Setting up the Wireless Hardware

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To set up the wireless connection, you need a wireless access point and a wireless network card in each PC. You can also set up an ad hoc wireless network among two or more PCs with wireless network cards, but that would be a wireless LAN among those PCs only. In this section, I focus on the scenario where you want to set up a wireless connection to an established LAN that has a wired Internet connection through a cable modem or DSL.

In addition to the wireless access point, you would also need a cable modem or DSL connection to the Internet, along with a NAT router/hub, as described in the previous sections. Figure 13-7 shows a typical setup for wireless Internet access through an existing cable modem or DSL connection.

To Internet

To Internet

PCs in a local area network (LAN). Each PC must have a 10-BASE-T Ethernet card.

Figure 13-7: Connecting a Mixed Wired and Wireless Ethernet LAN to the Internet.

Wireless Access Point Laptop PC with wireless Ethernet card

Wireless Access Point Laptop PC with wireless Ethernet card

PCs in a local area network (LAN). Each PC must have a 10-BASE-T Ethernet card.

Figure 13-7: Connecting a Mixed Wired and Wireless Ethernet LAN to the Internet.

As Figure 13-7 shows, the LAN has both wired and wireless PCs. In this example, a cable or DSL modem connects the LAN to the Internet through a NAT router/hub. A wireless access point is attached to one of the RJ-45 ports on the hub. Laptops with wireless network cards connect the LAN through the wireless access point. To connect desktop PCs to the wireless network, you can use a USB wireless network card — a wireless network card that connects to a USB port.

cross See Appendix F for a brief discussion of PCMCIA wireless network cards supported by ref Linux.

insider If you have not yet purchased a NAT router/hub for your cable or DSL connection, con-insight sider buying a router/hub that has a built-in wireless access point.

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