General networking question

By spaworks ยท 12 replies
Jun 6, 2007
  1. I have high speed internet through sympatico. I have an Apple wireless airport base station (about 4 yrs old) connected to a modem and my PC (which has no wireless card) and it connects wirelessly to my Mac OSX which is in the basement. This arrangement works really well. I am getting a third computer - a PC with no wireless card and am installing it in the same room as the other PC. Can I connect the two PC's in the same office using a wired internet connection and still have a wireless connection to my Mac? What will I need to do that? Thanks for your help. Catherine
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    Absolutely :)

    see this picture
    the wired PCs go to the Ethernet Ports with cat5 or cat5e cables which have
    RJ45 connectors. The wireless is uneffected.
  3. spaworks

    spaworks TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks jobeard, for the information. When my new computer comes (it is on backorder) I will be sure to try that connection. If I have any problems, I'll be sure to let you know. Thanks again for the quick reply. Catherine
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    fine. Be sure to update this thread when you need to config the new PC
  5. spaworks

    spaworks TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Just got my PC today! but....

    Hey jobeard, just set up my new computer, I found a CAT5 cable that I had hanging around and attempted to connect both of my office computers to my Apple wireless hub and guess what - it is a very old unit and there are only two places for CAT5 cables. One connects the hub to the modem, the other connects the hub to a computer. Will I have to buy a new router or is there a way around this. Can you get a CAT 5 cable splitter. (forgive me for not using the correct question mark punctuation. I set the keyboard up for Canadian multilingual and everytime I hit the question mark I get an e with an accent over it. I will change that right now.) Thanks for your help.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    First, a hub/switch/router ARE "cable splitters" with different features.

    You would be best served to create a network like this:
    the hub will work, but you must configure each system manually, and most people
    find it easier to use DHCP. The router also gives you two features you really
    want to use:
    Nat and SPI
  7. spaworks

    spaworks TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK, new router it is. I looked some up on the 'net and they are not that expensive and it appears that most of them have four ports for connections. Thanks for your help so far, I'll keep you posted! Catherine

    By the way, what are Nat and SPI? Catherine
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    NAT: Network Address Translation. This means that your private LAN addresses
    like 192.168.1.x get rewritten (NAT'd) into your public ISP address so that the reply can come back you, reverse NAT'd and delivered to your system.
    This stops all direct access to your systems.

    SPI: Stateful Packet Inspection. This features ensures that packets arrive in the
    correct sequence and obey the protocols for data flow. It therefore stops inbound
    packets for which there were no requests and obvious bogus! :)
  9. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    I would strongly advise against using the old and obsolete Cat 5 cables for any PC network configuration. Use Cat 5e or Cat 6 only.
  10. spaworks

    spaworks TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK, thanks for the advice!
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    btw: The industry grew up on cat5, and unless there's a very long run, a home user is just wasting money on higher quality cables.
  12. spaworks

    spaworks TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Here's a completely alternative plan I've been thinking about today. The system I have now works great! I have no complaints. Rather than buying a new router I was wondering if buying a wireless internet card for my new computer would be the answer. That way I would not have to worry about cables and stuff and if I ever wanted to move the computer I could. I'm concerned that a new wireless router may not work with my very old OSX 10.1.2 computer downstairs (the specs on the routers I've been looking at recommend version 10.4 but I'm not sure if that matters) .Plus I've been reading some reviews of various routers and I guess not all are created equal.
    What do you think? Is that an easy install? It was on my Mac. Catherine
  13. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    to connect two or more systems you need a router; wired or wireless -- your choice :)

    the systems which connect to routers do so via a connection (eithernet vs wifi)
    and a protocol (sequences of bits in a specific order). As such, the OS is
    immune from the device at the other end of the connection AS LONG AS
    the protocols are correct.

    you are correct in that some WiFi adaptors have problems connecting to some other
    vendors device(s), but this is mostly the 802.11n (mimo) stuff.

    Stay with 802.11g and you will be just fine.
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