Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Wifi Setup - Finally

Finally went ahead and got the network at home wifi enabled! Thanks to my good friend and neighbour - who also went wifi the same day.

So am sitting in the sitout - cool summer breeze and blogging about this (Look Ma - No Wires!)

Now my setup at home looks something like this

(except the Game Console - someone will have to spring the dough for that :-(. And the wired printer.)

Belkin 4 port Cable/DSL Gateway Router,
Huawei MT800 DSL Modem (courtesy my ISP),
WRT54GL - Linksys Wireless Gateway Router
Toshiba Tecra S2 with built in Wifi (Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG)

The 2 PCs are wired and the latop connects over the 802.11g network.

So why not replace the Belkin Gateway router completely by the WRT54GL? I thought about it - and then figured - I can always have wifi on demand - and this also extends my network (the fact that I'm too lazy to disturb the existing setup has got absolutely nothing to do with this ;-). Right now the Belkin router and the DSL modem are in the networking closet (I've got conduits laid from all over the house that converge here) and the WiFi router is in one of the bedrooms (till I find a suitable place for it that gives optimum coverage all over the house).

Setting the WiFi router was not exactly a breeze - as I thought it out to be. Here are the steps I did

1. Checked that the Belkin Gateway router was at (which luckily it was - thanks Belkin)
2. Plugged in a network cable from one of the switch ports of the router to the Internet port of the Linksys WiFi router.
3. Then connected a network cable from my laptop to one of the ports of the WiFi router.
4. For some wierd reason it just didn't bring up the web based admin console - even though I could easily connect to the internet through the Belkin router.

Next came the difficult part - setting up a "secure" wifi network. Ran the linksys network setup CD thingy - and tried to use that to configure the wireless network. 3-4 futile attempts later I gave up that route. Did a factory reset, unplugged the network cable from the laptop, allowed the laptop to discover the Wireless network and connected to that. This it did very easily. Then typed up (remember to bypass any proxies that you may have) in my favourite browser and presto - I was presented with the username and password dialog box - entered the default values and I was in. Then I did the following (in sequence) to make the network secure

- Changed the SSID and the channel (this caused the network to lose connection - no fear, was able to reconnect easily)
- Then setup the security part (WPA - PSK) along with the passphrase (remember to follow the key size specifications).
- At this point I brought up the network connections tab (control panel) and updated the settings (SSID, Security, password, etc.) for the wireless network.
- Was disconnected and could then easily connect (was asked for the password once)!
- Tried setting the MAC based filtering - but that just broke everything (had to roll it back).

And that, my friends, is the story of my wifi network setup. Next stop - trying to figure out how really secure this network is!


Harmeet said...

Hi Kiran, I was looking for some help in setting this up.. and wow I saw your blog on this.. Ya it has helped me in setting up mine.. Will try to catch up.. later, on other things..Bye

Lacy Brown said...

Thanks! Had the same issue. Worked perfectly.
Linksys Router Technical Support