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jaybeee
2005-11-29, 05:34
Hello all

I'm going to be buying a wirelss Squeezebox 3 in the next day or two (can't wait). I don't currently have a Wi-Fi card. So, I need to buy one of these too. I'm also thinking of buying a Wi-Fi router: not just for my Squeezebox 3 but also to get me "Wi-Fi enabled" in the house (for other PCs etc).

So, a couple of questions/requests:
1. any recommendations for a PC Wi-Fi card?
(running Athlon 64 XP3000+ chipset). Obviously I'm gonna go with the 'g' standard. Any differences between such cards or not really?
2. any recommendations for a Wi-Fi router?
I'm currently in the UK and have Telewest cable (not ADSL). However, it's very likely in the next year that I'll have to get my internet connection via ADSL. So, I've seen routers that seem to support one or the other protocol. Are there any that would act as an ADSL router, but also be able to allow me to connect my cable to it? Sort of a 'all-in-one' solution.
3. when the next Wi-Fi network is stable (802.11n?) is it possible for the Squeezebox 3 to support that via some software upgrade? or is it a purely hardware issue? (newbie to Wi-Fi can't you tell!)

Let me know if I've missed anything here.

Many thanks

slimCL
2005-11-29, 06:39
I am very happy with Linksys wireless products - no issues at all. I have heard the same from others. Regarding other brands, I've heard many people complain about D-Link products.

I have the Linksys WRT54GS router. It connects to the Linksys WUSB54GP adapter on my kids' PC, to the built-in Aironet chip in my IBM labtop, and to my SqueezeBox 3. Both the kids' PC and my laptop run WinXP Pro SP2.

I have the WRT54GS, but I don't use the SpeedBooster feature because the SpeedBooster feature is proprietary and won't work with my laptop (or SqueezeBox for that matter).

I have the WUSB54GP because the WUSB54G wasn't available at the time. I like the USB connected adapter on my kids' PC. I can move the adapter to get better reception. You can't do that with a PCI card inside the PC.

I would recommend you use a separate cable/DSL modem and not have it built-in to your router. First, this makes your router transportable between cable and DSL. Second, it makes it alot easier to sell the router when you want to upgrade. Third, if you have problems with your cable/DSL connection and if you are using the provider's modem, then they can isolate the problem within their network. If you have your cable/DSL modem built into your router, then they will blame your router everytime there is a connection problem.

But, no matter what brand you buy, secure your wireless network!
Enable WPA encryption on the router and the adapters. Configure your router the MAC addresses of your adapters so that the router will associate only with your PCs. Finally, after your home network is set up, disable the SSID broadcast on the router so that neighbors won't see your network.

Finally, I am not familiar with 802.11n, but based on history, it will require new hardware.

P.S. I am based in the US, so I hope my answers apply to the UK.

Edit: Forgot to mention that you need to change the default SSID to something you choose.

markya23
2005-11-29, 08:31
Everything slimCL said + avoid netgear 'routers' like the plague. I've had 3 & they crash & overheat regularly.

I've also used Linksys and Belkin. They both seem pretty good.

jaybeee
2005-11-29, 08:47
Thanks for the swift & detailed reply climCL. So actually I don't need a Wi-Fi adapter/card for the PC if I connect the Wi-Fi router to the PC with a cable right? I'd only need one if the router was to sit somewhere else (and couldn't connect it via a cable). But an adapter would be needed for a laptop though? Think that's right isn't it?

Your info on the router was useful and makes sense about not using it as a cable/DSL modem too. So, how does the internet connection get 'sent' to the router for use by a laptop downstairs say? Do I connect the Wi-Fi router to the cable modem or does having the Wi-Fi router 'connected' to the PC mean that the PC will sent the internet bandwidth to the router (cable modem > PC > Wi-Fi router) for use by another device?
(I think I should read up of Wi-Fi shouldn't I? I'm not a PC newbie by any means [I'm a frigging IT professional!], but am new to Wi-Fi and feel like am asking really stupid questions ).

ceejay
2005-11-29, 10:07
I think there may be some confusion about "router" here. Assuming that you have an existing cable modem from your ISP, is it currently directly connected to your PC? If so you have no router at present?

If I've got that right, you have several choices.

(1) Get a combined switch/router/wireless device ... these are usually called "wireless routers", the main variable is whether they have wired ports as well as the wireless. These are really several boxes in one...
- A router that allows your single WAN port to be shared by several devices
- a switch that allows several local devices to talk efficiently to each other
- a wireless access point (WAP) that puts your LAN onto the airwaves.

