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  1. #1
    Member Project86's Avatar
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    Dirt cheap wireless networking?

    What is the absolute cheapest way to connect 2 PCs, without wires, on opposite sides of my house? Speed is not important. I was checking out the "Homeplug" stuff, but then I'd need one unit at each end, and possibly a switch... which might add up to the cost of a cheap wireless router/wireless NIC.

    Is there anything else that I am neglecting, or are those the 2 options?

  2. #2
    Epic Fail Guy JamesXP's Avatar
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    WRT54GL with DD-WRT

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833130003 2$ after rebate... win?
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  3. #3
    Member Project86's Avatar
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    That would take care of the new PC going into the living room, but wouldn't I still need a wireless router in the bedroom along with my main PC and DSL modem?

    I'm kind of oblivious when it comes to the whole wireless thing. Back in my day we used null modem cables, and we got by just fine.

  4. #4
    Epic Fail Guy JamesXP's Avatar
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    WRT54GL = Router.
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  5. #5
    Member Project86's Avatar
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    Sorry, still confused. The link you posted that ends up being $2 is for a Zonet ZEW1602 PCI adapter. When I search for the WRT54GL, I see a router costing $50.


    Or are you saying I should buy one of each?

  6. #6
    Epic Fail Guy JamesXP's Avatar
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    One router, 2 however many adapters you need. wireless adapters, look around you can find WRT54G/L for like 30$-40$
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  7. #7
    Member bLack0ut's Avatar
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    One router, one adapter. One of the computers can be wired to the router, the other wireless.

  8. #8
    Member DirtSandwich's Avatar
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    I'm assuming that one machine could actually connect to the internet via ethernet...

    You don't specify the OS, so I'll assume XP and desktops.

    just buy two wireless cards and setup the one that is connected to the internet via ethernet as an ad hoc network.

    Now before you get too excited about the $60 I just saved you (LOL) how far is 'opposite sides of the house'? if this is a fairly short distance it might be worth it to take your chances with those cheap cards that JamesXP posted.... however they don't list how many mw the cards are, so I'm guessing it's low... like 40-45mw or so.

    It might be worth your money to buy a nice used wireless card like a cisco aironet 350 or 340. The 340's have less power but are cheaper. They both have external antennas that you could easily upgrade with a homebrew antenna for cheap if you needed any more distance. Or if you can find them I know some 340's and 350's have duel MMCX connectors so you could have multiple antennas if need be.

    I think I might have a couple of these... I know I have a 350 pcmcia adapter... somewhere LOL! Let me know if you wanna go this route and I'll look around a bit.

  9. #9
    Member Project86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtSandwich View Post
    I'm assuming that one machine could actually connect to the internet via ethernet...

    You don't specify the OS, so I'll assume XP and desktops.

    just buy two wireless cards and setup the one that is connected to the internet via ethernet as an ad hoc network.

    Now before you get too excited about the $60 I just saved you (LOL) how far is 'opposite sides of the house'? if this is a fairly short distance it might be worth it to take your chances with those cheap cards that JamesXP posted.... however they don't list how many mw the cards are, so I'm guessing it's low... like 40-45mw or so.

    It might be worth your money to buy a nice used wireless card like a cisco aironet 350 or 340. The 340's have less power but are cheaper. They both have external antennas that you could easily upgrade with a homebrew antenna for cheap if you needed any more distance. Or if you can find them I know some 340's and 350's have duel MMCX connectors so you could have multiple antennas if need be.

    I think I might have a couple of these... I know I have a 350 pcmcia adapter... somewhere LOL! Let me know if you wanna go this route and I'll look around a bit.

    Thanks for the detailed reply.

    One machine is running Vista, the other will be running XP (it's too slow for Vista). Both desktops. The Vista machine is connected to DSL modem via ethernet. Distance is actually probably only 50 feet or so, maybe even less, but there are some walls in between. How do you think that would do?

    It would be great if I could just do an an hoc (thanks for the link) because I really have no use for an actual router at the moment.

  10. #10
    Member DirtSandwich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Project86 View Post
    Thanks for the detailed reply.

    One machine is running Vista, the other will be running XP (it's too slow for Vista). Both desktops. The Vista machine is connected to DSL modem via ethernet. Distance is actually probably only 50 feet or so, maybe even less, but there are some walls in between. How do you think that would do?

    It would be great if I could just do an an hoc (thanks for the link) because I really have no use for an actual router at the moment.
    50 feet shouldn't be too bad... but I wouldn't go with the cheapest wireless cards you can get. MOST wireless access points can broadcast a heck of a lot farther than wireless cards can. I guess the best question is how much is the MAX you want to spend? You can get a $60 KILLER 500mw wireless card, or you can get a cheap one that isn't as strong and may not work. in your case it will be a balancing act, especially without being able to do a site survey first.

    Before you actually purchase any hardware I'd suggest looking around at thrift shops and pawn shops. Sometimes they don't know what they have.

    edit: Actually.... if you could afford it... you could do the alfa 500mw wireless card on one machine and a cheapo one on the second pc. I'm sure the alfa has MORE than enough range to make up for a cheapo's lack of range.

  11. #11
    Member Project86's Avatar
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    OK thanks, I think I'll nix that idea because I can't be sure it will work, and the savings are not that great compared to just getting a wireless router and doing it right the first time.

    What about the "Homeplug" option, does that work very well? What about Bluetooth, would that be a viable option in my case? Again, pardon my ignorance and thanks for the help.

  12. #12
    Member DirtSandwich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Project86 View Post
    What about the "Homeplug" option, does that work very well? What about Bluetooth, would that be a viable option in my case? Again, pardon my ignorance and thanks for the help.
    i've never used a homeplug device but have a friend who has and he about pees his pants every time he talks about it. If your dsl modem has more than one ethernet port then I would keep it in mind... should work.

  13. #13
    Member Project86's Avatar
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    Ug, my modem only has one port, so I guess scratch that idea as well. I guess I'm doomed to pick up a regular old wireless router and PCI card.

    What about something like this:
    http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=ES-388&cat=NET
    A pair of these for $15 shipped, if it worked, would fit nicel into the budget I have. Too easy?

  14. #14
    Epic Fail Guy JamesXP's Avatar
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    Up to 723 Kbps


    723kbs = 90KBs

    Not good for internet.
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