Setting up a Wireless Network

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F1Addict
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Setting up a Wireless Network

Post by F1Addict » Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:03 pm

I'm at one of my clients house, she just went out and bought a Linksys Wireless-G router and an adapter for her son's X-Box. She has an old clone running 98SE, a newer Toshiba Satellite with built in wireless and the afformentioned X-Box.

I got the router hooked up and this PC (the 98SE clone) attached using one nof the network ports on the back of the router.

The basic order is phone line to DSL modem (RJ-11), DSL modem to Internet port on Router (RJ-45) and clone to port 1 of 4 on the router (RJ-45).

I then attemted to set up the wireless on the Toshiba laptop (XP Home). I figured out that you have to flip the wireless switch on the front, which I did. Stuff started happening and I finally got a list of available wireless networks, about 6 or 7. The strongest signal was an unsecure network which I was able to connect to but I wasn't able to access the internet or ping other machines, although I was able to access the router setup.

It then asked me to verify ownership, which I did, using the ownership and device IDs located on the bottom of the router.

It never verified, the status bar just kept cycling. I tried it again, intentionally entering the wrong information and it said that the information I entered didn't match so I re-entered the correct info and again got the never ending scrolly bar.

I checked the security settings on the router and it appears that it should be a secure setup, not the "unsecure" setup that the Toshiba indicates.

I haven't even attempted the X-Box.

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Ultimo_Posto
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Post by Ultimo_Posto » Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:28 pm

Maybe you connected to somebody else's network.
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F1Addict
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Post by F1Addict » Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:46 pm

There were 6 or 7 networks available. The first one, with the best signal strength, was called Linksys Unsecure Network or something like that, I was able to attach to that wireless network at least to a point where it said "connected". The remaining Wi-Fi connections were all called some variation of 2WIR416, the only difference in each one was the 416, the 2WIR was the same in all of them.

When I looked at the statistics on the router, it showed that the Toshiba was connected.

I learned later that she has some sort of AOL Security running on the laptop and that may have been my problem. However, that still does not explain why it was showing the connection as "Unsecure". I checked all the firewall settings and it appeared as though it was set up as a secure network. Then again, I really have very little idea what I'm doing with this crap so I may have been looking in the complete wrong place.

She was supposed to call me tonight and explain what's going on with the laptop but she didn't. I'm seriously thinking about just telling her to call the Geek Squad and leave me out of this.

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Ultimo_Posto
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Post by Ultimo_Posto » Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:13 pm

I think "unsecure" means that WEP encryption is not enabled. Without WEP your Ethernet packets are unencrypted and so it's a security issue in the sense that your neighbour's kid could spy on what you are surfing with a packet sniffer. Btw, when did you get a job befitting your talents again?
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Post by Pace Racing » Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:49 pm

As UP mentioned, secure vs. unsecure has to do with WEP encription. The first thing I would do (should you continue to help her) is go into the router's setup and name her network a unique name so you can easily identify it. Next, turn WEP encription on. You will probably be given a 32 bit option as well as a 64 bit option. Choose 32. This will require that you choose a 10 digit number that acts as a password. Many people use a telephone number (w/ the area code) so it's easily remembered. When you run the wireless connectivity wizard from the Toshiba, it will ask you for that number. The setup for the router is done by entering a generic IP address in Internet Explorer (or another browser).

I hope that helps.
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F1Addict
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Post by F1Addict » Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:52 pm

Actually, I've been doing a little video conferencing stuff again. I ran into my old boss at Circle K a couple months ago and he's started refering me to some of our old clients. He's now the VP for Global Business Solutions at Seimens but I guess he's staying in touch with all the clients he screwed when the company went bankrupt. :roll:

So between crown moulding someone's house or building a patio cover, I'm trying to remember all the crap I used to know without even thinking about it.

This, however, is not the case with the stupid wireless network. Wireless networks are new to me as they hadn't really been invented at the time I left the high tech industry.

I remember seeing something about encryption, I'll have to take a closer look at it tomorrow. I just figured that after I got the laptop up on the network (I could ping the router but not the other computer) that I would be able to launch IE and get on the internet... not the case. IE would not connect but at the same time, all this AOL crap kept popping up over and over again, I would close the window and 5 seconds later it would open again. I finally just moved the stupid thing over in the corner and left it open. I have a feeling that the reason I wasn't able to connect to the network was because of something with AOL.

My biggest worry was leaving their network vulnerable to that kid you were talking about, I didn't want to be responsible for that so I just unplugged everything and put it back the way it was.

I could set it up again in 5 minutes if I knew I had a reasonable solution but I don't want to screw up their system. I usually go into these things knowing exactly what I'm doing, that is not the case, here.

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Ultimo_Posto
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Post by Ultimo_Posto » Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:57 pm

The other reason the network is "unsecure" is that you are broadcasting the network name (SSID), which allows anybody to connect to it, get on her LAN and steal her bandwidth. When you name the network SSID as Pace said (use the same SSID on the router and the laptop) make sure you DISABLE "broadcast SSID" in the router setup and then only the computers who have that SSID will be able to see it. And the next thing I would do is tell her it might be AOL's fault, because a) it might be, b) any time you break people's devotion to AOL you are doing them a favour, and c) it's better than blaming you.
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Post by JohnW » Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:28 pm

Who is her ISP ? If it is Verizon, the wireless router is NOW the MAC adress the ISP sees. Since this is different than they expect, you will NOT get connnected to the outside world, until you do one of two things. 1) Call verizon and tell them to do a line check, because you just installed the router. They will see the new hardware MAC address and you'll be set, or 2) Tell the router to "clone" the MAC address of the PC, which I bet will still work, if you remove the router. At this point, the new router will appear to be the old PC and everything will work.
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F1Addict
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Post by F1Addict » Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:50 am

She uses DSL X-treme, probably because they claimed to work best with AOL. I've successfully attached to the internet on the Clone that is attached directly to one of four hub ports on the back of the router. I'm just having problems with the wireless part, which again, I think has more to do with AOL than anything else.

I've printed this thread and will make one more attempt using all the great advice. I'll let you know what happens when I return tonight.

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Post by JohnW » Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:33 pm

Ah. I somehow missed that.

DSL X-treme advertises a LOT and gets good reviews for lower cost and good service. Well, at least by the radio tech show guys in their commercials. So....
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F1Addict
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Post by F1Addict » Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:20 pm

Yeah, I'm pretty sure I've heard Jeff Levy talk about it. I haven't even tried to do anything with her network, yet. I think I'm gonna give it a go on Monday. I meant to bring the X-Box instructions with me so I could read it over the weekend, but I forgot.

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