by R. K. Bloom

Equipment Wireless 802.11b standard from Gigabyte: Access Point GN-A16B, USB-Adapter GN-WLBZ201

Equipment Wireless 802.11b standard from Gigabyte: Access Point GN-A16B, USB-Adapter GN-WLBZ201

Among the different spheres of my capabilities, there is one from which ever and can not escape. Administrator of the family network. Less than three computers in it will never happen. Link to all households in the local area network and provide worldwide access to the network – this is a task that job descriptions of the corporate IT-managers blends in with the list of household duties fathers of families.

Until recently, the problem is this has been solved by laying flat on the many-wired communications. To do this, keeping intact the pristine interior of the home, only by the true enthusiasts, devotees. Those who do not have at this time, effort and money (among themselves, repent, and I am) are limited by the fact that stretch the twisted-pair directly on the floor, trying where possible to hide it behind furniture. Home grumble, but tolerated because the home computer with no connection to their own kind and not a computer at all, but a cross between a game console with the typewriter.

Wireless computer networks did not appear yesterday. In 1990, AT & T has launched a network equipment RadioEthernet. At the same time in the committee on standardization of Ethernet appeared Subcommittee on wireless equipment. It took six years to adopt a standard for wireless data networks Ethernet 802.11.

Version of the 802.11b standard, combines today the most affordable cost solutions, operating at 2.4 GHz with up to 11 Mbit / sec. The classic version of a wireless network includes more than one wireless network adapters and the so-called access point (Access Point), connecting a wireless LAN segment to the wired LAN and / or the Internet. The cost of the access point of the budget varies on the Moscow market in the region of hundreds of dollars. Wireless network adapter costs about half the price. Once I finally matured, and delivered his apartment on the pile of wires under your feet.

About that, what would be the option to deploy a wireless network quickly, I try to tell you the example of low-cost solutions, recently predctavlennogo Taiwanese company Gigabyte. The basis of it is the access point is GN-A16B, working in the standard 802.11b.

The access point, as seen in the photo, is a small plastic box with a protruding side retained the antenna. Placing the device in an apartment or office should not be a problem, you can simply put, you can hang on a wall in a secluded place.

On the front side there are indicators that the green glow of wanting to inform about the health of the access point.

From right to left – an indicator of power failure, the activity of wireless networks, link and activity of a wired network, respectively, when connected to 100 or 10 Mbits / sec. Three more space for the indicators are not used.

The rear wall of the device does not give any reason to doubt the inexperienced user. Jack for AC adapter, a connector for connecting to a LAN and a hole, which at a critical time, you can insert a straightened paper clip to reset the access point settings to their original state.

Complete the minimum required device. Manual, power adapter, CD with software to configure and administer, patch cord to connect the AP to the wired network.

We put all the cords in the slots designated for them. The access point comes to life, winking green lights. Its time to connect to it and find out what she knows.

With a factory unit comes with IP-address 192.168.1.1. For the initial configuration is assigned to one of the computers on the network 192.168.1.x static IP, then the access point can connect both with the supplied utility Access Point Manager, using the protocol SNMP, or via the usual WEB-interface. As expected, you will request a password (of course, “admin” :) , and then miss the interior of the configuration utility.

Briefly list the main access point settings. Bookmark System allows you to change the name of the device and, last but not least, the so-called Community String (default – “public”), defines the set of devices available for centralized monitoring and control via SNMP. If you do not want to have your access point was available for searching, and you never know, for unauthorized control of SNMP, the name of the Community better to change, both in the device and the parameters of the program.

IP Config tab to configure the network settings. The basis of all – click DHCP Mode. The access point can act as a DHCP-client, that is to receive IP-address and other required parameters from the external DHCP-server on the network. It can act as a DHCP-server, which may be the best solution in a small LAN.

Wireless Operation tab to configure the basic parameters of the wireless network connection. The only thing that can be immediately exchanged without fear of something demolish – ESSID (Extended Service Set IDentifisation), which for simplicity we can assume the name of your wireless network. If you use the item Hidden ESSID, then the network name will not be transmitted in broadcast mode, which increases the security of your wireless network from outside intrusion. To change other settings on this tab, you need good reason and the understanding of the changes.

Encryption – the cornerstone component of a wireless network. The mechanism of WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is designed to protect networks from unauthorized access and interception of network traffic. AP Manager allows you to select one of two modes of authentication – Open System, when network traffic is encrypted by automatically changing keys or Shared Key, where both sides use the same key. You can completely disable encryption, but then there is no guarantee of what some quirky neighbor did not take advantage of the resources of your home or office network in their own vile purposes :) . AP Manager provides the user with another questionable service – generating an encryption key based on the codeword. It is better not to trust such an important matter generator of unknown breed and write key itself.

In addition to the above items, AP Manager allows you to use MAC-filter, with which you can give access to the network only devices with certain MAC-addresses.

For a small home or office network, this means more than enough.

All of the above configuration options available through WEB-interface. He used to update the internal software access point.

In the Moscow retail GN-A16B has not seen. On the Internet, managed to find information about the sale of these devices in South Africa where they are offered at a price of 565 rand, the name of their local currency. For the same price they offer a 40-gigabyte hard drive Seagate ST-340014A, which is the average price in Moscow – $ 57. The access point for the money – its not bad, although I personally prefer for your home access point, combined with a wired network hub.