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Mixing wired and wireless ?

Discussion in 'Wireless' started by Jakamoko, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Hi All,

    Here's a question for the Gurus amongst you.

    My lab as it stands is a wired set-up, using dial-up and ICS through my main box (w2k Server, with modem).

    I recently got hold of 2 wireless network USB adapters, so I was wondering if I could incorporate the whole set-up together ?

    My plan was to have the ancient Win98 laptop downstairs in the kitchen with one of the USB wireless NICs, connecting to the main Server upstairs(with the other wireless NIC, and also the wired LAN NIC and modem). That way, I could get on-line from the laptop, through the Server upstairs.

    I suppose basically what I'm saying is I'm trying to turn the Server into a router, but when I install the wireless NICs, drivers, etc (yes, I know- driver BEFORE device), then it all goes horribly wrong (BSODs, lifelong boot-up times, etc).

    So, should this be theoretically possible in the first place, and if so, can anyone see the obvious mistake I'm making ?

    Initial clues: Original wired network is working with IPs in the 192.168 range, and before the BSODs, I notice the wireless gear is registering the APIPA range (169.254)

    Through ICS, I know mini-DHCP is operating, but would that have a problem with the 169.254 range of adds ?

    I thought initally there wouldn't be any probs with this, but I now seek your greater knowledge, and thanks in advance if you can help. Reckon a massive blonde moment is at the heart of this problem.
    :)
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  2. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I take it the wireless devices are operating ad hoc since you don't mention using a wireless access point. Also you are using DHCP to hand out IP addresses to your wired and wireless devices, is that right? Unless it's part of a lab you need for part of the group project (DHCP that is), knowing not too much about wireless networks, I'd probably just configure everything with static IP addresses.

    My home lab is a mixed wired/wireless network. I have my ancient Windows 98 desktop using a dial up to get to the internet. I've downloaded a small utility from Analog X that allows me to use the 98 machine as a proxy so the others can get to the internet. My network is all connected through an old IBM 10 Mbps switch. The 98 machine, my lab machine and my wireless access point are all wired into it. I have my laptop and my wife's machine using wireless NICS (PC card and USB wireless NIC respectively). Everything has a manually assigned IP including the access point. No routing is involved since all the machines are on the same subnet and I currently don't have anything that will route anyway.

    I assume that you're a bit surprised that the wireless gear is using APIPA addresses, indicating that they're trying to get an address from DHCP but are unable to. Have you checked the instruction manual to see if they configure differently than a machine on a wired network? Have to tried assigning manual IPs just to make sure the things work. Wireless networks are a bit cranky to get going at first. The rule of thumb is to just get it going first without any sort of security settings then, when you've confirmed that they talk to each other, start tinkering with the network.

    I don't think you're having a "blonde moment". Wireless is all the rage but it's still pretty new and the standards aren't as well tested as wired network standards. I don't think I've answered your question but hopefully, I've given you something to try out.

    Now get over to my post and take a stab at my VLAN question. :D
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  3. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    Hi Gav

    Firstly I take it that the NIC's are using the same 802.11 a or b or g settings. If they aren't then they ain't gonna work. If they are then like trip said you should give them a static IP address, but make sure that it is either outside the DHCP scope but on the same network as the rest of the network, or you could always add a reservation for the addresses in your DHCP server.

    Both the NIC's will need to have a unique SSID so that they can talk to each other. You can leave it at the default, but it is better to put your own into them and as trip said, leave security settings until later.

    I would guess that the BSOD is a driver problem. either NIC or USB but not sure.

    If you can when it is up and running, the best bet for security is to get the 2 NIC cards to only talk to each others MAC address as there are documented cases of people being within range of a wireless link and pirating their internet connection.

    HTH

    AJ
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
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  4. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    You probably already know this but the unique SSID is usually the same as the name of your workgroup. Sorry I forgot to mention this. Good call, Andrew. You da man! :) Also, yes, make sure they are all compliant with the same ieee 802.11 standard (a, b, or g). Also, if they aren't made by the same vendor, that can be a problem. Yes, I know they're supposed to interoperate...but that's not always the case in wireless.
     
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  5. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Right, on first reading of your answers (thanks for them, Guys) :

    Both wireless Nics are identical (in terms of Manufacture, model, etc) and are both 802.11b

    They both support AD hoc operation, as I don't have a wireless access point.

    DHCP is set-up on the Server ONLY so far as is incorporated in Internet Connection Sharing. I haven't manually configured a DHCP sever as such.

    SSIDs I've left as default.

    BSODs I was kind of putting down to a conflict somewhere modem/PCI Nic/USB Nic combination, although I deff hadn't ruled out a driver issue (does say compatible with Win9x, 2000 and XP)

    Those are my thoughts for the minute, and many thanks for yours Guys, but I must add that this is fairly low on the priority scale at the mo, so I'm not losing sleep over it - just playing with it while I can for extra experience.

    Cheers again all :D
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  6. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    OK - some progress -

    I realised that as I was initially selecting the Typical as opposed to Custom install (assuming that all would be "idiot-proof"), only through the Custom install can I select Ad Hoc mode, set SSID, and select the Channel no. for them to communicate. By the way, if I enter the domain name as the SSID for both cards, does that in any way directly interact with the domain at all ? (I'm seriously out of my depth now !!! :oops:)

    So, that all suitably rectified, I'm still getting crashes on both Server and Win98-top. My guess is that theres either a driver problem(as AJ already said) or some kinda hardware thing going on.

    But seeing how both machines are crashing, my guess is Driver. I Haven't actually mentioned that these two Nic's "fell into my lap" from a benevolent SysAdmin of my long-term acquaintance 8) . It is not at all beyond him to throw in the wrong disk for whatever goodies he's "dropping off" on his visits.

    So, I'm gonna download the drivers from the web and take it from there. Will keep you informed
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  7. Nelix
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    Nelix Gigabyte Poster

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    What OS do you have Gav??
     
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  8. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    w2k Server on the (ahh) Server, and Win98 on the laptop, Nelix.

    It struck me today that it should actually be as straight forward as taking the PCI Nic out the Server box, and just using pure wireless on it, but I would still need a machine with the other wireless Nic AND a PCI to then connect back to the wired portion, wouldn't I ?

    Sorry if this is drivel, but I'm desperately waiting for a pizza to arrive. I'll report back after I've chomped for my country :microwave
     
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  9. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I've never been too comfortable with ad hoc wireless. I wonder if your source could float you a freebie AP?
     
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  10. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    :iagree

    For ease of use and pure interoperability you would be better with an access point on your server and then use wireless NIC's on the work stations. However you can get AD Hoc to work it just ain't as good.

    You are right in saying that you could potentially remove the PCI NIC from the server and have a purely wireless network, or better still use something like a netgear 5 port hub, plug your server into that via normal patch lead and any other wired pc's into the hub. Plug your access point into the hub and then any pc's that use a wireless card should be able to connect.

    However, like mentioned before, drivers, SSID and channel number (should normally search for it).

    HTH

    AJ
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
    WIP: Looking at doing ..................
  11. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Sounds like your steering me in the right direction, Chaps (pizza's been and gone, so I'm a bit more attentive )

    Afraid an access point is a non-option at the mo, so I'm just playing with what I've got.

    At least I know I'm pointing in the right direction now - Thanks :D
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity

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