If you get one of these, you can plug your PC straight into one of the switch ports, have some spare ports for other PCs in the future, and connect anything you like to the WAP- like a squeezebox. You can if you want (you probably will) add a card to your laptop (it really doesn't matter which, any G device will do) so you can play with it anywhere you fancy. And your existing cable modem is wired straight into the "WAN" port of the router.

(2) As an alternative, you could get a new cable modem (if your ISP allows this) including the router etc. I agree with slimCL that this may not be a good idea - they really are separate functions and you are likely to want to upgrade them separately in the future. And you've got a working cable modem anyway

(3) Or you could separate the functions even more. Get a switch/ router AND a separate WAP (which you wire, along with the PC, into the switch). Only real reason for doing this would be if the logical place to put the WAP (centre of the house) is a long way from where the cable modem has to go, and its easier to wire for you this way (also depends on where PCs are going).

On the whole, option 1 is probably the easiest!

HTH

Ceejay

slimCL
2005-11-29, 18:47
jaybeee, you were correct in saying that only your laptop would need the wireless adapter. If your desktop PC is near the wireless router, you could connect it directly to the router. If so, you can ignore my suggestion for the WUSB54G. For your laptop, if it doesn't have wireless built in, then you could use something like the WPC54G or the WUSBF54G.

ceejay did a great job of explaining in his (1) answer about how the connections work.

His (3) answer is fine, too, but I want to add to it. It may not be much, if any, extra to buy the router with the wireless built in. Right now in the US, I can buy the WRT54G router with wireless for the same price as the BEFSR41 router without wireless (40 USD after rebates).

If you find that you can't get the reception you want with your laptop, you can always add an access point like the WAP54G to act as a repeater. Actually, I did this in my home. The kids' PC upstairs did not get good reception from the wireless router downstairs (too many walls between them). So, I put a WAP54G near the top of the staircase in the laundry closet. This solved my problem - now the upstairs gets 54 Mbps. After you set up the access point, all you need for the WAP54G is a power outlet. It will not need any networking cables - it's all wireless in this situation.

JJZolx
2005-11-29, 19:36
2. any recommendations for a Wi-Fi router?
I'm currently in the UK and have Telewest cable (not ADSL). However, it's very likely in the next year that I'll have to get my internet connection via ADSL. So, I've seen routers that seem to support one or the other protocol. Are there any that would act as an ADSL router, but also be able to allow me to connect my cable to it? Sort of a 'all-in-one' solution.
Yes, there are all-in-one solutions, but in your situation, it probably wouldn't make much sense to use one if your internet connection may change. Unless, that is, you value the compactness of such a solution and are willing to swap it out when you change to DSL. It will certainly be easier in the long run to use a simple cable or DSL modem now and then just change that one piece of your network down the line.

Your connection will look something like:

(Internet)<->[DSL or Cable 'Modem']<->[WiFi Router]<->PCs and Squeezeboxes.

The wireless router will be the device that enables multiple PCs and devices to share the Internet connection. It will also provide some degree of firewall protection for these computers. You should get one with an integrated four (or more) port switch, so that you can connect several PCs and devices via wired Ethernet as well as the wireless divices. Most wireless routers these days include such a switch. There will be an Ethernet port on the router designated to connect to the 'WAN' ('wide area network', distinct from your 'LAN' or 'local area network'). That is connected to your cable/dsl modem, in the sport where you probably have your PC currently. The remaining Etherent ports on the router are for internal machines that are behind the router/firewall on your home network.

jaybeee
2005-11-30, 03:05
Magic.
Thanks guys, that's really helped me understand things.

oktup
2005-11-30, 05:00
Hello all
So, a couple of questions/requests:
1. any recommendations for a PC Wi-Fi card?
(running Athlon 64 XP3000+ chipset). Obviously I'm gonna go with the 'g' standard. Any differences between such cards or not really?
2. any recommendations for a Wi-Fi router?
I'm currently in the UK and have Telewest cable (not ADSL). However, it's very likely in the next year that I'll have to get my internet connection via ADSL. So, I've seen routers that seem to support one or the other protocol. Are there any that would act as an ADSL router, but also be able to allow me to connect my cable to it? Sort of a 'all-in-one' solution.


