By now most of you will have made the switch from super slow dial-up to super fast broadband (cough!), now facing the same decision on the mobility and sharing qualities of wireless, many of you also aware how the wireless sharing set-up scrubs of most of that new speed. I can only get 0.56 GBs on the BT aerial compared to 1.65GB on the BT ADSL cable. But we share the bill so we share the broadband, the peak porn hour of 10-11 around the nation scrubbing off even more speed from the remaining half a megabyte! The fact British households have the highest broadband connectivity in the world-around 49% of households-backs up our salacious habits. The neglected British women will tell you all about that annoyance. Alas it's only a pathetic 15th fastest in the world according to a major new study from the radio and internet company, Cable & Wireless. Let's be honest guys the broadband is very slow right now as Christmas shoppers clog it up.
So, after the chaos of switching from dial-up to broadband (BT, or whoever you were with then and now, creaming off an extra months dial-up payment in the switch , unrecoverable from those deliberately awkward Indian call-centers and e-mail complaint system), it was time to go wireless.
I had no particular model in mind for the router-USB adapter combo, preferring to mix and match with my Amazon vouchers by getting the cheapest pair there, never the best plan when dealing with computers...
With the adapter (Belkin) and router (Edimax) unpacked, we all know that nothing is ever simple when it comes to hardware getting on with software. My wireless upgrade would be no different. What ever I tried the USB antennae installed on my upstairs computer would not talk to the router, now installed by the downstairs phone to the downstairs PC on XP.
My first big problem was I was running Windows 2000, an operating system totally unaware of the idea of wireless internet, let alone broadband. It was big enough trouble to get the later running last year. After trying various things to get it to work on my upstairs computer (the guy from the local computer shop giving me a rough idea what I had to do to get back on-line) I was determined to fix it myself, via other means. I asked a dooyoo member who was pretty helpful but you have to do these things for yourself if you are ever to get the better of PCs. Anyone who has had the back off and attempted to operate on the guts and organs will no how frustrating it can be.
The key to this task is going onto the routers website (via your cable modem connection, of course) and then following their troubleshooter tutorial. It's best not to delete your modem connection until you have installed the wireless and its up and running. You CAN have both. One make of adapter talking to another make of router (the 'ping', as the jargon goes) is just as confusing and exasperating as your internet provider's help-line in Bangalore!
The Edimax Router...
The router is shaped like your traditional dial-up modem, but wider to accommodate various ports, this one having four DSL slots, so to network up all your computers, whatever combination you so choose. Ethernet cable is the faster version of DSL, Edimax doing all combinations on their various modem and routers if you want to mix it up. The seven series do Ethernet ports only. If you can you may as well just plug your DSL extension in the back of the router modem as it's faster and safer than wireless in my opinion. Wirelesses is really about lap-top connectivity and sharing, not speed.
The router has a tall and vulgar black antenna on the corner bit, reminiscent of those silly ten foot penis extensions you saw in the 1970s on those rusty cars owned by CB radio plonkers. But hey, little did we know at the time that those losers were the pioneers of mobile instant communications to come. Surely this was the msn messenger of the day, although I'm sure the conversation is more interesting on the wireless version of 2007 than it was back in the days of the Bay City Rollers:' Dave, I'm going to drive round the block a couple of times for no apparent reason and then go home. Over...?' 'Roger that! Ile come the other way just to check your ok'. Do you Copy...?
Most routers have to be placed by the main phone jack as you need the broadband signal to be pumped directly into it, so to then spit it out around the house or office, via antennae or cables... You also need a power source for the 9v plug adapter and, of course, a normal phone signal going in one end and coming out of the other so your phones ring as normal. If you power off the modem at night there's no phone connection. Remember that. You can also have the router next to your PC but you will need the extra spaghetti of cables from the phone jack to link the modem by hard wire, so to transmit your wireless elsewhere. Oh and the nearer the little antennae to metal the weaker the signal. So don't stick it on top of your PC!
