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Thread: Wireless All-in-one

  1. #1
    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    Wireless All-in-one

    Anyone know of a "good" W-AP? I'm looking for something with the following:

    • Wireless N+ (at least 150MB/s, but prefer 300 or higher).
    • WAN connector / Fall over (i.e. a DSL RJ45 connection)
    • Gigabit LAN connection x4 (or more)
    • USB connector for 3G / Fall over
    • USB connector for storage & printer

    The last one is probably not necessary, but it would be nice not to have to turn on a particular PC to have some sort of server running.

    I can't seem to find anything having even just the 1st 4 items. Those that come close have either no USB, or the USB is only one of printer / storage / modem (not all 3), or the wired LAN is 100MB/s, or the wireless is G instead of N, etc. etc. etc.

    What's wrong with these manufacturers? Why would anyone want an W-AP with a 300MB/s wireless but only a 100MB/s wired? Have they got any clue what that means????? You cannot buy a PC without a 1000MB/s onboard NIC anymore - why have a switch which cannot handle that speed? Or at least have the wired match up with the wireless's speed?

    I can halfway understand having either a WAN(ie DSL)/3G (but not both) - although that's not a good thing either (especially since you could use it as a fail-safe for having both).

    Given you can setup a relatively cheap server to do the 5th item, it still means you have to turn it on / have it running all the time - just another step in the already NOT SIMPLE process of wanting to just have it work!
    Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves. - Norm Franz
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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    have a look at DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router from D-link. You can buy it at Mustek “provided you have an account with them” It is not too expensive and I think it covers for most of your requirements.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

  3. #3
    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    Thanks, that one's an example of one of the "better" types: It's got 1GB/s LAN, WAN, 300MB/s Wireless, storage & printer share ... no 3G USB though??? But it's close!
    Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves. - Norm Franz
    And central banks are the slave clearing houses

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    Well it is an easy fix really, I would configure the 3G modem on one of the computers and or server and just share it with the network via the LAN when the main link goes down??
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

  5. #5
    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    Tried that the other day on my dad's W-AP ... it's a nightmare when you've got various OS's. If all the PCs/Laptops are XP, then it just about works. But when you throw Vista / 7 / Linux / OSX into the mix it all goes for a ball of ...

    And yet again, you need to have one of the PCs turned on so that the others can use the connection. In which case you could just as well have built a true server with all of the above built-in. IMO this is not a "simple and easy" way of doing things. I thought the whole reasoning behind all this is so the average user can setup their home network as simply as possible. It seems that is not possible at all.

    Take an every-day common example: you have a man (let's call him Jim) who's just able to use Word / Excel / Outlook. He's signed a contract with some ISP for an ADSL line, and after some 10's of phonecalls he's finally got it working on his PC. At home he's got one PC, but both him and his wife also have laptops. Now he wants to be able to send & receive emails direct from both laptops. I.e. (after more phonecalls) he needs to plug the ADSL line into the laptop. He gets a bit fed-up about this, especially since it's now the 3rd cable he had to buy since the constant plug-out-plug-in is wearing the connection points down (never mind the RJ45's hook which breaks off all the time). So he goes to his closest PC retailer (let's face it, it's going to be something like Infamous Corruptions). The halfwit on the floor has heard of something in isle 5 called Wireless Routers ... so Jim gets this, not "too" expensive ... reasonably easy to setup & it works pretty well.

    Only now he realises that this gives him more than just sharing of the modem. He can actually see all the other PCs/Laptops which are connected. This gives him an idea, he doesn't need a FlashDisc to copy files between each other anymore. And after some experimentation he notices he can actually work directly on a file which is on another computer. ... ... ... but, then his wife turns off the common PC while he was in the lounge working on some memo for tomorrow's meeting. Aaaaghhhh! ... after all the loud "explanations" they decide to keep the PC on at all times. But due to it running XP, this is another recipe for disaster (it doesn't just slow down like crazy, it crashes at least once a week). So back to IC he goes, he's looking for some way of sharing just the disc without needing to turn on that #$@!% PC every time. So he sees some external HDD's ... but how to get them working on his router? After a lot of "discussion" with two halfwits on the floor they tell him, he should've actually gone for something like this. Let's assume Jim's one of those numerous suckers who then goes and buy's the 2nd router (and a USB external disc).

