Thursday, November 10, 2005

Go wireless humanoids!

Nothing is worse that wires dangling all over the freakin' place when setting up a small home network. Yeah yeah, back then it's a luxury to have one stinkin' 486 in your home. You were prolly the coolest nerd on the block playing pac man on the PC. But times have changed. In every home, there's at least two to three PC's and laptops all screaming to use the internet. Hell, you can't bloody well be getting in three, four telephone lines to do dial up on the individual machines right? ICS (internet connection sharing) over dial up? please.. you're better off reading a book!

Nowadays, if you ain't got broadband, you're better off not using the net at all. (Ironically enough, our ISP here has probably one of the suckiest service around, but hey! that's still no reason to not go broadband!) Dial up sucks. period.

Getting back to hookin up all your machines on the net. I personnally find no better way to do it then to go wireless, purely for the fact that you dont have to wire your whole damn house with Cat5. As such i recommend to you, the gadget of the day.... (drum rolls)......






NETGEAR WGR614UKX - 54Mbps Wireless Router

I recommend it cause i just got it at a pretty good bargain! RM 160 from Low Yatt Plaza downtown KL. Unless i got ripped off in broad daylight, i would think it pretty much is a good buy, compared to some of the others i saw priced RM205 and above...

Comes Standard build, 1 WAN port, 1 wireless antenna, 4 LAN ports, and of course a power adapter. Okay if it didnt come with a power adapter then the damn this is as good to you as having a spoon for spaghetti. Not to digress..

To configure:

Use the smart CD that comes bundled with it. For all you streamyx users, take note on the type of modem TM installed for you when you subscribed to their service. If your modem has a built in router like the ZTE ZXDSL 831, and the friendly TM installer setup your modem in such a way that all you gotta do is turn on the modem and boot up the PC to get connected to the net, then the Netgear smart CD installer will probably drive you up the wall when it fails to configure.

That's cause the router in the modem itself has DHCP running, and netgear will try to configure DHCP for you. You can't have em' both running. Therefore, you gotta run quick setup on the modem again by going to the your browser and browsing to http://192.168.1.1. Remember to jot down your username and password if you've forgotten it or better, do a print screen on all the configurations so worse case scenario, you can reset every thing, to pre-disaster.

Once you've disabled DHCP and allowing the modem to do automatic dial up to the WAN, create a manual broadband dial up from your Windows XP network connections. Before you get started configuring netgear, make sure you manually connect to the net first. Then, pop in the CD and start the wizard. The rest should be a breeze.

Wireless tips:

  1. You Paid for the service, so don't let your neighbour steal your bandwidth! Always make sure you set WEP encription so that only you gets connected to YOUR wireless network to use YOUR internet. Wireless security is pretty much useless so take precautions. Anyone can sit outside your house and do "war driving" using the infamous tool Network Stumbler to sniff out wireless AP's available.
  2. Create an access list! For all the wireless devices that will be using the network, include your MAC address of your wireless adapter in the list. All you gotta do is go to command prompt and type at C:\ ipconfig /all. Look for the funny string that goes something like 00-0c-1f-45-dd-43 and key it in exactly in your netgear router wireless configuration page. Yeap, also accessible via http://192.168.1.1 by default.
  3. If you're super vigilant, use something like etherpeek or Aeropeek from wildpackets. You can monitor the traffic that comes in and out of your network. You gotta pay for the software. Of course, there's the "free" version from Low Yatt or anywhere on the net but that aside, i state for the record that i am not here to condone piracy. If you're gonna pay for the software then good for you. You benefit from the fabulous support they offer.
  4. Side winding a little, a hacker with linux skills can actually use a good wireless adapter like orinoco and PHLAK your ass. Yup, all they need to do is war drive ya, sniff a million of your packets and the next thing you know, your credit card is being charged for a set of 18" Nismo rims when youre driving a kancil. Nice.

All in all, setting up your own wireless network is pretty cool. Just make sure you take necessary precautions. A month a go, i had to drag my freakin' phone line outta my room all the way to the dining hall to hook up to my laptop to use the net. Today, i blog without boundaries on my laptop while my sis play's "Gunbound" on the family PC.

COOLNESS.

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