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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Question Wireless network newb question

My wife's office has an existing windows XP desktop machine. They want to acquire a laptop that will be used for sales presentations and such in the field.

I am recommending that they use the XP desktop machine as the "base" unit containing all of the master sales and customer files with copies on the laptop in case the laptop dies or gets stolen. So the machines will need to share files.

They want a wireless connection between the systems to do this.

The laptop will come with wireless capability; the XP machine does not currently have it.

Is adding a wireless card to the XP desktop machine and turning on file sharing sufficient to make this work? Do we need XP pro? (i'm not for sure what version of XP is on that machine).

Sharing a broadband internet connection is not a requirement at this point.

<--newb to wireless stuff
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-13-2004, 12:03 AM
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So you want to use the regular pc sort of as a file server and back the files up on the laptop?

I wouldn't recommend sharing the folder in XP on a wireless network unless you are comfortable in setting the firewall and using some fairly strong encryption. Otherwise anyone within range of the server can access the files that are shared, not really a good thing.

If all you want to do is share files I'd recommend using an external hard drive, just carry it with the laptop and save the files there. When you get back to the office upload the stuff to the server from the external drive. This way it's saved on atleast 2 different hard drives and most likely won't get lost. You could also go so far as to sharing the files on the external drive through XP in the main pc so you could access them with the laptop via the wireless connection and then when you are done just turn off the drive. Now if you ever lose the external drive you're screwed though since anyone can plug it into a machine and read it.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-13-2004, 01:50 AM
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Well, depending on how extensive you want this solution to be, someting as easiy as windows LAN network (sharing) between your laptop (w/ wireless) and her workstation (wired) would allow file xfer. Is there some requirement thtat the workstaion have a wireless connection? Is there some reason your wireless laptop would not be able to connect to the LAN the workstation is on (IE no WAP for access)?

If the later is true, then there is a means of connecting 2 hosts directly, its called ad-hock. I don't know much about it, I'm only familar with LAN's w/ WAP that I connect to. I suppose this would be much more convienent than directly connecting 2 boxes via NULL MODEM cable, patch cables, etc...

Windows has a syncronization mechanism that is geared toward keeping redundant copies of the same files at 2 places. When one isn't connected to the other, and that data changes, its sync's upon next connction so theire is a dual redunandat backup of the same info at both places. I'd advise looking into a 3rd party application to do this for you though, and not completley rely on MS for that.

If it were me, and I didn't want to spend alot or anything, I would just figure out the network connection stuff, and make it 'procedure' to manually copy, backup, refresh files on both boxes so that they match everytime I connect to 2. Simple files management. There are easier ways though obviously, but at a price.

I hope any of this was helpful

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-13-2004, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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One thing I have to do with this is keep it simple. It's a very small construction company that is run out of the guy's house; he's built an office on the back side of the house and that's where the work gets done. They have one PC - the XP machine, so there is no office network - and really no one knows anything about how to use the PC other than using MS office and dial-up AOL (nor do they want to). The house is out in the country so I don't think people snooping on the wireless would be an issue(?). Also, can't you turn on encryption on the wireless to keep people out? and enable passwords for the share?

Yes, the basic idea is to keep the main files on the XP machine and use it like a file server. They also want to share out the printer for use by the laptop.

I just thought wireless would be a lot easier than stringing cat 5 all over and having to plug the laptop in to a network to use it. Also, the office area is small and it would be nice to be able to use the laptop in the kitchen or wherever there is space to spread out.

So, I want to build a "point to point" wireless network (wireless "laplink" LOL) without using a WAP (no broadband in the country).

I know diddly & squat about wireless so I have no idea if this can be made to work or not.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-13-2004, 06:40 PM
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-13-2004, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Eric - that's what I was hoping was possible. I hate to assign static IP's but oh well at least it can be made to work.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-13-2004, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01WhiteCobra
good article

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