Wireless setup question (To bridge or not to bridge?)

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by JRom, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. JRom

    JRom Guest

    Here is my situation. I share a cable internet connection with my neighbors in my apartment complex. Internet comes from cable modem through a router and then ethernet cabling into my attic. I have placed a netgear 802.11b router in my attic and I am getting great signal to my laptop in the living room. I am interested in doing all of these things now or in the very near future:

    Connecting my USB printer to the network so I can print from anywhere
    Connecting an external USB HD to the network for file serving
    Getting a D-Link media player (or something similar) for streaming music/movies to my stereo/television.

    My solutions to these were to first get a Buffalo HD-H120Lan networked 120 Gig HD which has 2 USB ports for expansion. This way I would get the extra 120 Gigs plus be able to connect the printer and external drive to the USB ports.

    The problem comes in on how to connect the Buffalo drive to the network. I was considering buying two WRT54G's and putting one in the attic with original firmware to act as an AP and then setting up the other in the office with the printer as a bridge with neveasoft firmware.
    I assume this would work but I was wondering if there might be a better way.

    First of all I'm not excited about having to buy TWO new routers but I had heard that if there is one 802.11b client on the network then the entire network reduces to 802.11b speeds. Not so much a problem for streaming music, but no good for streaming movies from the networked storage. So hence the two WRT54G's. But then I learned that setting up the WRT54G's in the way I was planning would reduce the bandwith by 1/2 thus reducing the effective bandwith to about 11Mbps anyway.

    So what I was wondering is, do I need to do it this way? The clients that would be attached to the WRT54G in the office (printer, networked HD) don't really need to see the internet and the router in the attic doesn't need to see the printer or HD. So would it be possible to have two separate wireless networks and have my laptop access both, as needed? I wouldn't want to have to reconfigure or flip a software switch everytime I wanted to switch between internet and printer networks but if there is someway that it would happen seamlessly (or, at least, in the background) I would be OK with that. It would save me money and bandwith if it would work. I realize there are probably some limitations having to do with the antenna in the laptop not being able to receive signals from two sources simultaneously or some such nonsense so I don't really have my hopes up, but thought I would ask.

    Hopefully this all makes sense and someone can answer my questions. I would really appreciate it.

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