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Wireless Router Questions


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Trying to help a friend with a wireless setup, and I've never used one myself before. She has an Actiontec Wireless Gateway supplied by her ISP. Her laptop is 3-4 years old and uses the wireless card that came with it.

 

Speed isn't an issue. She lives in the boonies and her DSL speeds are 384down/384up (for $30/mo...ugh). I had her do speed tests with her hardwired PC vs. her wireless connected laptop - both had the same test results. Distance is questionable. She can maintain a 'good' signal throughout her house and on her back porch, but loses signal when she goes to her boat dock about 150' from her porch. So...

 

1. Will upgrading her laptop's wireless card make any difference? I'd have to get her to look up the protocol (g or otherwise) if that needs to be known.

 

2. Does positioning her gateway, such as higher up from her desk or near a window, etc., have an effect?

 

3. Her gateway has a NAT and outbound firewall, the NAT is on by default but the firewall isn't. She has eTrust Security Suite installed on her PC and wants to put it on her laptop also. If she does, will the gateway's firewall be necessary?

 

4. Can someone post a site that gives good beginner-intermediate info on wireless router setups, hardware firewalls, etc.?

 

Thanks.

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1. Will upgrading her laptop's wireless card make any difference? I'd have to get her to look up the protocol (g or otherwise) if that needs to be known.

different cards go different lengths. you should find the range on the card and compare it.

2. Does positioning her gateway, such as higher up from her desk or near a window, etc., have an effect?

it does make a difference where it is. id recommend up high by a window if she wants to get it 150 ft away.

3. Her gateway has a NAT and outbound firewall, the NAT is on by default but the firewall isn't. She has eTrust Security Suite installed on her PC and wants to put it on her laptop also. If she does, will the gateway's firewall be necessary?

some dont have a firewal at all. so i would say its not necessary but if shes worried about protection, id enable it.

4. Can someone post a site that gives good beginner-intermediate info on wireless router setups, hardware firewalls, etc.?

just go to the brands website and they usually have full instructions on everything.

:)

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Thanks, Fire...

 

I mentioned the laptop card because someone at a store said the gateway is the problem when it comes to range, and that the card won't matter. I didn't 'Best Buy' this exactly [cough, cough], so I asked here :)

 

Re. the firewall - Since she has one as part of the security suite, would enabling it on the gateway be redundant? She'd have more control using the software firewall anyway, right?

 

I downloaded the manual from the Actiontec site to get this far with it. (Actually, the ISP provided a gateway instead of a DSL modem. I was trying to figure out why her download speed was so low and discovered this, had her turn on the wireless function, and she was off to the races.) But I still want a site for me to get a better understanding on wireless networking.

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I mentioned the laptop card...

its about 50/50, i once had a linksys wireless adapter and i could only get signal as far as 30ft. :lol:

switched to a netgear adapter and problem was solved so the card does matter.

Re. the firewall...

a network firewall helps protect all computers but if you have a good firewall on all computers connected to that network, id say you dont need to enable it. :)

Here is a site about WIFI.

and Here is a google search. B)

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... She can maintain a 'good' signal throughout her house and on her back porch, but loses signal when she goes to her boat dock about 150' from her porch.
Most wireless access points have connections for two antennae. If hers does, consider using an omni-directional antenna for general coverage and a directional antenna pointed specifically at the boat dock.
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