    It goes well for a while, he's pretty chuffed with the new setup. Until he wants to print some photos to his home Inkjet ... again that #%!@&# PC needs to be turned on again. This time IC has absolutely no answer for him, except (if he's very lucky) one of the not-so-halfwits knows of a specialist PC shop in some obscure industrial area 40km out of his way. They're able to provide him with this. He's actually pretty lucky to get something like that, since the next week his ADSL goes down and he's now looking for something else (hears of CellC's data bundles) ... and fortunately for him the router he's got can handle a USB 3G connection.

    He's in the meantime become an expert on setting up these routers, just due to the numerous times he's had to. He notices however, that if he shares something between 2 Win7 laptops it opens a lot quicker than when he does so to the PC. So he tests this and connects one laptop through the cable - lo and behold he sees the speed's dropped! Does some research and notices that its wired connection is only 10/100 MB/s, wheras the wireless is running at 300 MB/s. Now what? Should he buy a wireless NIC for the PC? But the PC's built-in NIC is already 1000MB/s ... what's the problem? His son (13 and really into lan gaming) also complains that the network is too slow when he's got his friends over. One of his friends bring a wired switch running at 1GB/s and that works soooooo much faster than even their wireless. He scours google for days, but simply cannot find any W-AP which has the same functionality as the Billion one he's got but also provides a 1GB/s LAN.

    The only advise he receives is to get something like this and then setting up a SERVER on his PC. He's also advised to go with a Linux server, since that's cheaper and probably going to work better. Can you imagine how steep his learning curve's going to be?
    Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves. - Norm Franz
    And central banks are the slave clearing houses

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    Quote Originally Posted by irneb View Post
    Anyone know of a "good" W-AP? I'm looking for something with the following:

    • Wireless N+ (at least 150MB/s, but prefer 300 or higher).
    • WAN connector / Fall over (i.e. a DSL RJ45 connection)
    • Gigabit LAN connection x4 (or more)
    • USB connector for 3G / Fall over
    • USB connector for storage & printer

    The last one is probably not necessary, but it would be nice not to have to turn on a particular PC to have some sort of server running.

    I can't seem to find anything having even just the 1st 4 items. Those that come close have either no USB, or the USB is only one of printer / storage / modem (not all 3), or the wired LAN is 100MB/s, or the wireless is G instead of N, etc. etc. etc.

    What's wrong with these manufacturers? Why would anyone want an W-AP with a 300MB/s wireless but only a 100MB/s wired? Have they got any clue what that means????? You cannot buy a PC without a 1000MB/s onboard NIC anymore - why have a switch which cannot handle that speed? Or at least have the wired match up with the wireless's speed?

    I can halfway understand having either a WAN(ie DSL)/3G (but not both) - although that's not a good thing either (especially since you could use it as a fail-safe for having both).

    Given you can setup a relatively cheap server to do the 5th item, it still means you have to turn it on / have it running all the time - just another step in the already NOT SIMPLE process of wanting to just have it work!
    If you want thing to just work, you need to start looking into Apple.
    The "Apple Airport Extreme Base Station" is close to what you are looking for.
    The 3G option via usb is most likely a tall ask.

  7. #7
    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    Thanks, that's probably the 2nd closest I've seen: 1GB Wan & Lan, N WiFi (probably the 300 since it uses 2.4 & 5GHz - they don't say though), USB for printer & storage only. The fall-over Wan/3G thing is a must for me, so unfortunately Apple's R1900 Airport Extreme isn't cutting it. And then I'm a Jobs hater - perhaps unreasonably, but for some reason I feel just the same about his company as I do about the infamous Gate to Hell M$.

