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Old 19-Jan-2005, 12:08 PM
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DSC Member Jools Jools is offline
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Dummy networking questions

Hard to believe that I have a degree in Computer Technology and 10 years ago I was a systems and networks engineer (even writing and teaching the Cisco certification courses for my company). Nowadays I know zip. That's what leaving day to day techy work and moving into management does for you (well that and the fact that the first thing they do to you in management training is give you a lobotomy and tunnel vision).

So, at home I have a total of 4 PC's. An ancient desktop (600mhz Celeron 196Mb Windows 98) and geriatric laptop of my own (266Mhz Pentium 96Mb - Windows NT), an all singing and dancing new desktop (3+Ghz 1Gb 200Gig thing running XP Home edition) and my company laptop (XP Pro).

I now work from home and have the company laptop hardwired to one of the RJ45 ports of a Belkin wireless router that sits in my office and thence to my own (not company) ADSL line. I use VPN software and a whole bunch of security stuff to connect this laptop to my company intranet. Works perfectly. So far, so good.

All my own stuff connects via wireless and I have no connectivity problems at all, but I'm currently having trouble protecting the wireless end with security. Ideally, I would like to run all my wireless connections using 128 bit WPA, but when I configure the router and my most recent PC to do that I've only suceeded in locking myself out. I also have no idea whether the older PC's will even support WPA, whether updates or drivers are available or what.

Can anyone help with a idiots guide to configuring this wireless security stuff? I would really like to get it all consolidated.

The reason I want to do this is to run 'professional' DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) music software (Cubase VST) on the big machine , but also have the older stuff acting as extra resources (you only need minimal power to run a midi sequencer for example - even an old 286 would do it). Since music software creates big audio files and doesn't like sharing resources with stuff that's going to interupt (like virus checkers) I also want to use the older machines for email, internet browsing and stuff so that I can run all the virus check and spyware on these, keeping the big machine clean as a dedicated music recording studio.

I also want to share files between these three machines, and I assume that once they're all talking to the router I can set up a home network? but once again I have no idea how to do that. Any help welcomed.
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