Опубликованный материал нарушает ваши авторские права? Сообщите нам.
Вуз: Предмет: Файл:
Wireless Home Networking for Dummies - Danny Briere, Walter R.Bruce, ....pdf
7.45 Mб

Chapter 6: Installing Wireless Access Points in Windows 115

Changing the AP Configuration

Each brand of AP has its own configuration software that you can use to modify the AP’s settings. Some products provide several methods of configuration. The most common types of configuration tools for home/small office APs are

Software-based: Some APs come with access point setup software that you run on a workstation to set up the AP over a wireless connection, a USB cable, or an Ethernet cable.

Web-based: Many of the newer lines of APs intended for home and small office use have a series of HyperText Markup Language (HTML; Web) forms stored in firmware. You can access these forms by using a Web browser over a wireless connection or over a network cable in order to configure each AP.

To access your AP’s management pages with a Web browser, you need to know the local IP address for the AP. If you didn’t make note of the IP address when you initially set up the AP, refer to the AP’s user guide to find this address. It will be a number similar to If you’re using an Internet gateway, you can also run winipcfg (on Windows 9x/Me machines) or ipconfig (Windows NT, 2000, XP), as we describe in Chapter 7. The Internet gateway’s IP address is the same as the default gateway.

When you know the AP’s IP address, run your Web browser software, type the IP address in the Address line, and then press Enter or click the Go button. You’ll probably see a screen that requests a password. This is the password that you established during initial setup for the purpose of preventing unauthorized individuals from making changes to your wireless AP’s configuration. After you enter this password, the AP utility will display an AP management screen. If you’re not using a Web-based tool, you need to open up the application that you initially installed to make any changes.

Within the AP’s management utility, you can modify all the AP’s settings such as the SSID, the channel, and WEP encryption key. The details of how to make these changes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Typically, the AP management utility also enables you to perform other AP management operations, such as resetting the AP, upgrading its firmware, and configuring any built-in firewall settings.

AP manufacturers periodically post software on their Web site that you can use to update the AP’s firmware that’s stored in the circuitry inside the device. If you decide to install a firmware upgrade, follow the provided instructions very carefully. Note: Do not turn off the AP or your computer while the update is taking place.

116 Part III: Installing a Wireless Network

The best practice is to modify AP settings only from a computer that’s directly connected to the network or the AP by a network cable. If you must make changes over a wireless connection, think through the order that you will make changes, or you could orphan the client computer. For example, if you want to change the wireless network’s WEP key, change the key on the AP first and make sure that you write it down. As soon as you save the change to the AP, the wireless connection will effectively be lost. No data will pass between the client and the AP, so you will no longer be able to access the AP over the wireless connection. To re-establish a useful connection, you must change the key on the client computer to the same key that you entered on the AP.

Chapter 7

Setting Up Your Windows PCs for Wireless Networking

In This Chapter

Installing wireless network interface adapters

Windows XP’s Wireless Zero Configuration

Going wireless with Pocket PC 2002

In this chapter, we describe the installation and configuration of wireless devices on Windows computers. To that end, we explain how to set up and

configure the wireless network interface adapter in each of your computers (and other wireless devices) so that they can communicate with the access point (AP) and with one another. Finally, we also include special coverage for installing and configuring wireless network adapters in computers running Windows XP (it’s amazingly easy) and in handheld computers running Microsoft Pocket PC 2002.

Read through Chapter 6 for information about physically installing APs, and see Chapter 8 for a discussion of setting up a Mac-based wireless network. And if you find yourself lost in the acronyms, check out Chapter 2 for the background on this equipment.

Setting Up Wireless Network

Interface Adapters

After you have the AP successfully installed and configured (see Chapter 6), you’re ready to install and set up a wireless network interface adapter in each client device. Wireless network adapters all require the same information to be installed, although the installation on different platforms might differ to some degree. From most manufacturers, the initial setup procedure differs somewhat depending on the operating system that is running your computer.

118 Part III: Installing a Wireless Network

In this section, we walk you through installing device drivers and client software before addressing the typical setup procedure for various wireless network interface adapters.

If you’re using Windows XP, you can also set up your wireless network interface adapter by using Windows XP’s built-in support for wireless networking. Refer to the “Windows XP’s Wireless Zero Configuration” section, later in this chapter, for more information.

The installation procedure for most types of PC devices consists of installing the hardware (the device) in your computer and then letting Windows detect the device and prompt you to supply a driver disk or CD. With most wireless network adapters, however, it is important to install the software that is provided with the wireless networking hardware before installing the hardware. This ensures that the setup software can examine your computer’s hardware, software, network, and Internet settings before you have installed any wireless hardware.

Installing device drivers and client software

Whenever you install an electronic device in your Windows PC, including a wireless network interface adapter, Windows needs to know certain information about how to communicate with the device. This information is a device driver. When you install a wireless network adapter, depending on which version of Windows you’re using, you might be prompted to provide the necessary device driver. Device driver files typically accompany each wireless networking device on an accompanying CD-ROM. Most wireless device manufacturers also make the most up-to-date device driver files available for free download from their technical support Web sites.

When you install the wireless adapter into your computer, Windows uses the device driver file(s) to add the adapter into your computer’s hardware configuration. The new network adapter’s driver also must be configured properly in order for it to communicate with other computers over the Windows network.

Even if you receive a driver CD with your wireless network interface adapter, we still recommend checking the manufacturer’s Web site for the most recent software. Wireless networking technology is still evolving, so keeping up with the changes is paramount. For example, to address the security flaws in WEP (which we talk about in Chapter 10), different security (or encryption) protocols are becoming available or will soon be available. For example, as we discuss in Chapter 10, a new system called WPA will soon be available. To take advantage of this, you need to download the newest driver software as well as the newest firmware, which is the special software that resides in the flash memory on your network adapter and which enables it to do its job.

Chapter 7: Setting Up Your Windows PCs for Wireless Networking 119

The exact procedure for installing the drivers and software for the wireless network adapters varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, so read the documentation that accompanies the product that you are installing before you begin. Although the details might differ from the instructions that accompany your product, the general procedure is as follows:

Because antivirus programs often mistake installation activity for virus activity, shut down any antivirus programs that you might have running on your PC before you begin any installation of software or hardware. (And remember to turn it back on when you’re done!)

1.Insert the CD that accompanies the wireless network adapter into the CD-ROM drive.

If the CD’s startup program doesn’t automatically begin, choose Start Run or use Windows Explorer to run the Setup.exe program on the CD.

2.Install the software for configuring the network adapter by following the instructions on your screen.

Typically, you’ll be following along with an installation wizard program.

Do not insert the network adapter until prompted to do so by the installation software (see Figure 7-1). In some cases, you might be prompted to restart the computer before inserting the adapter. For some older versions of Windows, you will be prompted to insert your Windows CD in order for the setup program to copy needed networking files.

Figure 7-1:

Don’t connect your wireless network adapter until prompted by the setup software.

Because you installed the wireless network adapter’s drivers and configuration software prior to inserting the adapter, the operating system should be able to automatically locate the driver and enable the new adapter.