Creating a SOHO Wireless Network in Software

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to COM15 or so Fair enough make up a nonconflicting port assignment and make its use available to whatever software needs to talk to the device except that this assignment can, and quite often does, change from day to day, reboot to reboot At any given time between reboots or on any given day, your USB-serial port may change assignment from COM5 to COM13 to COM10, etc, making you have to first determine which port name is given at the moment, and then reconfigure the PDA or terminal program to match this moving target port assignment This is something you have to be aware of, if you need to use a USB-to-serial port adapter to connect to an access point or router as you set up your network devices There is some good news Rarely if ever do these problems exist with PC card devices such as wired network interface cards or wireless adapter cards Typically you will encounter driver-related problems more than hardware problems with these devices
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This chapter may still seem out of place amid the context of wireless networking, but it addresses an important issue when adding to or changing existing systems to accommodate and maintain your systems Unfortunately, the topics of operating systems and device drivers are not as clear-cut and rule-based when it comes to figuring out which driver or piece of software is conflicting with another and crashing the system It is in most cases easier, however, to change drivers and software than to reconfigure or replace hardware For these issues, you should be vigilant in contacting the vendors of your system boards, laptops, and wireless devices to obtain and apply patches and updated firmware
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Creating a SOHO Wireless Network
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Up to this point, we have discussed the elements of and criteria for wireless network components and their implementation In this chapter, we will build a typical wireless network to service a small office or home office (SOHO) using off-the-shelf products and personal computers (PCs) Our goal is to provide 100 percent coverage in and around 2,000 to 2,500 square feet of home or office space, using a single access point, with connectivity to the Internet through a digital subscriber line (DSL) We will describe how to enhance this setup with a small local file server and a personal Web site to show the steps necessary to keep a standard residential dial-up point-to-point protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE) DSL connection always on and how to arrange domain name system (DNS) services for the likelihood of a dynamically assigned Internet protocol (IP) address so that the Web site is always accessible The components and software we will use during installation and operation of the network include:
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Speedstream DSL router provided by telco/Internet service provider (ISP) LinkSys BEFSR41 firewall/router/hub LinkSys WAP11 wireless access point Laptops and various desktop PCs Windows XP client OS Dedicated file and web server with Windows 2000 server Tardis or similar timekeeping software ZoneEdit DNS services GLSoft ZEDu ZoneEdit Dynamic Update software to maintain DNS updates Norton AntiVirus ZoneAlarm security software
Figure 131 shows a SOHO wireless network without servers a configuration for which 80211 wireless networking was intended Figure 132 shows the same network with a server added to provide web and e-mail services to the local users and the Internet The components for these configurations are readily available off-the-shelf from most computer stores and on-line sites They are very easy to install and manage on their own, and fit together to create a modular, easily maintained, almost hands-off network configuration
Creating a SOHO Wireless Network
The diagram of our desired wireless LAN and Internet connection configuration
Figure 132 The diagram of our desired wireless LAN and Internet connection configuration with the addition of a local file and web server
The steps we will take to set up and verify the components, individually and together, are:
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