Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The Network

Ok, here's the full story...
  • I bought my NETGEAR Wireless ADSL Firewall Router online from
  • It came with a free NETGEAR PCMCIA Wireless card.
  • Both were delivered within two business days. (Total about £128 GBP, incl. VAT + delivery)
  • To set up the router I had to plug it in, turn it on and plug in the phone line.
  • Then I just plugged in the PCMCIA card to my laptop.
  • The laptop recognised the card, set up the drivers, and connected me to the wireless router's network (IP addresses and everything, all automatic).
  • Then I simply had to browse to a special URL (the router's) and put in my ISP userid and password.
  • Then the router connected me to the Internet via ADSL.
  • It was a similar story with the Ethernet card and the Desktop PC
    (though this involved a screw driver and messing with drivers and I needed the Windows disk, all because as we don't have Windows XP on that machine.)

So now I have this:

My own secure house-hold network supporting any Ethernet or 802.11g wireless device I like.

I can webbrowse anywhere in the house. I didn't need to fiddle with any technical settings, download anything or mess with IP or network configuration. On top of that it includes a firewall so I can get rid of the firewall on the PC (which I needed to either uninstall or pay for).

The whole process was easy, automatic, fool proof. In fact too easy, I'm not sure it evens counts as an achievement anymore.

I remember when setting up a regular network (no wireless) would take two guys about two days if everything went according to plan and you got lucky. It used to involve screw drivers, obscure commands, expensive hardware, multiple operating systems and in some cases soldering . Now it's a sissy job, much to my relief, I was never that up for it before.