Add wifi to existing wired network - what hardware to use?

I have a wired network, using a Netgear VPN firewall Ethernet switch.
I want to keep that, as is, for the computers wired to it. I do not want to replace the existing wired network with wireless - I want to add a wifi drop to it.

I want to ADD wifi to the house, so we can have Internet access on iPod Touch.

What is the smartest way to add wifi?
Can I get the benefits of the hardware firewall at the wifi "drop"?
What hardware do I need?

The Netgear hardware firewall is in the basement - probably not a good place to add wifi hardware. I also own a Netgear hub - maybe that could be used at one of the wired locations upstairs, to split the connection and provide the ability to keep the wired computer wired, and add a wifi wireless router as a drop?

I have never set up any wifi hardware before, so I am clueless.

Can you help?

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Chris MillardCommented:
OK, first of all, YES you can add Wi-Fi and keep the benefits of the firewall. Just look to add some Wireless Access Points wherever you want.

The wireless access point connects to your existing nextwork using an ethernet cable. You can either run a cable from your Netgear router to the upstairs, OR if they are on the same ring mains, you could look at using an Ethernet over Power device which will send the network traffic over the mains.

Either way, just make sure that you configure your Wi-Fi equipment with a secure key (preferrably WPA or WPA2) to make sure that no one can "hop" on to your wi-fi without you knowing. AND if your wireless access point supports DHCP, you may want to disable it so that it doesn't conflict with the DHCP addresses issued by the NetGear.

Wi-Fi is not difficult to set up and configure, and I don't think you'll have any problems in this scenario.
dtleahyAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the quick reply, roybridge.

I would be leery of an Ethernet over Power solution, but since I already have a couple of (in-wall) wired drops upstairs, can I use one of those drops, split it with the hub I happen to have, and plug the wired computer into that hub, restoring its wired connection, and then add a (small, hopefully inexpensive) wifi router to another port on the hub?

If that will work, do you happen to have any specific suggestions for an inexpensive wifi router (that can be configured with a secure key and with DHCP turned off?

dtleahyAuthor Commented:
Looking at
TP-LINK TL-WA801ND Wireless N Access Point
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Chris MillardCommented:
Yes - you can use the drop and hub as you suggested. As for access points, I don't have any particular recommendations except to say that try and get one that is N rated too.

The TL-WA801ND will do just fine...

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dtleahyAuthor Commented:
Thanks so much for the very quick responses, roybridge!

Chris MillardCommented:
You're welcome, and good luck with it :-)
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