Q

How do I hook up a wireless router in order to use my notebook over a satellite connection?

I have two-way satellite service from Direcway. I would like to hook up a wireless router so that I can use a notebook computer over the satellite connection. My problem is the modems are connected to the desktop with a USB port and all the wireless routers I find use an Ethernet cable. Any solutions?
Your Direcway service and modem are designed to deliver Internet access to a single host -- the desktop connected to the modem via USB. What you'd like to create is a small network consisting of your desktop and notebook, and let the entire network share the satellite Internet connection.

There are two ways to share the satellite connection:

  1. Replace your USB-based Direcway host modem with an Ethernet-based Direcway LAN modem, like the DW6000. This product can allow multiple Ethernet devices to access the Internet through one satellite modem. See this FAQ for more info.

  2. Enable Internet Connection Sharing on the desktop connected to the USB-based Direcway host modem. Internet Connection Sharing is built into most Windows operating systems -- just configure your desktop to share the satellite modem connection with other workgroup members (e.g., your notebook). There are some great ICS tutorials at PracticallyNetworked.

Ok, now how are you going to connect your notebook with wireless? Again, you have two choices:

  1. Use peer-to-peer (ad hoc mode) wireless between the notebook and desktop. There's a well-illustrated description of how to configure this at Tom's Networking. You'd need a wireless adapter for both the notebook and desktop. Your notebook may already have one; your desktop probably doesn't.

  2. Buy a wireless router for your network. Buy an Ethernet adapter for your desktop and plug the desktop into the router. Buy a wireless adapter for your notebook to connect to the router over wireless. If you go with the Direcway LAN modem, plug the modem's Ethernet into the WAN port of the wireless router. This is probably your best bet -- although slightly more expensive than peer-to-peer, you'll find it is easier to configure and more reliable.
This was first published in March 2005
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