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Re: House wireless/wired router: choices? Plus wireless neophyte questions.

On Fri, 3 Oct 2008 01:46:48 -0400
Chris Metzler <cmetzler@speakeasy.net> wrote:

> I have exactly zero experience with wireless -- I've never owned a laptop,
> and have just never needed it.  My gf, as part of her job, needs to bring
> home a laptop with that other OS on it, and wants wireless access to
> our broadband.
> We currently have a DSL connection:  phone to DSL modem, ethernet out the
> back of the DSL modem to our one desktop machine.  I'm assuming that what
> I want is a wireless router with LAN ports:  ethernet cable from the DSL
> modem to the wireless router, and ethernet cable from the wireless router
> to the desktop machine while her laptop talks to the router by wireless.
> We have a static IP address; I'm presuming that this wired/wireless router
> will need to be configured with that address, and then will do NAT with
> the desktop and the laptop.
> 1.  Does what I just wrote make sense?  Am I getting this correctly?

Yes, that's the bog standard way of doing this, although there are
OWTDI, as Alex has begun to suggest. 

> 2.  If I'm on the right track, what about IP addresses for the desktop
> and the laptop?  Do I have to set them manually to addresses within
> a non-routeable block?  Or do such routers typically do DHCP or something
> like that?

They always (AFAIK) offer DHCP, but you don't have to use it.  There are
advantages to setting static IPs - you can set up host files and refer
to the hosts by name, and I think that bringing up interfaces is a good
few seconds quicker with static IPs than with DHCP. 

> 3.  What about configuring the router (with the static IP address, any
> DHCP operating parameters, etc.)?  Since my desktop will be wired, I'd
> like to be able to configure the router using my desktop -- which means
> using Linux.  If an application on an accompanying DVD is needed to
> configure the router, I'm guessing that app is only going to work on
> that other operating system.  Or are there routers out there that are
> configurable from a Linux machine in a straightforward manner?

AFAIK, SOHO routers / APs / switches are generally configurable via a
web interface, which will work with any platform.  Note, though, that
they often recommend, or even require, Javascript, which can make using
a TUI browser such as links difficult or impossible. 

> Chris Metzler			cmetzler@speakeasy.snip-me.net

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