I have a Linksys / Cisco Wireless-G, WRT54G. We have 4 laptops which all access through the wireless. It also has 4 hard wired ports, two of which go straight to desktops/servers, and one of which I have patched to a high speed switch with 3 desktops/servers connected. So, there are a total of 11 nodes on the LAN. This router allows for DHCP, as do most, for controlling the ip addresses automatically. The router connects to a DSL modem from Verizon. Everything works fine, although occasionally, e.g. 4-6 times a year, you need to power down the modem, or the router, or both and power them back up.
Hey everyone! Wow, I just wanted to thank you all for all of the information. You guys brought up things I hadn't even thought of...especially about interference....and I really appreciate it. I live in the middle of a 6 floor apartment building AND have a cordless phone, so I'm guessing I have to keep that in mind when I go to the store...
Anyway, like I said, I just wanted to thank you for the ideas and if any others pop up, please just keep them rolling. I have a feeling this decision is going to take awhile for me, but I'll def keep you guys updated. Thanks again! :D
These are some excellent suggestions. Wireless is definitely the way to go for setting up a home computer network.
If available in your area, attend a continuing-ed class on wireless networking basics. If you purchased a wi-fi router already, take it with you to the class. The instructor might be kind enough to help you set it up the first time. Most wi-fi router/access points come with a setup wizard, which is great if you've never configured one before.
I have a Linksys G at home, and rarely have problems with it. It's in the basement, and the signal is not slowed down by pipes and ducts in the floor above. Just enough signal strength to cover the house and patio, but no further. There are both PCs and Macs connected to the network.
I am the technology assistant at our local library, and use a d-Link wireless access point there. It has a much stronger signal output, more than you would probably need at home. But it works well. Some patrons have problems with the wi-fi configuration on their laptops, but that is usually an easy fix.
For the price and ease of use, go with a Linksys.
omg those were the days...
Fishfool @ The Reef Tank
a linksys router should be a good fit for you..easy to setup