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wireless network and dial up

I live in the mountains so a fast internet connection is not a choice and I am relatively happy with the 50k connections that I get.  I do however have three computers in the house and would like to be able to use any one of them on the net, be able to share files and printers.  I would like to do this in a wireless manner.

I realize that internet connections will not be fast if more than one computer is accessing at a time but this is ok.

What do I need?  

BTW, two of the machine are relatively new XP Home edition, the third is older ME.

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jhurst
Asked:
jhurst
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2 Solutions
 
darkfriendCommented:
Seems you have limited options.  You definetly need a wireless router...and a NIC card in each machine.

opt1) You could setup Internet Connection Sharing through one of the XP machines.  I can't imagine over wireless that would work too well but I've heard it's doable.  With ICS I believe you need to turn off DHCP inside the router.  The XP machine hosting ICS would be the DHCP server and need to be on all the time for the network to work properly.

opt2) You could alternatively just simply setup your wireless network with file/print sharing through the router...all seperate from your dial-up connection.  You would essentially have a working home network setup.  Then each computer could connect dial-up internet individually.  Internet would be one at a time unless you have seperate phone lines.

There's a start.
-DF
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darkfriendCommented:
ok you don't need a NIC in each machine.  Just each connected to the router wired or wireless.  If using ICS, that machine should be wired (preferred).
-DF
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jhurstAuthor Commented:
in opt 1, why do you forsee a problem with ICS over the wireless network?  What problems do you forsee, clearly the network connection will be much faster than the internet one.

Now, as to the wireless router.  It seems that they assume that you are going to connect them to a broadband connection of some type and then to the computer.  Whant am I missing here or is there some brand of router that I should be selecting that does not make this assumption/
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jjk16Commented:
My suggestion:

Get a wireless access point, linksys, dlink all should work

on the xp comuter with the dial up connection

setup Windows ICS or internet connection sharing

directions and info here...

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/networking/learnmore/ics.mspx

have the cable from the ethernet/network card on the computer
plug into the access point.

next get wireless cards for the other two computers, the me and xp. setup the wireless cards to use the wireless access point and if you setup ics right it will automatically give each computer an ip address and access to the internet, although slow

sharing folders and printers is as simple as welll if you need help with that i will post info once you get everything networked. There is many variations to this, so feel free to ask any questions...
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jhurstAuthor Commented:
I will go and purchase a wireless acess point as jjk seems to be suggesting and the cards for the other machine and try that.  It sound slike what I was missing is the diference between a wireless acess point and the router that assumes a modem.  Thanks.

My question still applies, why is there likely to be a problem with the ICS and a non-wired network?
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darkfriendCommented:
A wireless access point generally allows wireless connection to an already existing wired network.

Why not just buy a router?  With an access point you are limiting yourself to ICS option only.  You can always just turn off the DHCP in a router and still use it as an access point with a built-in switch.  A wireless access point has only one port.  With just an access point you will hook one wired computer to it and hope to get ICS working through that computer and all other computers will have to be wireless.  ICS can be a headache because it is all software based and Windows dependant.  If you have a problem with the ICS computer the whole network will completely fail.  Either idea is fine, that's why I suggested them.  But buying an AP limits to only ICS and only wireless networking.  What if the ME machine won't install the wireless card?  I've had a 50% success rate with 9x/ME machines using wireless.   Hope yours is running ok.  Never freezes/always shuts down ok right?  Good luck however you choose.
-DF
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jhurstAuthor Commented:
because of the positions of the computers wired would be more of a pain that it is worth.  I could upgrade that old ME machine more easily than get wires up there.  My house is stone.  (BTW, wireless everything else works very well in my house).

The reason that I had sort of given up on the router was that it seems that all the routers assume a broadband modem connection to them, is that not the case?
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darkfriendCommented:
True a router does assume broadband internet, if you use the WAN port.  This port is not necessary for setting up a home network.  With DHCP off the router simply becomes a 4-port access point.

Sounds like you may just make your life easier by getting the AP.  Enjoy ICS.
-DF
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jjk16Commented:
"With DHCP off the router simply becomes a 4-port access point."

no key difference is that router uses NAT, or network address translation. Access point is basically a wireless switch.

You can theoretically hookup a iCS'd cat 5 cable to the wan port, and it will draw the tcp/ip info via dhcp. In truth(I've never tried). Basically you are sub natting, and its an extra layer for the routing to go through and i do not know how windows ICS passes packets if it will alow it make it through another layer of network address translation.

Access point is just a simpler approach. You can use just wireless cards set to ad-hoc mode and n ot have a wireless access point at all. However, an access point is the simpler and more efficient method. I would only do it just to say to have ad hoc bragging rights.

Can't wait until WiMAx, 50 kilometer range and like 70 MB bandwidth. Hopefully will lower broadband prices to the sub 10 dollar level and help the mountain hostages finally get past dialup.

Theres no way you can get your neighbors to pitch in for a t1 line or something?
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