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General software and network General OS-independent software and network questions, X11, MTA, routing, etc.

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Old 23rd June 2008
PatrickBaer PatrickBaer is offline
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Default Any wifi enthusiasts here?

I am here with a rather simple task. Make a wireless network.

The details:

The company property is pretty small, a 30 x 150 foot yard surrounded by a U-shaped house. The task is to build a hotspot not just for our staff but also the customers.

For this, I have an account printer here. It can create one-time accounts which last from 30 minutes to two hours. A user types a url in her browser, is redirected to the loginpage and so on.

Now, this system is based on an SMC gateway, the access points are supposed to be d-link wireless access points.

So, does someone have an idea on how to do this the best way? I am rather now to wireless stuff....
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Old 23rd June 2008
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Check the range of your access points and strategically position them so customers are always within range for optimum wifi connection. Are you planning to implement some type of encryption such as WEP, WPA, or WPA2? I'd recommend WPA2 but it's still hackable. If you're looking into added security, you may need to implement some type of vpn. Good luck.

Last edited by revzalot; 23rd June 2008 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 24th June 2008
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I'd suggest setting up a *BSD-based firewall/router/gateway/AP to front for your network, and just disperse the blackbox access points to maximize your coverage. A primarily *BSD-based solution (OpenBSD preferred but the other BSDs can do the task equally well) will give you security, stability and enormous flexibility in terms of what you can implement, relative to sticking with the SMC APs.

Wireless networks made simple: (OpenBSD)
Wireless Networking: (FreeBSD)

Have fun.
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Old 24th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickBaer View Post
For this, I have an account printer here. It can create one-time accounts which last from 30 minutes to two hours. A user types a url in her browser, is redirected to the loginpage and so on.

Now, this system is based on an SMC gateway, the access points are supposed to be d-link wireless access points.

So, does someone have an idea on how to do this the best way? I am rather now to wireless stuff....
Dlink products should be avoided at any cost for personal use, let alone business.

Linksys, Buffalo networking gears are cheap, much better hardware specs, durable and fully customisable. OpenWRT firmware is for those are proficient in *nix and DD-WRT for the rest. Once installed, they become almost real "mini server". For your task, they would be RADIUS server (only OpenWRT), repeater wireless mode (both), iptables (both)
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Old 24th June 2008
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This might be a useful read for you if you're interested in using a Linksys AP. One thing I do recommend doing is getting, or even making, a high-gain set of antennae - depending on the area you want to canvas or the amount of interference it could make quite a difference.
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Old 30th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Googol2 View Post
Dlink products should be avoided at any cost for personal use, let alone business.
Since I have a DLink Wireless N router and Gigabit hub at home, why should they be avoided??
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Old 30th June 2008
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Quote:
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Since I have a DLink Wireless N router and Gigabit hub at home, why should they be avoided??
Because for the same amount of money, you would get a much better networking gears. It works for you, thats good, but you should be aware you have better choices, so why dont make yourseft being a happy camper?

Quote:
Linksys, Buffalo networking gears are cheap, much better hardware specs, durable and fully customisable.
I would add solid build and stability to what I said. The memory for a popular Dlink router is so poor, it can hold ~500 entries in the NAT table, compare to 4096 entries in a popular Linksys, buffalo router running open source firmware. Once you run p2p application you see what I mean. The restart is also required because it runs very hot and sometimes, it randomly reboots by itself.

I experienced all the above issues and they are also confirmed by most Dlink users.

You dont have those issues? Perhaps what you bought are hi-end networking stuff and they are treated differently, I dont know

Btw, the bloody Dlink 302G I owned 2 years ago can only be configured in IE. How pathetic!
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Old 1st July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roddierod View Post
Since I have a DLink Wireless N router and Gigabit hub at home, why should they be avoided??
I use it at home too. I have a DIR 655 and yes is a little bit expensive but that's ok and most of all it performs nice and I am happy with it.
Reg /T
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Old 30th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Googol2 View Post
Dlink products should be avoided at any cost for personal use, let alone business.
As with every vendor: It depends on the product. The el-cheapo router form everyone sucks, but what do you expect for $40? The mid-range routers from everyone pretty much suck, but what do you expect for $70? The high-end routers from everyone pretty much rock, but what else would you expect for $100+? Same with the wireless NICs (and it really sucks how they change the chipset without changing the model number, and sometimes without changing the serial number, and sometimes without changing the revision).

