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Laptops to the Internet through a WLAN link

Jan 06, 20033 mins
Cellular NetworksNetwork SecurityWi-Fi

Nutter helps a reader get ‘Net access in his laptop through a wireless LAN

I’m trying to configure my network to allow me to connect to the Internet through a wireless network. I have a MRI ADSL router connected to an eight-port switch. Also connected are various desktop PCs with Windows XP Professional, Linux and Windows ME; they all can see the Internet and have no problems. I recently purchased an ATMEL-based access point and an ATMEL-based PC Card. I have configured these and have managed to connect the laptop to the XP system to the extent I can see the XP shared directories. I can also connect from the laptop (running Windows NT 4 Service Pack 6) to the configuration screen for the ADSL modem. That’s where it breaks down, and I cannot get out to the Internet from the laptop.

 – Via the Internet

Thanks for sending the configuration information about your ATMEL equipment (I had to delete this to get the column to fit in the space I have been alloted). What you have in the ATMEL access point is really a router – not just an access point. If you get could an access point that is just that (i.e., the Linksys WAP 11), that would address what you’re looking to do. If that isn’t an option, you might still be able to get it to work.

The other thing I found is that the WAN port on the ATMEL unit is a port for direct connection to a DSL line from the telephone company. If you were to take a crossover cable from one of the LAN ports on the AMTEL unit and connect it to the other access point via a LAN port, you can get the two units to see each other. I would recommend turning off DHCP on the ATMEL unit and let the first DSL router continue to provide that function. Change the LAN IP address of the ATMEL unit to be an available static address on your existing network. If you can’t get the wireless card to get an IP address, you may need to turn DHCP back on, but make the default gateway be the IP address of the first DSL router you have.

When you have things working router to router, you can then tackle the wireless side. As a temporary measure only, I would recommend starting up the wireless with encryption turned off. This makes troubleshooting the wireless side a little easier. My main reason for this is that with XP, you may have to use the utilities in XP to do the encryption configuration and not the utilities sent with the Wi-Fi card from the vendor; that may cause problems in getting Wired Equivalent Privacy to work with Wi-Fi under XP. I’ve had problems with a couple of cards that worked with Windows 2000 or 98, but didn’t with XP. Start the process without encryption to make sure you have connectivity.