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  #11  
Old 10-21-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thadius123 View Post
In that scenario would I even require a second wireless card? The external USB antenna/hardware combo is in effect the interface that connects to the external ISP access point. After installation of the antenna software on the "notebook" it shows itself as an active wireless hardware device under the network control settings along with the existing Local Area Connection and Wireless Network Connection adapters already built into the notebook.

Could I not "bridge" both the new antenna hardware device (which has now actively connected to the shore ISP) and the notebook's built-in wireless card as it shows itself in the Network Connections page? I understand this is achieved by highlighting both devices one wants to bridge, right clicking on them and then using the "Bridge Connections" option that comes up.

Shouldn't the netbook's built-in wireless card now act as a wireless internet access point thereby allowing me to connect to it with any other wifi device aboard my boat (computer or otherwise)?
The short answer is ... probably.

Under Linux it would depend on the drivers. If your internal wireless card was compatible with Linux then you could probably figure out a way to make it work, if not you'd be investing in another card. Under another operating system I don't know, I'd hate to try to do something like this under Windows, but on an Apple it probably wouldn't be quite as bad. Once you get past the GUI interface Apple and Linux are very similar.

You could try bridging them like you wrote about above, who knows, might work!

But by default your internal wireless card is going to be configured as a client and not an Access Point, so you are going to have to fix that somehow, either that or you are going to have to bring up yet another piece of equipment to act as an intermediate Access Point for both the laptop card and your other devices.
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  #12  
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If you are set on Windows this might help ...

Configuring Windows XP as a Network Bridge

The way I'd go about that is to get the laptop up on one interface and then alternately on the other interface before trying to bridge them, that way you have a better idea what is causing the problems if/when it doesn't work.

Edit - a really easy test of all of this would be to get a cross over cable and hook your laptop with the working wireless connection up to your desktop, then see if you can ping the host router and whether or not you can DHCP an address. Once that works then you can get it all working wirelessly on your boat.
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The real problem with this as a solution is that it uses a lot more power than using a dedicated bridge, like the Ubiquiti Bullet2 HP and a micro Wifi Router, like the D-Link DWL-730G AP, and it requires that your computer be on all the time.

This also leaves you with some security issues, in that your computer is now acting as a bridge or router effectively, depending on how you have it configured... sharing the WiFi connection from the USB device to the router.

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Originally Posted by Thadius123 View Post
Thanks for the information. Rather than purchase a bridge I would rather just keep my existing USB antenna and effect the bridge between that and the router with the notebook. Obviously my existing USB antenna (built-in hardware) would be incompatible with any bridge I would purchase and necessitate the need to also acquire an external stand-alone antenna.

With regards to the actual bridging in the network configuration control panel are there any potential hardware conflicts that I should be aware of?

Would I expect to see any sort of signal or quality degradation with respect to my average speeds I reported earlier with such a network setup?

Thanks for the reply as it was very informative.

Cheers!
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Old 10-21-2009
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Long-Distance WiFi Device - Page 19 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

5MileWIFI Products

This is a long thread on WiFi and they seem to be very happy with the 5 mile Wifi set up
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  #15  
Old 10-21-2009
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I just came back to read what was going on here... SD - while the products listed on your link get rid of the loss issue with the antenna and run 12v, they still only run in bridging mode and you need two different devices to have both a wireless access point and a station/repeater. This is a major limitation, and I've only found two devices out there, one at around $1,500 and the other over $2k that can function as both simultaneously, and as a router. Let me give a scenario. You're in Warderick Wells, Bahamas. Internet costs $30 for three days of access per device. You have two laptops (or in our case, three) on board - one for you, one for your wife and one for your kids. With a bridge, you're forced to buy three logins. With a router, you can hide all your computers behind one connection. On top of that, you can also enforce security through a basic firewall since you're running at layer 3. But - your only choices for doing this today are to buy two different boxes (for most non-tech people, that means learning where to put the devices and how to configure your computers to talk to the AP, the AP to talk to the repeater. and the repeater to talk to shore) or to spend a ridiculous amount of money. Anyway - I got tired of explaining to people how to do it and what to buy, so I decided to start a company and to build a new device with my partner. Jeez - now I'm starting to sound like Craig from Rocna

By the way - Yes, you can set up Internet sharing on multiple computers, but it's flaky and unpredictable. I tried setting it up for others on a few cruising boats and just ended up turning it off.
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Old 10-21-2009
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Labatt—

It would help if you knew the capabilities of the devices in question before saying what they can or cannot do. The two devices I mention, as configured, cost less than $300. BTW, D-Link DWL-730G AP can be configured as either a router, an Access Point or a Bridge... if it is configured as a router, then you'd only be paying for one connection.



Quote:
Originally Posted by labatt View Post
I just came back to read what was going on here... SD - while the products listed on your link get rid of the loss issue with the antenna and run 12v, they still only run in bridging mode and you need two different devices to have both a wireless access point and a station/repeater. This is a major limitation, and I've only found two devices out there, one at around $1,500 and the other over $2k that can function as both simultaneously, and as a router. Let me give a scenario. You're in Warderick Wells, Bahamas. Internet costs $30 for three days of access per device. You have two laptops (or in our case, three) on board - one for you, one for your wife and one for your kids. With a bridge, you're forced to buy three logins. With a router, you can hide all your computers behind one connection. On top of that, you can also enforce security through a basic firewall since you're running at layer 3. But - your only choices for doing this today are to buy two different boxes (for most non-tech people, that means learning where to put the devices and how to configure your computers to talk to the AP, the AP to talk to the repeater. and the repeater to talk to shore) or to spend a ridiculous amount of money. Anyway - I got tired of explaining to people how to do it and what to buy, so I decided to start a company and to build a new device with my partner. Jeez - now I'm starting to sound like Craig from Rocna

By the way - Yes, you can set up Internet sharing on multiple computers, but it's flaky and unpredictable. I tried setting it up for others on a few cruising boats and just ended up turning it off.
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  #18  
Old 10-22-2009
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  #19  
Old 10-22-2009
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While in a marina, I use a Portnetworks directional antenna/amplifier and a cheap wireless router. Works great.
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  #20  
Old 10-23-2009
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Thanks to everyone for your input and suggestions !

I'll let you know how I make out.

Cheers!
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