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Planning for Wireless

I've been planning, on and off, to make some changes to our local network here at Fraser Road for a while. The current networking setup does the job, but not too drastically well; as Vickie's PC is both the pass-through for the Internet connection and the printer share, she takes performance hits on certain applications - most notably, the Java games on Popcap she enjoys playing - whenever I print, and sometimes when I'm surfing also. I've been wanting to take that load off of Vickie's PC for a while, but the money which could have gone toward the re-work has either gone on Madam Lash, bills or other personal fripperies (like Hero System 5th Edition and Knights of the Old Republic, which I have to get back into).

They're nto the only factors. As I believe I've mentioned, one of my wishes has been to get the Xbox hooked up to the Internet so I can play things like MechAssault and Halo 2 across Xbox Live. As I believe I've also mentioned, though, the practicalities of doing so - either settign a wireless connection up or drilling holes in the floor - have made the idea prohibitive.

Thanks to the latest issue of Australian Personal Computer, though, my plans are starting to look feasible. The July issue of APC features an article on Wireless networking, including tests of several wireless routers. The winner of the Editor's Choice Award is the ASUS WL-500G, a fully-featured router including wireless connectivity and a print hub, for - get this - $150. This puts wireless networking within my reach, even though I won't really be able to safely afford it until September. Still, that gives me enough time to research wireless networking and security.

Once I have a wireless hub, I'll still need a means of connecting the Xbox to it. Thankfully, it seems Ethernet wireless access points have also been dropping in price, and an ASUS WL-330 retails for only around $100 nowadays. But even if I don't get one until further down the track, we'll still have a solid network setup in the meantime - one that shouldn't cause Vickie any more grief.

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