Re: User rant

Subject: Re: User rant
From: Lou Quillio <public -at- quillio -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 12:08:40 -0400

Dick Margulis wrote:

Within the last week my wife and I have brought home to attempt to use:
• Linksys wireless router

The router's a snap to install. Remember that it's both a wireless and *wired* router. Use a wire to set it up.

Install the router right behind your cable modem. Connect your PC to the router with a length of Ethernet cabling, from your PC's *wired* Ethernet port to one of the *wired* ports on the back of the router.

If you're lucky, you can next point a web browser on the PC to the router's simple, HTTP-based configuration routine. Usually that defaults to Whatever the manual says.

If you're unlucky, you may need to restart first the cable modem, then the router, then your PC (after the connections are in place). Here's why:

Comcast has a DHCP server, which dynamically assigns one
of its IP addresses to new systems appearing on its network.
Previously, that was your PC itself; going forward, it'll be
the router that claims an IP from Comcast. Your router has
its own DHCP server, which it uses to assign _local_ IPs to
systems appearing behind it -- on *its* network (your

Turn all three devices off. Turn on the cable modem; it
re-establishes itself with Comcast.

Turn on the router. It claims an IP from Comcast, just as
your PC used to do (the router is actually a tiny Linux
system). Comcast is none the wiser. We like that.

Turn on the PC. It claims a local IP from your router.
Browse to the address of your router's config routine. Follow
the setup instructions.

The router is now working. It will hand-out IPs to wired and wireless clients in accordance with how you've set it up. It will route traffic between those systems and the outside network, and switch traffic between local systems.

Linksys has sold you a fine, working product, fully documented. Strictly speaking, what you do from there is not within Linksys's purview. Kenmore doesn't know what you'll put in your refrigerator.

At some point in this process, the wireless NIC (network interface card) on your PC may have stumbled upon the router's wireless signal. Or not. Depends on whether Windows is configured to auto-detect wireless hotspots, security settings, things like that.

Double-click the wireless NIC icon in your system tray. Play with the settings. Explicitly tell it the name of your wireless network (the "SSID" you assigned when configuring the router). Provide WEP credentials, if you configured that requirement on the router.

If all else fails, you *can* call Linksys, and they will help -- because they like to sell routers. But by rights you should be calling Microsoft, because it's Windows that needs fixing.

If your router is the mighty Linksys WRT54G, rest assured you've got the finest, hardest-working $60 product on the market.

Bob Likes 'em, too.



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User rant: From: Dick Margulis

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