Build A Home Network

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Everyday when ET returns from his classes to his apartment he eagerly yearns to throw himself on top his comfy chair and simply surf the internet at his own convenience. Unfortunately, ET is living with two other roommates that maliciously wish to use all of their bandwidth on a daily basis. Ah, the horror! Luckily, ET has pondered away during his free time of how to resolve this emerging conflict. He has carefully noted that his apartment contains three computers: two desktops and one laptop. After consulting with his trusty side-kick, Andy Chung or better known as Andy, both of them absolutely believe that the most optimal solution to this conflict is to purchase a router. However, during ET's brief time in researching about routers he has discovered that he could a) purchase a wired router or b) purchase a wireless router.

For our project we ultimately decided to use the wireless networking package; it is the most popular tool since it supports wireless (most laptops) and wired (most desktop) connection. The laptop has built-in wireless capability; on the other hand both desktops do not support wireless connections, therefore they would need to be connected to the network through wires. The project will help determine if the purchase of a wireless router would worth the money.

Our first step to assist ET in his wonderful ‘networking' adventures was to start by researching for general information on the internet about the different router brands that are on the market. We narrowed our choices to two router brands: D-Link and Linksys. Afterwards we went to Circuit City and Best Buy to talk to their representatives and ask them questions about the two router brands we focused on. The representatives of both stores seemed to agree that the best routers to use were Linksys routers. They directed us to two different models of Linksys routers: the WRT54GS, and the WRT54G. We focused our in-depth research on those two models. From our dismay, we've discovered that most of the Linksys routers offer 4-port Ethernet switch (they will allow us to connect the desktop with wires), transfer rates up to 54 Mbps and advance security. The GS model offers additional speed and higher security, but it requires extra hardware. We located two routers that would completely satisfy our needs based upon our budget (see Annex A for a more detailed comparaison).

Afterwards, we turned out baseball caps backwards and slowly crept around the store to compare the prices for each router.
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