Thursday, June 10, 2010

Making an old desktop go wireless

To finish the wireless network, I did put on the Netgear WNA3100 usb wireless adapter on my 2003 Dell desktop. It supports WPS (WiFi Protected Setup) and has a push button on the thumb-like adapter. You have to use a small harness to give it some physical distance from the desktop tower so you can reach it.

After loading the driver from the CD, you’re prompted to push the “Push ‘N’ Connect” button. Within 120 seconds, you have to push the WPS button on the router. The documentation says that there is an icon on the main router showing the button, but there isn’t. There are two tiny buttons on the side of the router, one “wireless on/off”, a toggle that will turn off Internet access altogether, and then the WPS. You have to hold the WPS button in hard about three seconds and wait about ten more seconds before the adapter picks up the signal. This time there is no log in or password.

Sites that return your IP address (like Lawrence Goetz, here ) will return the router IP address assigned dynamically one time by the ISP. Then each computer, under the Ethernet Adapter Wireless Network section under ipconfig /all at the command prompt, returns another IP address with the last digit incremented by one (from 2) in the order implemented (the router itself has suffix 1). In Windows XP it will say “IP” and in Vista it will as “Ipv4”.

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