Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-26-2006, 10:40 AM   #1
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Home computer questions--yet again

I know I pester this board a lot, especially CFB, to answer my computer hardware and software questions.* I beg for your patience.*

We have a computer at home where we get highspeed internet from Clearwire.* A box to pick up the signal sits in our porch.* It is plugged into our electrical wiring.* The wiring acts to transmit the signal to our computer in another room.* We had to do it that way as it was the only place that would pick up the clearwire signal.

When I used my laptop at home, I used to pick up a neighbor's wireless signal and use that to get on the internet.* Much to cube-rat's dismay.

The nieghbor has moved (turns out the neighbor got foreclosed on; another story).* I want to be able to get on the internet at home using my wi fi.* I want security so no one else can pick up the signal, like I did.* We went to Best Buy and they said the Geek Squad can help us for a couple of hundred bucks.* I know we aren't sophisticated, but I think with instructions we should be able to do this ourselves.

So, what do I need to get a wireless signal to my laptop?

What do I need to make it secure from interlopers?

__________________

__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-26-2006, 10:54 AM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

Not familiar with the system you have, but you'll need to get your signal into a wireless router. From there, (a) disable SSID broadcasting, (b) set the router to only accept the MAC address of your laptop, and (c) enable encryption.

Others will undoubtedly have better/more info...
__________________

__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-26-2006, 10:59 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,197
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

This link should help.

Or google something like "how to make my network secure"

Quote:
neighbor got foreclosed on
Was it 'cause of his high Internet service bills?
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-26-2006, 11:14 AM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
wabmester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,459
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR
Not familiar with the system you have, but you'll need to get your signal into a wireless router. From there, (a) disable SSID broadcasting, (b) set the router to only accept the MAC address of your laptop, and (c) enable encryption.
Yup, that's the best way I know to secure wireless, but (b) can be a pain if you often add other computers to your network (e.g., if you have friends who bring their laptops when they visit).

(c) alone is sufficient for most people (and T-Al's link will walk you through it)

(a) adds incremental security

and

(b) essentially locks down your network unless somebody is *very* interested in your network and finds a way to determine your MAC address and knows how to spoof it
__________________
wabmester is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-26-2006, 01:10 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

Thanks guys. We will buy the doohicky and if I have any trouble I know who to ask.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-26-2006, 01:31 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
wabmester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,459
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

FWIW, I usually buy LinkSys doohickeys, but this one from TrendNet looks like a good deal, has all the latest features, and has good reviews:

TrendNet TEW-610APB
__________________
wabmester is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-26-2006, 01:38 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

Thanks wab.* At least I now know what the doohickey is called.*
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-27-2006, 10:44 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

Love the trendnet gear...I'm using this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833156175 which is a step up from wabs suggestion. For the same price you get a "quality of service" engine that prioritizes your network traffic to give real time stuff like video, voice and whatnot a higher priority than your file downloads, so no stuttering/chattering. All automatic.

Nice wide range, you'll be able to pick up the signal from anywhere on your property.

Use one of the higher security methods like WPA2 and no worries about someone stealing your signal. You'll put a phrase or word into the router when you set it up using the wizard and it'll give you a key to type into your computers internet connection setup wizard. Once bonded, the two will retain a secure encrypted connection and nobody will be able to get in and use your connection without knowing the secret key.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-27-2006, 10:45 AM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,280
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

Good advice all.

I would add two often-overlooked security things:

Change the default name of the network.

Change the 'admin' logon and password. (Write them down!)

This stuff is in the manuals - it might seem a bit overwhelming at first, but it is simple once you get used to a few terms.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-27-2006, 10:50 AM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

Oh yeah, one other thing. If you get one of the trendnet routers, you might need to upgrade the firmware on it to fix a few oddball problems. This is a fairly typical process with many routers. Dont be daunted, its easy. Just download a file from the trendnet web site, run it, and let it do its thing before you set up the router.

By the way, did your neighbor get foreclosed on because he ran out of legal funds defending himself from the FBI swooping in to investigate his illegal internet activities...?
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-27-2006, 12:12 PM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

I ordered the thingy. I probably will be back for help when it comes.

Thanks guys.

__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-27-2006, 12:17 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Mesa
Posts: 3,588
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
I ordered the thingy.* I probably will be back for help when it comes.

Thanks guys.

