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Old 08-16-2008, 08:03 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
7,629 posts, read 14,561,658 times
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OK...we are finally moving out of the dark ages and ready to set up a wireless connection for the house. Just want the options of sitting outside on the patio and enjoying life while connected.

So, went to Circuit City and the Firedog guy said wireless is easy, it is the encryption to ensure that others can not access your stuff from your signal that is the issue. Enough to scare me...I order stuff from the internet and don't need someone accessing my account numbers (however I do have Lifelock, so they probably would not have much fun even if they did).

Anyone have any recommendations on which wireless router to get, who to have set it up, and what the cost would be?

Appreciate the assistance...I am TOTALLY tech deficient!!!!
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Wiesbaden, Germany
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Linksys (owned by Cisco) is the only brand I've used and never had a problem. I usually get new ones to upgrade/speed up things, but some do die over a few years. Setting them up is easy out of the box with the included software and instructions. It's made for the completely tech deficient, so don't worry
I have one similar to this one http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8639967&type=product&id=11940540 18722 (broken link) (mine is no longer in production I guess). Good price and located right down the street thankfully. Don't get the geek squad to install it, though, because they charge obscene amounts of money for something you could easily do yourself.
Definitely make sure you use encryption though.
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:38 AM
 
Location: SoCal-So Proud!
4,263 posts, read 9,805,109 times
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I have always had Linksys as well. No issues.
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:47 AM
 
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I have a Zyxel at home, but have previously had Linksys, Netgear, and DLink. They're all good enough at getting the job done for your needs. It's when you start getting into the nuts and bolts that you start analyzing particular models.

It shouldn't take a tech more than 5-10 minutes to set up your network. Try to get someone that will do a flate rate and just tell them you have the equipment (provided you've purchased or already have the wireless router and cards (for each of your notbooks, desktops, etc.). and you would like WPA w/TKIP (or WPA2 if your equipment supports it) encryption set up. DO NOT settle with WEP64 or 128. You might as well not even set up encryption if they are your only choices. In addition, don't worry about things like 'Hide/Mask SSID' or 'MAC filtering', as security through obscurity is not really security. WPA with a strong pass phrase will be more than sufficient. I reccomend using Steve Gibson's website for a 63 character random pass phrase and keeping that password in notepad (my favorite is steganos locknote) on a USB drive in a safe place.
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Old 08-16-2008, 09:40 AM
djw
 
951 posts, read 2,595,768 times
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I have 2700 sqft two-story and used a NETGEAR router with no problem. I could get a signal anywhere in my home, down my driveway, in the back yard, etc...And it was really easy to set up and encrypt. Even managed to get my printer set up so I can print wirelessly from the laptop!!! That was a small feat for me!

On another note - I recently switched from TWC to ATT and their cable modem includes an encrypted wireless router. That was a sweet little bonus! Know anyone that needs a NETGEAR wireless router??
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Old 08-16-2008, 10:28 AM
 
Location: AZ
247 posts, read 751,529 times
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I had a older Netgear that just died last week. I bought a D-Link DIR-615 Wireless N at Office Depot for $49.99 on sale ($20 off).I think there is also a $10 rebate until the end of August on Dlinks site-I haven't had a chance to look into it. I'm in a 2800 sqft house and go everywhere with my laptop and have yet to have anything but a strong signal. The set up was so easy with the install disk that walks you through everything including security set up. Amazon has it for $39.99 The Linksys that OD had were too expensive, I hear they are excellent like the PP said.
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Old 08-16-2008, 12:55 PM
 
418 posts, read 1,123,059 times
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As mentioned above. I'd go with linksys, d-link, or belkin.

I recommend DIY. I don't like tech guys coming into my home or having access to my computer. They can easily steal a lot of goodies such as your financials. Secondly, when you want to modify your settings, you will be able to do it yourself, and save a lot of time and money.

Advice during setup
1) You may have to broadcast your router at first so you can make sure its working, I would eventually switch to not broadcasting so it cannot be seen in the airwaves. (makes it more difficult for hackers)

2) Use WPA2 encryption. Do not use WEP (easy to hack)

3) I shop online with my wireless all the time, mainly because of credit card protection. But with important information such as Social security # etc, I recommend using an Ethernet cord to your PC. By federal law, all wireless transmission can be hacked.

Last edited by traficdogn; 08-16-2008 at 01:06 PM..
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Old 08-16-2008, 01:08 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,400 posts, read 20,414,604 times
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Linksys here as well, and I was just messing with it today as I bought a new laptop last night and I needed to get it on my wireless LAN. I couldn't find the security key but I was able to access the router's admin site and get it.

It really isn't that hard to set up, and I am surprised at how many people in my neighborhood don't encrypt their wireless LANs. I guess that means anyone trying to tap in will use one of theirs instead of my protected one, which is fine by me!

Paka, just because a wireless LAN isn't encrypted doesn't mean you can't still use encryption. You will notice that on-line shopping use encrypted web pages for sales, encrypting your LAN only keeps other people from using it.

Cheers! M2
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Old 08-16-2008, 01:23 PM
 
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Paka.....I vote for Linksys too, unless you're buying a laptop that already has wireless capabilities. Most recent models already have it built in. Check that out before you purchase anything.

Also....will you be using TWC or ATT? ATT has fiber optics available in many areas of town now. They're offering some good incentives to switch over everthing....with no contract to sign. TWC was offering the computer modem upgrade with a bundle for a zillion TV channels, but wanted us to sign a two year contract. We said no thanks....I'm done with contracts.

TWC has a modem that can handle four computers or a business class that will handle up to 10 connections. If anyone in your house is doing a lot of downloading of music or videos or documents, it can slow down the connection of others users in your house. Just FYI as we've recently had a mini battle going on at our house with TWC. I got voted out of trying ATT.
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Old 08-16-2008, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Diyallusss, TX
1,805 posts, read 4,392,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majormadmax View Post
Linksys here as well, ....SNIPPED FOR RELEVANCE.......
Paka, just because a wireless LAN isn't encrypted doesn't mean you can't still use encryption. You will notice that on-line shopping use encrypted web pages for sales, encrypting your LAN only keeps other people from using it.

Cheers! M2
Yes, exactly what I was going to say. I am currently using a netgear router, older model, and have frequent connectivity issues.... Occasionally, if I'm tired of unplugging and replugging, and I just need a quick email or piece of info etc, I'll hook onto an unsecured network in the neighborhood...
I KNOW< really BAD IDEA... but it's rare and I have had no KNOWN issues about it.....
I have a pretty strong Identifty Theft program with a well known credit provider, and would dang near be in better shape AFTER being cyber-vandalized... well, not really, but, you know...

Also, Deb, if you use TWC as your provider, they will come in and hook everything up for you and will provide pretty darn good service and trouble shooting at any time.... 'course, then, they recognize my banshee screaming by now, and they hop to it PDQ when I call.... tsk........

Oh, forgot to say.... previously used Linksys router and imho, it was much better, seemed to provide a more stable connection..... not really sure, technically, which item is most responsible for reliability of connection, but believe it is the router.......
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