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Wireless!

Discussion in 'Wireless' started by tripwire45, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    As of now, I am the proud owner of a mixed wired/wi-fi LAN. I unpacked my linksys AP, usb wireless nic, and wireless pc card and went to work. I goofed when setting up the encryption key since my passphrase contained the wrong number of characters for either 64 or 128 bit encryption. I discovered this when I installed the usb wireless nic on my wife's computer. Even though it recognized the SSID and the signal strength was excellent, I still couldn't ping another computer or even the AP. Disabling WEP on the AP (temporarily) fixed it.

    After the problem with the usb nic, configuring the pc card was a snap. I now can see all the shared files on all the computers on my local network..wired or wireless, and print to my shared print device from any of the computers.

    I changed the default name of the AP and the SSID but I still need to change the default AP password. For some reason, this isn't an option during set up and you have to go back in via browser interface and do it afterwards.

    I still have to set up internet connection sharing on my Windows 98SE machine so that the wireless computers can browse the web. A fellow suggested a proxy server program by analogx. I downloaded it and installed it, but am having trouble getting my laptop to connect (it still wants to dial its own modem instead of going to the proxy through the LAN). I've put the problem back in my friend's lap since it was his suggestions (he loves problem solving) but since he's in "the land downunder", given the time difference, I can't expect a response for several hours.

    I'm still really happy about my first foray into the world of wi-fi. Now for the tweaking. :D
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  2. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Ok, so now I'm unhappy. I started to "tweak" and was brought to an abrupt halt. I tried to get into my AP by the recommended method of using my web browser. I typed in my AP's IP address and....nothing. Network path not found. I checked the IP address and subnet and the AP is on the same network. I tried from computers directly wired to the AP through my trusty IBM switch and through computers on the wireless connection. I even tried connecting from one computer to another via the browser (and of course that worked just fine)...but no way can I connect to the AP to change the password or access any of the other configuration options.

    It's a Linksys WAP 11 Access Point. Everything else seems to work just fine. I can ping the AP's IP address from any of my computers so there's definitely a connection. Wassup? :cry: :?:
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  3. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I seem to be participating in a forum of one. Anyway, I got one thing to work...the proxy internet connection. I had the help of the guy who gave me the idea and now I'm browsing the web from my laptop, through a wireless connection to my Windows 98SE machine which is acting as a proxy server. It's a little slow, but otherwise doing fine. Now if I could just figure out why I can't get into my AP via IE...
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  4. Phil
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    Phil Gigabyte Poster

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    Hey Trip, mind if I join in your forum of one? :) Just a thought does the AP require you to access it via ie using an oddball port?
     
    Certifications: MCSE:M & S MCSA:M CCNA CNA
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  5. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I re-read the instructions last night before I went to bed. Supposedly, the thing is all set to go right out of the box using the default settings. Even if I didn't change a thing from the default configuration, once the AP is connected to the LAN and all computers and the AP are set to the same subnet, Ill I should have to do is open a browser and type the IP address in the address bar thus: \\10.0.1.xx and the logon box should just plain open up.

    Doesn't seem to work out that way, though. Just got up and have to get ready for work in a few minutes. :gmorning Yeah...more coffee sounds good. Thanks for the reply, Phil.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  6. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Problem solved! Admittedly, I've posted this problem on three different boards and one gave me the clue...but not quite the answer, I needed. The clue was using "http://" in the address bar along with the AP's IP address. I tried it late last night, but the dial up connection box came up repeatedly.

    This morning (yes, it's still early here), I was browsing the linksys knowledge base and came across the same info (it's not listed this way in the owner's manual) to type in "http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx" for the AP's IP. It also mentioned disabling the dial up connection. I did that, opened the browser, typed in the IP and bingo...in like flynn. These suggestions came in as bits and pieces now that I think of it, but I didn't tie them all together. Anyway, it's done. I changed the password to something a little more challenging than the default and will work on enabling WEP hopefully tonight.

