Building wireless home network

Ok, so i’m starting to get sick al of the cables in my room, so i’ve decided to finally create a WiFi based network.
Basically i want to share the internet connection (adsl) between three computers and be able to access the files on any pc from the other machines.

I can’t decide what should i buy: a basic wifi router to use with my existing 1-port adsl router (Microcom AD2636), or is it better to get an adsl router with wif ?. The first solution would be cheaper, but i don’t like the idea of having two devices. On the other side i’ve heard bad things about the adsl wifi routers (NAT problems, issues with the ISP if you don’t use their router, etc).

Also, what brands should i look for ? I have not many choices, there are D-link, MSI, Edimax and Ovsilink routers available. And Asus, but they seem too expensive to me.

Are there any noticable differences between 54 and 108 Mbit transfer speed?

Thanks for your replies.

From my understanding and searching…I have also a DSL setup and I think your better off getting a unit that has both DSL and 4 port router and wifi built into one unit. Might be more expensive or not but will reduce your headache troubleshooting if there is a problem.

The speed won’t show up unless your heavy into wifi transfer or data communications but a faster speed always help. How much are you willing to spend also makes a difference in what unit you but or are willing to sacrifice. Also your components on your wirless laptop or desktop do affect speed as well. Those speed they give you are optinum range and not everyday working speed. Wifi can be blocked by walls or metal or trees and those affect the speed it runs at.

Stand-alone DSL-modem (bridge mode) and an Asus WL-500g Premium running X-WRT would be an excellent solution. You can enable QoS which is very nice for asymmetric connections. Keep in mind that you can also use it as a NAS and also a printer server…
//Danne

wohohoo, DiiZzy, slow down a little bit. X-WRT, QoS, NAS ??? What do these things mean ?
Besides these, that router looks indeed very interesting, mainly because of the integrated bittorrent client. But for that price i could get an Asus WL-600g with integrated ADSL modem, but is has only 54 Mbit connection.

What real transfer speeds should i expect with 54 vs 108 Mbit modes ?

The scheme how my devices will be aranged in the house is like this: (plus a notebook somewhere in the area)


X-WRT - 3rd party firmware based on OpenWRT (much more flexible and easier to use than Asus own firmware). http://x-wrt.org/

QoS - Quality of Service, in this case traffic shaping.

NAS - Network attached storage, in other works you can connect a USB HDD to the router and have it shared on your network by the router itself.

To be honest, the bittorrent feature works quite poorly and that’s because you have a too slow CPU and way to little memory in the unit. You’ll have a hard time finding a better router (faster CPU and more memory) for the same amount. You can although run a http and/or ftp server without issues on the hardware.

WL-600 is a completely different unit with less memory and no OpenWRT support at all.

I get roughly 25 mbit out of the WLAN which is to be expected for 11g standard at my parents house.

//Danne

Hi molnart,

I’ve had Siemens Gigaset, U.S. Robotics and Philips wireless routers and all worked as advertised, no problems to be expected. I do prefer to use a router and client adapters from the same product range (unless the latter are integrated in your notebook or mobo). A combined modem/router is an elegant solution (and a serious shop selling it in your country should be able to confirm it will work with your connection - all ISP’s normally use the same telecom infrastructure, so if it works for one it should work for the others as well). I’m sure the Asus as recommended by DiiZzy is a technically superior solution but haven’t used it myself. One more thing, if you (maybe later) plan to use the connection more than 10 meters away from the router, maybe with a couple walls/floors in between, you’ll want to use a “range extender” unit to amplify the signal, and for this to work the router must support a feature called WDS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_Distribution_System (the Asus does).

Thanks for all your suggestions guys! Those Asus routers really got my attenetion, and indeed it would be good to have some centralised storage space, even if it would be only through a 4GB USB stick attached to the router.

Now i’m hesitating between WL500g premium and the WL600g.

The WL500g would a be a cheap and great solution, but there are some things i worry about:

  • in the room where i want the router(s) too be placed there’s only one electrical socket. It’s kind of a home made one by modifying the light switch, so i’m afraid it won’t be safe to connect three devices to it (the telephone and the 2 routers).
  • the second issue is, that my current adsl router is a very cheap one, so i guess it will degrade the 500g’s functionality. Actually it’s the second piece i have, the 1st one died after a year, luckily my ISP replaced it for free.

With the WL600g i would have only one device, but:

  • it supports only 54 Mbit transfer speed. My monthly internet traffic is ~70GB that will surely increase in the future and my expectation is that i will need to transfer 4-5 Gigs of data between the computers in one session so speed is important.
  • if i move to another internet technology (cable, fibre optics) the W600g will be useless for me :frowning:

What ADSL Router/Modem do you have today? You can put (set) most into bridge mode which will make it work as a regular ADSL Modem (without a router). A lightbulb uses more power than all your three devices so it should be fine.
As for wireless setup I’m guessing you already have at least one computer with a WLAN already which most likely is 11g. That means that even if it supports 108 mbit or whatever above 11g standard (54 mbit) the network will use the same speed as the slowest device. Keep in mind that since WLANs arent full duplex you’ll most likely get around 2mbyte/s or so doing WLAN <–> WLAN transfers. You can probably find better soutions than the WL-600 which doesnt support OpenWRT/X-WRT at all if you want an all in one unit. Doing 70Gb a month is well below 0.5mbit/s (sustained) so you’ll be fine…
Keep in mind that I’m not sure if the performance of the WL-600g since it has less RAM, slower CPU (as far as I can tell) and not able to run 3rd party firmwares at least for now.
//Danne

It’s a Microcom AD2636, probably you never heard about it. But the window title in the Web configuration window shows [I]Conexant - Hasbani[/I] - it’s probably the chipset. Is it possible that the 500g won’t even work with it ?

Currently only my notebook has a Wifi device, but it will be connected to the network only occassionally. I plan to add a Wifi card to my current computer, that will be moved to my brothers room after i put my new PC together. Most of the times only these computers will be connected to the network, so buying 11g+ cards for them would make sense i think.

That’s no problem, but i will want to move the data from PC1 to PC2 once every time and i’d like to do that as quickly as possible.

Oh, and am i right that the 500g can be used with different types of internet connection too, not just adsl ?

I’d mail Microcom and ask how to put it in bridge mode (disable NAT) since there’s no documentation about the WebUI.
http://www.microcom-ce.com/category.php?itid=7
…and it is possible according to the site.
Doing 4-5Gb will take about 30-40 min if you use WLAN, much faster if you use cable.
//Danne

NAT can be disabled from the WebUI.

This is all i need to do to make it work with the Asus WL-500g ?

No need to get another modem then =)
//Danne

Yes, the modem in combination with a router is just a box with no special configuration - hence “bridge”. I can reset my SpeedTouch modem to factory settings and use it like that. Your login data and other settings will be stored in the router.

Thank for your help DiiZzy, it’s really apprectiated :bow:

I seems that the 500g will be a good investment into the future.

btw, do you know if your ISP use PPPoA/PPPoE?
//Danne

I’m not sure what those thigns mean, but IIRC i had to set something like that in the WebUI. Will check when i’ll be at home

Is there any good device to increase my wireless range to the fullest?

Posting a link will appreciated.

What is the brand and model of your current wireless devices?

You can update the firmware for your router, and the driver for the wireless adapter. Some wireless adapters can have their antenna upgraded. You can also centralize your routers location and play with its antennas orientation.