Access Point or Switch

Hank February 2, 2009 at 05:34:17
Specs: Windows XP
The wife got a new netbook (MSI U120) so suddenly its time to set up a wireless LAN. I have a Linksys wtr350N router hooked to DSL and the desktop. All is well with the netbook but I also have several internet capable units (ethernet, but not wireless) in the living room all the way across the house. All are entertainment related (Neuros OSD, PS3, etc.) and live in the same cabinet. I would like to connect them to the WLAN but am unsure what the best approach is. A multi-port switch (if such a thing exists)? Multi-port AP? Multi-port bridge? Multiple switches/gaming adapters (last resort)?

The Neuros has a 1T HDD physically connected to it that I would like to turn into NAS and access wirelessly for streaming audio and video. It is not ethernet capable. I will probably have to upgrade in the next year or so to a 2T (or possibly 3T!) drive. (What can I say, lots of MP3 and MP4 files) When I upgrade I will probably get one that is ethernet capable.

I'm extremely confused by multiple networking terms (equipment) that mean (do) the same things. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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February 2, 2009 at 07:50:57
Considering you already have a SOHO router, I would go with a wireless Access Point. You simply plug it into your router, configure it and all wireless capable clients will be able to connect.

You may need a switch, depending on the number of LAN ports on your router and the number of hard wired devices you need to connect. It's worth noting that all switches are "multi port" since a switch with a single port would be completely ;)

As for the gaming devices you mentioned, I have none of those. I do however have a Wii and it connected wirelessly very easily.

If you google 'online computer dictionary' you will find a link at the top that will take you to a place you can research all computer related terms/acronyms to get a better understanding of what they mean.

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