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-- Compex Waveport Wireless LAN Kit (C-Kit 811WL
-- Category: Review
-- Posted by: GideonX
-- Posted on: 2001-09-14
-- Price: ~ $229.99 USD
-- Pages: 1 [ 2 ] 3
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   What I describe as a host is a main desktop machine that contains the extra PCMCIA wireless nic.  Most desktops do not have a PCMCIA slot, so an adapter was provided within this kit to accommodate.  To hook this kit up, there are just a few steps you need to take and you should be ready to roll.

   The above shots are from the installation of the PCI PCMCIA wireless adapter.  The card plugs into any PCI slot and is plug and play.  The drivers I installed was for Windows 98SE, which went through very smoothly.  One of the things that may still confuse some people is that the host PC must have a wired connection.  Wireless needs to be wired? WTH?  Before you go bezerk, the host PC only hosts the wireless PCI adapter so the other wireless NICs can get a connection.  Therefore, this host PC must have a wired connection (PCI/ISA NIC) that brings in the main connection.  Essentially, this is very similar to a 'router' of sorts that routes wireless connections to the correct place.  Confused yet?

   This is the other wireless NIC, which I installed on my laptop.  This laptop had Windows ME installed, and the drivers worked fine for that also.  Again, very straight forward installation so there shouldn't be any surprises.

   The manual that is included with the kit is very in depth and precise.  There are basically two steps to get everything up and running.  I won't go into too much detail because it does get confusing after a while.  The manual is a good guide, so keep that near by when setting everything up.  First off, make sure the drivers of the equipment are installed correctly.  The host PC will have a different set of software installed, called Soft Bridge.  This software provides the 'bridge' between the wired NIC and the PCI PCMCIA Adapter.  TCP/IP is definitely needed, so make sure that is installed.  The software will automatically take care of binding issues so you wouldn't have to worry about that.  

   Both host and portable computer will have a configuration software utility that must be configured before anything can work.  Encryption and other options can be set.  There is also an option in there that is rather important that  you probably don't want to overlook.  In the configuration utility, Infrastructure and 802.11 AdHoc are available for use.  From what the manual describes, Infrastructure is only use when there is a wireless base present.  What we are doing is not using a wireless base, so make sure you want the other option.

   One issue that I did end up having was due to the use of my Linksys Router.  I asked Jimmy over at Compex if there was a solution to it and he mentioned that it may help if I hard coded my DNS entries.  What had happened from what I gather was that the laptop was able to get a single across to the host machine which is connected to the router.  It received a valid internal IP through the host, but it did not receive any type of DNS information.  So it pinged IPs fine, but domain names went no where.  So hard coding the exact DNS numbers did help out.  Might want to try that if you're having issues with this kit and any router in general.

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