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Can I have wireless internet & a hard wire network at the same time?

This is a discussion on Can I have wireless internet & a hard wire network at the same time? within the Networking Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I work in an office where there is no hard wire to plug into for internet. However, there is a


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Old 12-26-2005, 10:56 AM   #1
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I work in an office where there is no hard wire to plug into for internet. However, there is a strong wireless signal that's easy to pick up. I've managed to fumble along and network three of my computers (two laptops and a desktop). This way they can share files and sync with each other. The wireless conection is fine for the internet but for printing, sharing files and syncing the wirless network is to slow. So I've use a router to hard wire all three of the computers together. This works 10 times faster than the wireless (for printing, sharing files, and syncing) the only problem is that when I plug the wires in I lose wireless internet conection. So I need to be able to have wireless internet conection and a hard wired network at the same time. Is this possible?

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Old 12-26-2005, 11:38 AM   #2
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Hi, and welcome to TSF. It should be possible to set up connection sharing through one computer so it acts as router for the others. But where I would go with this is to find what's wrong with the wireless network setup, for if configured correctly it should be as fast OR FASTER than the wire. Is the network administrator willing to assist?

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Old 12-26-2005, 01:18 PM   #3
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Hmmm, so you say the wireless should work just as fast or faster. I may be able to get access to the router. A little more info about my set up: The router uses wireless "B". It looks like from where my computers sit I'm getting a good signal around 65%. I use the my office desktop as a server and my laptops plug into it through the wireless network (or the hard wire). This way we can sync all the computer so we all have the same files (using Smartsync Pro). I've been thinking of buying a booster for around $100.00 from Office Depot. If I'm able to get my signal up to or close to 100% do you think this would increase the speed of things? Or any other ideas...
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Old 12-26-2005, 03:06 PM   #4
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The wireless will be MUCH SLOWER at local file sharing than a wired network. You're talking about an 802.11b network, which has a maximum bandwidth of 11mbit, and in the real world that will be in the 5-6mbit range. If you add in encryption, which I sure would want for an office network, it'll drop to even less. 802.11b/g is also half-duplex, so any TCP transfers, like file transfers, will be slower than on the same speed wired link.

IMO, you'll be lucky to see a 300-400kbyte/sec transfer rate on the 802.11b link, but you'll easily do 7-8mbytes/sec on a standard 100mbit wired Ethernet.

Another point to consider, 802.11b/g is a contention network, so if you have three wireless machines connecting to one router you'll be lucky to get 20% of that throughput. Wired is the way to go unless there's really a driving reason to go wireless.

Did I mention security of your data? No contest there between wired and wireless either.
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Old 12-26-2005, 03:29 PM   #5
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Yeah, if I could go straight with wired for everything (internet and networking) I would. However, the only choice I have for internet is wireless. But with the network I can do both wired or wireless and like you've said the wireless is slow. So I need a way to have my three computers hardwired for a small network (no internet) and still leave them the ability to use the wireless signal in my office for the internet.
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Old 12-27-2005, 06:04 AM   #6
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Explain the wireless signal in the office? Are you connecting to a wireless ISP? If so, you can still have an all-wired network for the machines on the LAN, which is where the wired speed will make the difference. File sharing on a wireless network is painful, and even more so when you have multiple connections.
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Old 12-27-2005, 10:48 AM   #7
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I'm in a large office, a few rooms away from the wireless router (Net Gear 802.11 a+b Daul Band Access Point - Model WAB102). In my personal office all of the computer connect to the internet just fine (at around 65%+). Having a wired internet connection is not an option I have. I have however, wired my computers using a D-Link Router (model DI-604). Once I plug this in the file transfers between the computers is very fast. However it kills my wireless conection. I have noticed that all the computers still see the wireless signal they're just not using it while wired. What do you think?
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Old 12-27-2005, 01:05 PM   #8
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You can install a single wireless bridge and a simple Ethernet switch for everything to connect to. Let the wireless router manage all the DHCP addresses. This will allow you to all connect to the Internet, and have fast local transfers.
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Old 12-28-2005, 09:01 PM   #9
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Is there somewhere you could recommend so I can learn how to do this. This may be a simple thing but I need some information on "how to" before I start. I've run some random searches on google but I don't think I'm finding what I need... Thanks!
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Old 12-29-2005, 05:35 PM   #10
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Well, it's taken me years to learn what I know about networking and Windows, so I don't know of a 10 minute course. I'd find a local consultant to help you initially, and look very closely over his shoulder.
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Old 12-29-2005, 10:38 PM   #11
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Nice answer, I'll take your advice and your solution to a qualified person and I'll let you know if it works. Thanks again!
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Old 01-15-2006, 11:42 AM   #12
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I ordered the switch and the bridge. Turns out when I hook up the switch to all three computers they all recognize the shared folder. They all say that I have limited or no connectivity but when I'm syncing or transferring large files it's lightening fast as are my printers. I'm also keeping my wireless internet going at the same time. It seems to be working exactly as I needed it to. It was very easy to connect as it was just "plug and play". Thanks for your help.

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