Saturday, September 10, 2005

Wireless networking

I recently bought and installed a wireless NIC in our laptop. I knew it would work in XP, cause I saw websites stating so. But the websites I read about for linux, stated that I had to install a driver for the chipset on the card. I was expecting to get some error when I booted into linux. I was surprised when it not only didn't give me an error, but it was already detecting my wireless access point.

Here is the steps I went through to finish the job.

  1. If you don't have it running already, start up the NetApplet. This will make configuration easier.
  2. Right click the icon in your taskbar, and choose "Configure Network".
  3. Choose your wireless device (assuming it was detected on bootup).
  4. Some of these settings will differ depending on yuor network setup. For the TCP/IP tab, I set DHCP.
  5. DHCP tab, I unchecked the "Assign host name from DHCP address" since I like to specify my computer name to make sure it is correct. In the text box "DHCP host name" I put in my name I wanted.
  6. On the Wireless tab, put in only the info you know. I new my Network name, and Encryption key.
  7. For the Options tab, I made sure the "Start at boot" was selected.
That was about it. It only took half a minute or so for linux to make the changes and connect to my home network. A few other points:

  • Most home devices are on channel 6 (cordless phones and such). Set your wireless access point/router to either channel 1 or 11, as they are the farthest away from 6. I was having weak connection issues, and a google search helped me figure this out.
  • The wireless configurations can also be done in the "Configure your Computer">Network>Wireless. It is self explanatory.
Enjoy your new-found freedom!

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