port blocking, ip blocking,
mac cloning etc . get to know the linksys you have and what can it do.

3. the best implementation is to have 2 firewalls  , a physical device like the linksys and another
software one on your pc.  freeware versions "zonealarm"
all purpose firewall/malware/virus/popblocker  " norton proffesional" i have it and its great
for me. also note  personal firewalls should be run on all pcs , with virus scanners also.

4. run a malware scanner daily or weekly , adaware and cwshredder is great tools to have.
turn of services you dont need


5. can you add your pc to the wirelless router , yes buy a wireless adapter card for the pc. if
wirellesss router is nat , then it will give you a dhcp address automatically.
my confusion is the linksys router connected to the dsl modem , if so why is her
pc not connected to it ,just buy another wireless card for her also , she maybe
compromising alot if all she has is a software firewall, thats if she even has one.

NoodlesWIUConnect With a Mentor Commented:
ok this is simple, you can buy a wireless PCI card any brand for the PC.  Heres how it should look

Internet---------------------DSL MODEM>-----------------Wireless Router-----------(all other pc's)

A cable should go from the wall to the DSL modem, then a CAT5 cable goes from the DSL Modem to the WAN port on the Linksys wireless router.  Now there should be 4 open ports on the wireless router.  Use another cat5 cable to run to her computer, and any others that have a wired NIC card.  The Wierless Router is a DHCP server and a gateway.  It will assign all ip addresses to each of your computers.  With linksys it should be for the router, and you can access the routers configurations bye typing that address in Internet explorer.  username is empty nothing there.  password is "admin"  no quotes.  by default all clients will get an IP address of -  

Anything else you want to know just ask.
Serena HsiMarketing ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Apparently, it seems, I need a wireless router and a wireless desktop card.  Where should I be looking to buy one? and does it matter which brand I get? I've seen brands of Linksys, DLink, and a few others that just escape me right now. Can I mix and match brands?
Sure ya can. Wireless is based off a standard by IEEE called 802.11

Standards are there for companys to follow guidlines to conform so one manufacturers product will work with another.

Think of it like a garden hose.  The nozzle that hooks up to the spicket for just about every manufacturer of garden hoses is the same size.  Simply because there is a standard size for spickets.

Bad annalogy but you get the picture Im sure
NoodlesWIUConnect With a Mentor Commented:
you can go out to best buy or circuit city if you want it immediately,  but if your willing to wait a week order it online, take a look a pricewatch.com  they will give you a huge listing of all advertisers of a product your searching for ordered by cheapest price.

Forwarning however.  If you get a 54g wireless router, if anyone uses a wireless nic that is the 802.11b (11mbps), and everyone else has the 54g wireless nic...the whole network will drop down from 54mbps  to the 11mbps  simply because wireless devices cannot yet operate at both levels at the same time so the whole network will drop down in speed to 11mbps to accomodate that one individual whos using the 802.11b card.

So if you get a 54g 802.11g wireless router, make sure you buy all nics that are 802.11g or 54g nic cards, or your just wasting your money.
Serena HsiMarketing ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Ok, I have a slight problem. I bought the 802.11g wireless router and a PCI desktop adapter card. THe adapter card I got installed just fine. Here's the current setup:

My roommate's PC is the one where the DSL modem is connected to, actually it's in the living room where all the other telephony junk is. She has a Windows XP Home system. Originally the modem was connected directly to her PC, without the use of a router. Her whole setup consists a fax machine, a 2.4 ghz cordless phone, a DSL modem, and a PC.

When I attach the router to the modem, I can't get internet access.

1) Does it matter if her network adapter card isn't wireless?
2) Does she need to get a wireless PCI card for her PC? Can't I just hardwire her into one of the router's ports?
Serena HsiMarketing ConsultantAuthor Commented:
I attached the wireless router to her PC and the DSL modem. I can't get Internet access from her PC when I do that, so consequently I haven't tried getting internet access through my PC. I think it has to do with the way the DSL is hooked up. She has a DSL filter hooked up to the phone jack. We don't have one of those hardwired jacks for DSL. The DSL filter is a splitter, one port goes to the fax machine and phone, the other goes to the PC.
sirbountyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Not sure what you mean on the filter - it should be attached to each phone line...
As for her system, with it connected, can you do the following:
Start->Run->Cmd <enter>
  IPCONFIG /ALL >C:\IP.TXT  (Post the results of this file if you're still having problems)
You should be prompted for an account and password, enter admin for the password.  Check the status page, you should have a WAN IP address, if not, the router is not properly communicating with the modem...
Serena HsiMarketing ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Arrr. Once I hook up the router (to my roommate's PC), the DSL signal is dropped and I can't even connect to the Internet. The odd thing is that the wireless adapter on my PC picks up signals from three other networks in my apt building. Heh.
sirbountyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Haha - just jump on board one of them... most users don't know enough to block it...I AM kidding of course.. ;)

Okay - start with her system....try this and post back.

Hook up the router to the modem and make sure her system is on the router.
Now from her system - start->Run->Command

Does she get a new ip address?
If so, can she browse the internet now?
Serena HsiMarketing ConsultantAuthor Commented:
I still haven't figured it out, but I'm going to close this question for now and maybe re-look at it later when I have more free time at home. Thanks all for your suggestions.
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