Oh Sh#t, Martha. You were supposed to get a dohickey -- not a thingy. Installing a thingy where a dohickey should go may cause your computer to explode.
__________________
sgeeeee is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-27-2006, 12:19 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

Geez and I was just about to congratulate her for buying the thingy instead of the doohickey.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-27-2006, 01:47 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,083
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

While we're on the subject, my Westell 327W has WEP and WPA-PSK security as well as MAC address filtering. I chose the WEP 256 bit to secure my modem. Is that just about as secure as MAC filtering?
__________________
I look to the present moment because that's where I live my life.
MJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-27-2006, 02:00 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
wabmester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,459
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

Quote:
Originally Posted by vagabond
I chose the WEP 256 bit to secure my modem. Is that just about as secure as MAC filtering?
No, WEP has an exploitable weakness independent of key length. Any script kiddie can break it. Use WPA-PSK. MAC filtering will basically allow only a limited set of known computers to access your network, independent of encryption.
__________________
wabmester is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-27-2006, 02:03 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,720
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

Quote:
Originally Posted by vagabond
While we're on the subject, my Westell 327W has WEP and WPA-PSK security as well as MAC address filtering. I chose the WEP 256 bit to secure my modem. Is that just about as secure as MAC filtering?
WEP just demands a login password from any wireless laptop.

PS I just got a LinksysWRT54GC Wireless Router written up in epinions.
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-27-2006, 02:09 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

Well...mac filtering isnt a bad idea but a moderately adept person can change their pc's mac address to match yours and in they go. Fine for keeping out the average joe, and certainly pretty easy to do.

WEP can be broken quite easily, key retrieved and access to your unit (or just passively decoding your data). Anything you do in 'secure' mode is also encrypted, and thats tougher to break, so no worries there.

WPA and WPA2 (WPA is a partial implementation of WPA2, more or less) are pretty strong and more than your neighbor is going to be able to penetrate. You might see "PSK", this is a public shared key which you enter into your router and each client before they can begin to participate...the non PSK versions usually require a dedicated authentication server on your network that provides the keys after authentication...so most home users will use PSK.

Some implementations of WPA2 are goofy and incompatible. I've had some real trouble getting two different vendors WPA2 implementations to work together, even after several driver/firmware upgrades.

I use WPA-PSK, dont bother with the mac filtering, and leave the SSID broadcasting on. Did change the routers name and the administration password. Unless you live in silicon valley or equivalent technically over-smart area, turning off the SSID broadcasting and enabling mac filtering will keep most people out...and those can be done on even very old pieces of gear that dont do anything better than older WEP implementations.

About all WEP does for you is slow things down at both ends...

Oh yeah, and older windows variants sometimes dont support WPA or WPA2 at all, unless someone has thrown out some software I havent seen to support it.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 07-27-2006, 09:09 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,083
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

Thanks for the info.

MJ
__________________
I look to the present moment because that's where I live my life.
MJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 08-03-2006, 01:04 PM   #19
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

The wireless router came in the mail. I managed to open the box and start reading the directions.

I already have a problem. I am supposed to "connect one RJ-45 network cable from the cable/dsl modem's Ethernet port to the WAN port on the AP/Router."

We get our internet from clearwire. The modem picks up a wireless signal from Clearwire. We had to locate our modem in a room far from the computer. The signal picked up by the modem is transported through what I guess is called a ethernet to our computer through our house's electric wiring. There is a cable plugged already into the ethernet port and then plugged into an outlet. On the computer end, there is a cable running from the computer to a plug in at the closest outlet.

So how can I plug my router into both the modem (which already has the ethernet port used) and the computer, which is 50 feet away?

__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Home computer questions--yet again
Old 08-03-2006, 02:06 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
wabmester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,459
Re: Home computer questions--yet again

Martha, do you have any geeky kids in your neighborhood who you could invite over?* *That'll be the most straight-forward approach.

I'm not familiar with your setup, but I could guess.

Start by unplugging the ethernet cable from that device plugged into your electrical wiring.* *Plug that into the wireless gizmo.* *In theory, that's all you need to do.* *In practice, there are a dozen other steps that depend on your particular setup.* *And we can't tell if your wireless gizmo has enough strength to reach all the rooms in your house from where you'll place it.

If you get desperate, PM me.
__________________

__________________
wabmester is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
RE effect on Home Insurance omni550 FIRE and Money 6 03-15-2007 10:08 AM
Scott Burns burns Home Depot REWahoo Other topics 17 03-06-2007 10:09 PM
Second Home treypar Life after FIRE 56 02-27-2007 05:52 PM
Any w*rk from home ideas? linkerbink Life after FIRE 16 07-20-2006 11:36 AM
How many of you can RE now, but working because of children at home? yakers FIRE and Money 16 04-18-2006 12:44 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:41 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.