No one single vendor is the best across the board. Pick and choose your products, though, and you can find excellent items from everyone.

D-Link was one of the first to offer real 802.11g products based on Atheros chipsets (ie, they worked in every OS out there, with native drivers, with all the capabilities of the standard, and then some extras). Their DI-624 wireless router is still one of the best I've ever seen or used (for home purposes, nothing comes close to Colubris for business use). They also have some of the best customer support, especially when it comes to replacing things on warranty (received two replacements for my DI-624 over the course of the three year warranty). They're also one of the few home products vendor to offer real warranties, over 3 years instead of 1.

Using an onboard wireless NIC, a NetGear PC-Card NIC, and a D-LINK PC-Card NIC (all with Atheros chipsets) and a D-LINK router (also with an Atheros chipset), I have one the most stable, most reliable, fastest 802.11g wireless networks around. Does everything I need it to (Internet access, stream videos from the server upstairs to the tv via the laptop, play music off the server upstairs to the stereo via another laptop, transfer files, etc) without issues or hiccups. Works in Windows XP Pro SP2 (gf laptop), Xubuntu 7.04 (media laptop), Kubuntu 7.10 (work/media laptop), FreeBSD 5/6/7 (work laptop at various points in time).

Haven't used any D-Link products since they've refreshed their product line (and changed the colours of everything to black and orange) so can't comment on their current products. But at the time that 802.11g was getting big, and Atheros chipsets were the top-end, there wasn't anything better than a D-Link.
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Last edited by phoenix; 30th June 2008 at 10:35 PM. Reason: Expand on things a bit more.
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Old 1st July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
As with every vendor: It depends on the product. The el-cheapo router form everyone sucks, but what do you expect for $40? The mid-range routers from everyone pretty much suck, but what do you expect for $70? The high-end routers from everyone pretty much rock, but what else would you expect for $100+?
The point is, I dont buy stuff based on price tag. Cheap stuff doesnt mean they are crap, hi-end stuff doesnt mean they are superior. I buy stuff with informed decision, well sort of, mostly
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Old 1st July 2008
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I just got these two DLink products. Before that I had used Linksys and Netgear. The linksys stuff I could only configure with IE, so that used to drove me crazy. So when I upgraded to an N router I chose Netgear. It worked great for 6 months. I could configure it with Opera on FreeBSD and everything was lovely. Then one day, the wifi stopped working.

I went with DLink because it was on sale and it had a linux logo so I figure it would be accessible via FreeBSD. It works and has cause me any grief 4 months in so far. The wireless N router doesn't have all the nice routing option of the Netgear.

Now a friend of mine just gave me a Belkin wireless N router because he moved. I haven't check out it's features yet.
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Old 1st July 2008
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As they used to say at the Pike's Peak Hill climb, you "Run what you brung". In my case I am killing two birds with one stone. When I subscribed to Vonage I opted for the Motorola router with multiple Ethernet connections and the WiFi function. I now have my iMac and an old lappie working nicely. The laptop is so old that it does not have WiFi built in. I use a card. As soon as I remember to pick up a card for my other box I'll have three going (maybe).
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Old 26th June 2008
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I recently purchased a netgear wnr834B wireless router through Tigerdirect.com which i would recoomend as it is the only router /forewall aimed at the home and small business level.
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Old 26th June 2008
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Quote:
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I recently purchased a netgear wnr834B wireless router through Tigerdirect.com which i would recoomend as it is the only router /forewall aimed at the home and small business level.
Except N draft standard, nothing is flashy. WRT54GL loaded with OpenWRT (does take time to configure though) or DD-WRT would beat it and much more cheaper (~50 bucks in US).
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Old 30th June 2008
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Linksys just released a new version of their Linux-based access point, with full support for Tomoto and DD-WRT included. I forget the model number (WRG14L or along those lines I believe) but it was just listed in one of the computer magazines that came out this month.
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