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Network World - I'm helping out a friend who owns a small business. He has Microsoft 2003 Server and all of the networking has been set up.
He has about 6 PCs connected to the server and several NetGear routers with a Linksys port switch. He wants to go wireless.
How or where would the wireless router plug into since there's no modem? Most wireless routers require you to plug the Internet
into the wireless router, then the wireless router into the server. Does that still apply here?
-- Crit Harrison.
You can go wireless without having a modem in place. The WAN connection, which is where you would normally connect to a cable or DSL modem, can plug into the existing network that is in place. Depending on the firewall functionality that is in the wireless router, you may run into a problem talking to the Microsoft server. If that is the case, ylook for an option that changes the wireless router into an access point - or see what ports need to be opened up in the router to allow the Microsoft traffic through. Another option is to use a wireless access point which will have no firewall functionality that you will have to deal with.
Use the system scanning function in the wireless software to see what other systems are in the area so that you can avoid the channels they are using. Depending on the ability of the wireless routers/access points that you have, it might be worth spending a little money on directional antennas so that your friend doesn't turn himself into an ISP for the immediate area when he does get an Internet connection - and to protect his server from prying eyes.
Make sure the latest firmware is installed on the wireless router/access points. If you do nothing else, change the SSID to something other than factory default and PLEASE PLEASE change the administrative password or everything can be undone before you are finished setting it up. It may take an update of the drivers for the wireless cards on the laptops your friend wants to use but try to use WPA2 with a good encryption key. If someone is going to break in, they probably will given enough time but you don't have to make it easy for them.
Read more about small business networking in Network World's Small Business Networking section.