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 In the Subnet Mask box below enter, 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. 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





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



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 used



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



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 at: (click the Other Applications button).

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