BOOT CAMP 284 (22/07/03)
Wireless Networking part 4
We’re on the home straight now and if you have been following
this series you are now ready to manually configure the first two PCs (the
Server and one Client) in your new wireless network.
The first task is to install NetBEUI (or IPX/SPX if there’s
one or more Windows XP PCs in your network) and TCP/IP protocols -- see last
week’s Boot Camp -- that are needed to share files and your Internet connection.
Start with the Server PC, which we’ll assume is a Windows 98/SE or ME machine
(this step is normally handled automatically in Windows XP).
With your Windows installation disc at the ready go to Start
> Settings > Control Panel and double-click the Network Icon. Make sure
the Configuration tab is selected, click the Add button then in the ‘Select
Network Component’ window that appears double-click Protocol, then Microsoft and
in the right-hand pane choose either NetBEUI or IPX/SPX, and click OK. Go back
and do the same thing for TCP/IP, click OK on the Network Configuration dialogue
box and you may be asked to load your Windows installation disc, after which the
PC will reboot.
When Windows restarts return to Network in Control Panel and
click the Identification tab and enter a name for your Server PC ‘ Fido1’ (using
the example of naming your PCs after a family pet, as outlined in part 1 of this
series) for example. The rest of the PCs in your network will then be called
Fido2, Fido3 and so on. While you are there you need to give your network a
name, which all PCs will use, so use something memorable, like your family name
or your street etc.
Next click the File and Printer Sharing button, follow the
prompts and you will be asked to load your Windows CD-ROM and reboot. When
Windows has booted up you can finish setting up file sharing by opening Windows
Explorer. Decide which files or folders, or even entire disc drives that want
others in the network to be able to access; right click on the icon select
Sharing then in the dialogue box that opens check the item ‘Shared As’ and click
OK. All being well a small hand will appear beneath the folder or disc drive
icon to indicate that it is shared.
To finish off the server setup return once again to Network
in Control Panel and on the list that appears on the Configuration window,
scroll down to the NetBEUI or IPX/SPX entry, there may be several but you are
looking for the one next to your PC’s Ethernet adaptor or NIC, which should show
a small arrow between NetBEUI (or IPX/SPX) and the adaptor name. This indicates
the protocol is ‘bound’ to the adaptor and all is well. Scroll down the list a
little further to the TCP/IP entries and make sure that it also bound to the
adaptor. Now highlight the TCP/IP entry for the adaptor and click Properties.
You have two choices, you can either leave it set to the default ‘Obtain an IP
Address Automatically’ or do it manually, in which case check ‘Specify an IP
Address’ and in the IP Address field enter your chosen IP, which will usually be
something like 192.168.0.101. In the Subnet Mask box below enter 255.255.255.0,
click OK and reboot. You are now ready to set up your first Client PC.
The procedure is basically the same as the Server except that
this time you should enter a different IP address for the PC (i.e.
192.168.0.102) the Subnet mask stays the same. You will also need to enter a
different name for the PC in the Identification windows (i.e. Fido2), but the
Workgroup name should be same for all PCs on your network. Don’t forget to set
up File and Printer Sharing and check the protocol bindings, which this time
will be to your Wi-Fi card or adaptor.
Time to see if it all works and it helps if the two PCs are
close to each other so there won’t be any problems with operating range and you
won’t have to keep moving between the two machines if you need to make any
changes or fix a problem. This next step is very important, before you start
shut everything down, including the router, then reboot in order, starting with
the router, then the Server PC, then the Client.
If everything has gone to plan you should see a Network
Neighbourhood/My Network Places icon on the Client and Server PC’s desktop;
double-click one of them and you should see icons representing both the Client
and Server PCs, double clicking on the icons should display the folders or disc
drives on the other PC that you have nominated for sharing.
It is possible that only the PC you are using will be
displayed, in which case the most likely explanation is there is a glitch in the
Wi-Fi configuration. Check first that the link is ‘live’, you should see a
wireless connection icon in the client PC’s system tray, click on it and it will
display signal strength bars. If signal strength is shown as good then click the
configuration tab and make sure it is set to ‘Infrastructure’, rather than Ad
Hoc. Another possibility is the Router and Wi-Fi card have different SSIDs
(Service Set Identifier). This is a name used to identify a Wi-Fi connection.
Normally it is set to something like ‘Wireless’ or ‘Default’ but if you are
using components from different manufacturers one SSID may need to be changed
from the Wi-Fi card’s configuration utility or the Router’s set-up menu. This is
usually accessed from a browser window on the Server PC by entering the Router’s
IP address, which you will find in the instructions. If you make any changes
always shut down both PCs and the router and reboot.
Next week – Wireless Networking, part 5
FILE AND PRINTER SHARING
Basic feature of a network that allows files and documents on
one PC to be opened on another and for all of the PCs to share one printer
NETBEUI & IPX/SPX
Transport ‘protocols’, used to move data and files around a
network. Support for NetBEUI has been discontinued in Windows XP in preference
to IPX/SPX though it is included on the XP installation disc and can still be
Service Set Identifier – unique code, attached to data
travelling over a wireless network that acts as a password and prevents
interference from other nearby networks
TIP OF THE WEEK
One of the downsides of a network, particularly once
connected to the Internet, is the increased risk of infection from spyware
programs like keyloggers. They are small programs that silently record every
keystroke on your keyboard, which might include your bank and credit card
details, or sensitive information, which the keylogger forwards to whoever
planted it. This little freeware program, Advanced Anti-Keylogger, detects and
stops any such intrusion in its tracks and will warn you if you’re being
monitored. Unfortunately it’s only available for Windows XP but you will find it
(click the Other Applications button).