Hi jaybeee

I'm in basically the exact same situation you - Telewest subscriber, prospective Squeezebox owner, and new to all this wifi malarkey ;)

I'm building a fileserver PC at the moment, and intend to connect it (wired) to my router, which will probably be either a WRT54G (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00008DOYO/) or a WRT54GS (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail/-/electronics/B0002LHXB6/) (I've yet to see a wireless router with unanimously good reviews; these look to be among the better ones out there). My 'domestic' PC will be in the same room and also wired to the router (both PCs have NICs already, so I just need a couple of ethernet cables). The squeezebox will live downstairs, and connect wirelessly (I hope!)

In a couple of years I imagine I'll be looking to replace the router with an 802.11n equivalent (and a Squeezebox 4 ;)

Assume you're thinking of moving house, hence the possible change to ADSL? Telewest's looking pretty competitive again at the moment, with the speed upgrades...

mikerob
2005-11-30, 05:58
Hi jaybeee

I'm in basically the exact same situation you - Telewest subscriber, prospective Squeezebox owner, and new to all this wifi malarkey ;)



I'm also on Telewest and have 3 wireless Squeezeboxes and a Netgear WGR614 11g router .

Everything has worked without a problem however I did start getting music cut-offs that seemed to be caused by interference with other wifi users. When I first got a wifi router, I couldn't see any other networks and now I can see 3 or 4. I changed channels and this sorted the problem.

The wifi router needs to have an ethernet connection to connect to the cable modem. If you move to ADSL, you can reuse the wifi router if you get an ADSL modem that also supports ethernet (not USB).

The Telewest service is pretty good and I can now get 10M which makes a big difference on some music downloads sites.

jaybeee
2005-11-30, 05:58
Oh yes, very similar setup indeed.

Yep, probably moving house summer next year, but where I'm going Telewest is not an option at the mo (still UK, but no Telewest!). I seem to be in the last area to get the speed upgrade - last time I checked Birmingham region was still waiting.

I've seen some reference to having a 'server' with just the audio on it. I wasn't thinking of that myself; just using my main PC that'll get used for everything. Am I to expect any performance issues then? (XP SP2, Athlon 3000+, 1gb RAM, 2*300gb HDs stripe RAIDed [non gamer], PC left runing 24/7 with BitTorrent running [non-commercial stuff ;-)]).

Cheers

jaybeee
2005-12-01, 01:21
I know it's not strictly on topic, but and I sort of eluded to it in my last post)...
Can Slimserver run on a different HD from where the actual audio is stored? If so, is that a better option? i.e. main HD with progs & OS, and then second HD with Slimserver (which is also used for backup purposes)

Thanks

danco
2005-12-01, 02:04
I know it's not strictly on topic, but and I sort of eluded to it in my last post)...
Can Slimserver run on a different HD from where the actual audio is stored? If so, is that a better option? i.e. main HD with progs & OS, and then second HD with Slimserver (which is also used for backup purposes)

Thanks

No problem. See the new Wiki. You may need to make a link to the hard drive with the audio, though I'm not sure that is necessary.

I would be inclined not to use one disk for both backup and storing audio, unless the disk was partitioned.

jaybeee
2005-12-01, 02:11
Ok thanks, I'll check it out.

Currently my set up is to keep my audio, OS, progs, data etc, on my striped RAID setup (2* 300GB HDs) and then I've got a free 160GB HD for backing up stuff. I was just thinking that if Slimserver can easily run on a HD where the audio isn't actually stored then it wouldn't be causing any performance issues on my main (RAID) HD. It's just cos I've read a bit about people using HDs purely for audio & Slimserver, i.e. a music server.

jaybeee
2005-12-01, 07:12
Hi jaybeee

I'm building a fileserver PC at the moment, and intend to connect it (wired) to my router, which will probably be either a WRT54G (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00008DOYO/) or a WRT54GS (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail/-/electronics/B0002LHXB6/) (I've yet to see a wireless router with unanimously good reviews; these look to be among the better ones out there).
The ZyXEL P-334WT Broadband Wireless Router (http://www.adslguide.org.uk/hardware/reviews/2005/q3/zyxel-334.asp) had a good review - anyone any experience of it?

Like all of us I want the best for the money: in this case the best wireless router for the money. Most important is to get that wireless coverage, which for me is going to be through 1 floor and two brick walls. I've read the reviews of the WRT54G & WRT54GS, which do seem ok (good to have two antennas right?), although some wireless connectivity issues (but is that just purely down the individual environments?). Any other recommendations?