    I know we didn't enjoy much of a spirited debate on the subject, but perhaps this thread will assist others when they put together their wireless network. Off to my slave job. :)
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  7. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Great stuff, Trip - your persistence pays off once again, then :clap
     
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  8. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    But now for the "fun" part. I started tweaking the network a bit. First, I set the AP to disable SSID broadcasting. That means anybody driving by with a laptop and wireless NIC set to receive "any" SSID won't automatically detect my network. Only if the SSID (read: network name) on the wirelessly networked computers matches the one on the AP. That worked out fine. No interruption of service.

    This morning, I downloaded and applied an upgrade to the AP's firmware package. My wireless network went nuts. My wife's computer didn't even know there was a wireless network. I tried my laptop and it was fine. I checked settings on both computers and couldn't find the problem. I looked at the logs in the AP but they aren't much help...just record dates and times various MAC addresses connect and disconnect (oddly enough, I haven't memoried all the MAC addresses of my computers...shameful of me).

    Suddenly, my wife's computer gets back on the network for no apparent reason. Then the laptop's connection drops..comes back up...pings my wife's computer, but stalls when trying to access shared files on her computer. I reboot and everything seems fine.

    Then I hop on the old micron to get on the internet. The dial up connection says it can't find the modem. I check the settings...everything seems ok. I decide to reboot and get a "nastygram" saying that there are two computers connected to the micron and rebooting will kick them off...I sense the answer to my problem here. "Kick 'em off", I say. Reboot and reconnection to the internet successful. Geez. One simple upgrade turns into 30 minutes of troubleshooting and rebooting.

    I tested the shared internet connection again last night and it works out fine. Occasionally, there's a slightly perceptable lag compared to being on the "host" machine, but most of the time, I don't notice. When I get a moment, I'll have to move the laptop around to see how the connection holds up. It's odd but just sitting in one spot, the signal strength will jump around quite a bit and even momentarily lose the connection. My wife's computer almost always holds it's signal strength at "excellent". Of course, the main unit on her computer is usb and I can move it higher than the computer so maybe that's it.

    Anyway, I'll keep you all posted on my adventures in "wireless" land.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  9. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Please do, Trip - your "Thread-of-one (plus visitors)" is proving riveting.

    I reckon you've got the basis for a whole Knowledge Base article in the making, here :deal
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
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  10. Nelix
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    Nelix Gigabyte Poster

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    I have a friend at work who is running wireless and he said that sometimes his laptop would report an excellent reception and signal strenth however if he moved even 1 foot in either direction then he would loose the connection all together. Where is the equipment located, my friend had his wireless router ontop of his tower unit, when he moved it the lost connection problem happened less so it could be that you are picking up interference from somewhere (mains cables in walls, radio, T.V. etc)

    HTH
     
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  11. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I don't know if anything that I'm writing is "riveting", but I think it's interesting. I like chronicling projects as they go. It's fun so see how things develop (and sometimes a little embarrassing when you realize what you thought was a big problem turned out to be pretty small).
    I was thinking the same thing. It would need to be cleaned up, of course and a disclaimer would have to be attached explaining that each vendor's products configure a bit differently.
    As was said in the book I've been reading..."They're called microwaves for a reason". Being quite tiny in the 2.4 GHz band, even moving an antenna an inch can make a difference. Also, the way my current arrangement is, I sit inbetween the AP and the laptop when I work so even my body (water is a notorious blocker of radiowaves) could be causing a problem. When I get some time, I'll have to wander the place to see how the signal strength is affected.

    Oh...and I read on a wireless forum that upgrading firmware is a sure fire method to temporarily make your wireless network go offline.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  12. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Just a small note here. I moved my laptop into the living room and am posting this via my wireless link to my "proxy server" now. Seems to work fine. As I mentioned, my "proxy server" is no more than my old Micron PIII running Windows 98SE. A small program made by analogx that I downloaded makes it possible to share my 56K internet connection. I'm a happy camper (until the next fubar comes along). Oh...another thing...a wireless nic soaks up power like crazy. The nic not only need power to operate but draws on battery power to convert electricity into radio waves...takes up more juice than putting electrical impulses over cat5 cable. Keep that in mind when browsing the web at your favorite "hot spot". If you're not careful, you're libel to run your battery down to a critical level forcing a shutdown or a quick and panicked search for a plug in.
     
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