To be honest if you are running three or four PCs off one modem router at the same time then you will obviously sap your broadband signal by a lot for each connection. Although the powers that be keep telling us there is super fast broadband on the way, I'm pretty sure most of us will still be getting between one and two megs in three years time, the crumbling BT network unable to cope with the increasing amount of users. I think its pretty pointless spending extra on higher tariffs or different networks to get quicker speeds, either, as they can't go any faster through the same congestion. Some providers are even using sneaky peak time hourly 'cut offs' just to keep the signal going.
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If you CAN'T get your creaking computer to talk to your wireless router through the USB aerial then try this...
So, if you have your router loaded into your downstairs PC and it is working, now its time to load in your USB adapter to your other computers that are not getting the wireless signal. When the USB adapter is fully loaded up and it's still not working, right click the mouse on the 'Start' button (bottom left hand corner girls), then press the 'RUN' button. Then type in 'IPconfig', and then press enter. This will allow your computer to 'ping' the router via the aerial and so discover the I.P number of the modem it's transmitting to (which should be switched on girls..) My modem is downstairs by the phone. It picked it up. Your PC will now recognize the thing it is supposed to be talking to. If you then ENTER in 'winipcfg' in the same RUN button and press ENTER, the computer will confirm it has received the I.P number from the modem with a little pop up utility. The drop-down box on it will confirm it has found your wireless adapter and router. Again if your router and wireless adapter are the same spec or loaded on the same computer then you probably won't have this issue. This help is really just for lazy Win 98 ME and 2000 users that haven't upgraded. That would be me.
To get the routers specific I.P number you can also go to the product website. This is the default one for most routers. http://192.168.2.1 You then 'cut n paste' that into the address bar on I.E and press enter. This should bring up a member name & password box. Here you type the default username and password that came with the router. It's usually "admin" for the username, and "password" or 1234 for the password box. Again the website will give you that info in its support block. If you don't find it and get stuck you need to press the reset button on the back of the modem for around 10 seconds, which will return the router to its factory default setting, which should be listed in the router instruction booklet.
If you already have a broadband landline connection then read on.
Ok, now got to 'Internet Explorer'/ 'Properties', either by right-clicking the appropriate panel on the desktop, or by the internet explorer window itself, pressing the file tab and tracking down etc. You then press connections tab, and then un-tick the 'Never dial up my computer' tab. Then press 'APPLY' and then 'OK'. This will stop the dial-up box coming up, now giving the computer the instruction to find a wireless connection first. If you don't un-tick that then the PC won't be able to proceed as it only wants to connect to your dial-up or broadband service, looking for a password etc. You can always flip this back to 'Always dial my default connection' if you want to alternate with your landline and wireless connection. Some times you will as wireless may be slower than the cable because someone is stealing your signal. You can block that happening by making your service password sensitive to all users. Now click on a window and try and connect. If that doesn't connect your computer to the wireless network then return to 'Internet Explorer'-via properties-then click the 'Security' tab. Nudge down your security setting by one notch .This may override any firewall issues. When you reboot, the firewall will adjust its stetting to deal with this strange thing called wireless. When you install anything new ALWAYS turn off your firewall. If no luck then I recommend this help chat forum for solutions:
So with your router up and running and hours of endless wireless surfing to come, was it worth the switch. I only made the switch so to share the internet with our new lodger. It is definitely slower and more intermediate. But if its flexibility you want and so you can split the bill with friends and relatives in the house then fair enough. Wireless is that solution.
Its best to turn off the Edimax router at night as it can cook lesser modems guts, let alone destroy the ozone. Modern computing use a lot of power and so not good to leave on stand-bye.
Both bits of the puzzle come with guarantees, so if you do leave it on 24/7 and wear it out you can replace it with new spec. And fair play to Edimax as they are always bringing out new kit for networking.