    Oh well, I suppose I'd have to go with that (slightly cheaper @ just under R1800) Billion BiPac 7402NX, then use a NAS drive instead of a USB HDD and a printer with a LAN port instead of just USB - probably the better option anyway.

    Edit: Just found a solution. If I use that 7402NX together with this NAS from Verbatim ... I can plug the printer into the NAS's USB port, since the NAS basically sets up as a server. Not "cheap" though, R1800 + R1500 (although cheaper than going with an Apple Time Machine)
    Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves. - Norm Franz
    And central banks are the slave clearing houses

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    Apple Time Machine
    If you think a time machine is a hard drive for storage, you are mistaken.


    Hate Jobs, common man, you just locking your self out from the best kit in the world
    But I own 27" iMac, 2 13" MacBooks, a 17" pro, Mac mini server, iPhone4 and an iPad so I guess I don't

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    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardwic View Post
    If you think a time machine is a hard drive for storage, you are mistaken.


    Hate Jobs, common man, you just locking your self out from the best kit in the world
    But I own 27" iMac, 2 13" MacBooks, a 17" pro, Mac mini server, iPhone4 and an iPad so I guess I don't
    All to their own! I noted the time machine thingy (should have used its correct name "Time Capsule" but that's a wireless NAS, not the software for backing up to it, a bit slow methinks cause of wireless not wired), since that's the only thing in apple's site which seems to give the type of functionality. I know it's more than a NAS, as is the Verbatim, or if you really want to see some nice things go browsing on Seagate's site - there's some extremely linkable docking stations which include things like media streaming, nas, etc.

    Unfortunately for me, Mac doesn't do for my main programs (AutoCAD, Revit, 3dStudio & Impressions), I know I don't need to use a Mac to use their APs, just saying. ACad's recently brought out a version for Mac. One of my colleagues have tried it on a MacBook Pro, while it runs nice and fast - there's some extreme problems with functionality not being there, so it's close to being unusable (at least as a power user). And anyway, it's only one of the major programs dipping its toes into other waters. For the others I'm stuck on the other "locked-in" side.

    But this is getting a whole lot off topic. I just wish there was a (as the thread's title states) "All in One" W-AP. At present even Apple doesn't provide such, which is strange from a company wanting things to "just work". I think here's a niche for someone to fill: build a compact server with a wireless & cabled switch + DSL connection(s) & 3G built in, put some really easy configuration (preferably automatic) software on, allow for some USB's for data, printers, scanners, etc., even add some stuff such as DNS, Domain, VPN, email (Pop/SMTP/IMAP), CalDav, LDAP, media streaming, web, php and/or asp, ftp, etc. servers, add some security firewalling, set a best-practise as the default setup and you're done. Probably it would be a Linux based server on a small form factor SSD running on an ARM CPU though, since most of them come with a lot of that already, and that would use the least amount of power. I think a company like Ubuntu (or similar) would be an ideal place (or at least starting off point), since their ideal is also to make it as easy as possible for the user. Unfortunately most of the other Linux distros are more focused on a near programmer as a user (not all, but most), and that's the very last thing you'd ever want in a "true" plug-n-play All-in-one server.
    Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves. - Norm Franz
    And central banks are the slave clearing houses

  10. #10
    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    As an update: While browsing for some other stuff I just came across this: http://www.ikonicit.co.za/networking...-business.html

    Not cheap by a long-shot, but seems to cover most of the requirements: 1GB/s wired LAN, 300MB/s Wireless, 2x WAN ports, 3G failover, 2x USB for HDD & Printer. I think this is as close as it gets, anything more and you're looking at a true server / gateway. Anyopne have experience on the D-Link DSR-1000N?

    BTW, I've also looked at some NAS boxes for the office's intermediate backups. They're either exorbitant or small. Some have advised building one yourself using something like FreeNAS on an entry-level PC. I haven't used FreeNAS (or any FreeBSD / NetBSD derivative) before - would just like to know it's capabilities & ease of use.
    Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves. - Norm Franz
    And central banks are the slave clearing houses

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