Linksys Wireless Router Installation and Review

Rating: 4 WaterTowers

This past week I purchased and installed a Linksys Wireless Router for a client. But before I installed the system at their location, I tried it at home to make sure it worked. It did.

Product

Linksys Wireless Router WRT54G2 comes in a sleek package looking more like a flying saucer than a wireless router. The router no longer has the dual antennas as they are now embedded in the unit. Hmmmm, I wonder how far this will reach? (NOTE: It works well, final installation at Sylvan Learning in Tracy, CA is in the very back and wireless is available in my car in the parking lot).

In the box, Linksys has provided the unit itself, a power supply, and a short length of cat 5 or 6 wire (I can’t tell which) with RJ-45 plugs on each end (in other words….a standard RJ-45 cable).

Also included was a set-up disc and a booklet explaining some of the details of the unit and a bit of networking theory.

Home Network

Here is a picture of my normal home network where I will install the Linksys router for testing.

I was one of the first DSL customers in Tracy and have received solid service with only the very occasional outage which is magically fixed sometime over night. Having worked for a telephone company, I know how magic is related to “Ooops, the switch had some bad code entered”. (Click the pictures for high res view)

Installation

When I got home from Best Buy, I opened the box, connected the Linksys to my wall outlet and to my hub / switch and tried to connect.

No such luck. Hey….I have to try the easy way…ya know?!

I had to run the installation disc which I popped into my DELL computer, connected the Linksys to the DELL and to the hub / switch as shown in the following diagram:

After following the VERY easy directions on the Linksys, I fired up my Toshiba Laptop in wireless mode (802.11G) and was rewarded with the following wireless connection information and a very good connection to the Internet.

Security

Since Sylvan Learning in Tracy had a vulnerable wireless connection before YeOldeTechy came along, I decided to give them a highly secure connection. This is especially good for them to have since they now have wireless access extending out into the parking lot.

I selected WPA/WPA2 and gave them a really hard password consisting of letters, numbers and symbols.

The first time logging on to the wireless you need to put in an extremely difficult password or key…but, after that, your computer automatically connects. Very cool.

If I were to keep the Linksys at home (I have an old version that is solid as a rock) my network configuration would look like this:

If you were connecting this as a router (which I did at Sylvan) there is one trick I learned after paying $29.99 for help from the Linksys Service people (long story but the old Sylvan router was going bad and I reset it and then needed help getting it configured…).

Here is the trick: Your service may require a MAC address in the router. There is a Mac Clone capability in the Linksys on this page (note the address is 192.168.1.1 from your browser, IE or Firefox both work):

Simply find the MAC address of one of your computers and enter that number in the clone address space. Instantly….and losing $29.99 for this simple trick….the Internet comes back to life! Arrrghhh…..but, maybe this blog can save you money.

Summary

I have lived with a Linksys Wireless router for several years now and have been a very happy customer. It has been solid and the wireless capability allows me to sit in the back yard and even do videoconferencing from there if I so desire.

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About Mike Pihlman

I am the Director of ForCarol.com a 501c3 non-profit that awards college scholarships to Tracy, CA scholars in honor of my daughter's best friend, and our part-time daughter, Carol Phan who we lost on Sept 18, 2010. I am a: Book Review (TracyReaderDad.com), Technology (TechyMike.com), and Movie Review (ForCarol.com) blogger.

Posted on August 11, 2008, in Computer, Product Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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