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Re: Sorry, slightly OT: WLAN

On Mon, 2003-06-16 at 10:03, Benjamin Swatek wrote:

> I mean one of these nice little boxes which aren't more than this or can
> I use some linux-box set up as a router which I connect to the internet
> as an accesspoint via a wlan-pci-card? Does it need to be a special
> wlan-card?

This language concerns me...

"which I connnect to the internet as an accesspoint via a wlan-pci-card"

via a wlan-pci-card?

Unless someone near you has connected to the Internet, and is offering
to let you connect to them, and through them to the Internet, by a
wireless connection they also are providing, you won't see anything.

No one is offering generally available nationwide access to the Internet
via wireless.  You have to pick an ISP, and connect to them by either a
dial-up phone connection, or a DSL connection, or a cable modem
connection.  Or rent a T1 line.

It's not like public radio broadcast, available for free to anyone who
buys a radio.

There are ISPs who operate via the cell-phone network, like Sprint, who
will also allow you to access the Intenet via their cell-phone network,
but you don't do that with 802.11b wireless - you have to use a cell
phone.  And you have to have a contract with them.

There are also some providers of local 802.11b connect points (like
Starbucks).  You have to go through them.

Otherwise, you can get your traditional Internet connection going (over
one of the wire methods mentioned above), and then share that locally
via an additional 802.11b wireless connection installed on the same
machine.  This is what an accesspoint is.  You can buy a packaged one,
or roll your own on a Linux box.

But a Linux box with only a 802.11b card and no other network access
card will not connect to the Internet unless you live near Starbucks, or
have a neighbor who doesn't know how to secure their own 802.11b access
point from strangers in the neighborhood.


bwaldow at alum.mit.edu

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