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Wireless Home Networking For Dummies - Danny Briere.pdf
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Chapter 6

Installing Wireless Access Points

in Windows

In This Chapter

Installing a wireless network access point (AP)

Modifying AP configuration

In this chapter, we describe the installation and configuration of your wireless home network’s access point. We explain how to set up and configure

the access point so that it’s ready to communicate with any and all wireless devices in your home network. In Chapter 7, we describe the process for installing and configuring wireless network adapters.

Note: Chapters 6 and 7 deal solely with Windows-based PCs. For specifics on setting up and installing wireless home networking devices on a Mac, see Chapter 8.

Before Getting Started, Get Prepared

Setting up an AP does have some complicated steps where things can go wrong. You want to reduce the variables to as few as possible to make debugging any problems as easy as possible. So don’t try to do lots of different things all at once, like buy a new PC, install XP, add a router, add an AP, and wireless clients . . . all at the same time. (Go ahead and laugh, but a lot of people try this.) We recommend that you do the following:

1.Get your PC set up first on a standalone basis.

If you have a new computer system, you probably shouldn’t need much setup because it should be preconfigured when you buy it. If you have an older system, make sure that no major software problems exist before

106 Part III: Installing a Wireless Network

you begin. If you have to install a new operating system (OS), do it now. Bottom line: Get the PC working on its own fine so that you have no problems when you add on functionality.

2.Add in your dialup or broadband Internet connection for that one PC.

Ensure that everything is working on your wired connection first. If you have a broadband modem, get it working on a direct connect to your PC first. If you’re using a dialup connection, again — get that tested from your PC so you know that the account is active and works. Make sure that you can surf the Web (go to a number of sites that you know work) to ascertain that the information is current (as opposed to coming from your cache memory storage from prior visits to the site).

3.Choose (and do) which of the following makes sense for your configuration.

a.If you’re sharing a broadband or dialup connection with a router, add in your home network routing option.

This will entail shifting your connection from your PC to your router, and your router will have instructions for doing that. After that is working, make sure that you can add another PC or other device, if you have one. Make sure that it can connect to the Internet, as well, and that the two devices can see each other on the local area network. This establishes that your logical connectivity among all your devices and the Internet is working. Because many of you reading this book are going to be installing an AP on an existing broadband or dialup network, we’re covering the AP installation first; we cover the installation of the router and your Internet sharing in Chapter 9.

b.If you plan to use this machine as the gateway to the Internet (as opposed to a router), turn on Internet sharing on your host PC.

Get that going and working, testing that with other connected devices. Again, check out Chapter 9 for info on this.

4.Now try adding wireless to the equation: Install your wireless AP and wireless NICs and disconnect the wired cable from each to see whether they work — one at a time is always simpler.

By now, any problems that occur can be isolated to your wireless connection. If you need to fall back on dialing into or logging onto your manufacturer’s Web site, you can always plug the wired connection in and do so.

If your AP is in an all-in-one cable modem/router/AP combo, that’s okay. Think about turning on the elements one at a time. If a wizard forces you to do it all at once, go ahead and follow the wizard’s steps; just recognize that if all goes wrong, you can reset the device to the factory settings and start over (extreme, but usually saves time).