CaptNemo looks at computer Networking part 2

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This is my notes on how to set up a basic home network. I am by no means an expert and am basing this on my own experiences. If in doubt, ask your local networking guru :)

Since I last wrote about networking, I have added to my network a little. The two main changes I've added are both thanks to a linksys device I've added. A linksys wireless router has added both wireless connectivity and a four port swith to my network. Once I had wireless I began thinking of fun ways to use it and added a D-link usb wireless adapter- now any of my computers with usb can be connected to my network without running anymore cat-5 cable! I found that by going through the parts I had lying around the computer I had almost everything to assemble a complete pc except a processor fan which I picked up cheap at HSC . I still didn't have a case and I decided to do without the case, keyboard, mouse or monitor and so my computer on a board was born!

    The secrets to this fully functioning headless computer are, first of all it's connected to my network with the previously mentioned d-link usb wireless adapter, and secondly I installed VNC so that I can view the desktop of this computer from any other pc on my network .

    I'm probably going to add a couple of larger hard drives to it and use it as a file server, with all the graphic and video projects I have going I could use the extra storage space

    A couple of quick comments about wireless networking- I'm amazed at the number of people who install wireless but don't setup encryption and aren't even aware of security at all. A $20 device you can carry in your pocket is available at many computer stores which will alert you to the prescence of wireless networks and believe me people are using them. There's also pda's and laptops and 'War chalking'. As soon as I set up my linksys wireless I logged into it's set up screen and entered a WEP key and then found as an added security measure, I could pull up a list of Mac addresses (every network connection on an ethernet network, be it an ethernet card or wireless card has a physical address called it's Mac address) that were connected to the base station and then restrict access to only those devices I chose. Turned out to be a good feature as two wireless devices I don't own tried to connect to my network while I was at work today!

I also liked the d-link adapter- and its included software is a little nicer then the windows wireless connection viewer and allows browsing available wireless networks and setting wep settings etc.

So I definetly say if you don't have a network consider a wireless one- it's a lot easier then running cat-5 cable all over the house, just make sure to take the time to learn about the security settings for your devices.

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Last changed: 02/02/2004, 12:48:54