[Nottingham] Social / website / Wireless Router - questions, any recommendations?

David Aldred david at familyaldred.org.uk
Wed Mar 2 19:31:37 GMT 2005

Hi everyone - have a good time this evening.  I can't be there, sorry.

Martin: the website.  Does it support PHP/MySQL?  If so, I've got a php/mysql 
driven diary system for a club website which we could port across, allowing 
you (or anyone else you authorise) to log in from any browser and 
add/edit/delete events, whether or not you've got admin access to the server.  
Interested?   I wrote it for a folk club a couple of years ago, and haven't 
had to rewrite their events page since, because the non-HTML-literate 
committee can now update it themselves!

Now the bigger question: I set up a wireless network in the house months ago, 
just on an ad-hoc network.  It works, but there are bits of the house which 
are 'dead', and of course the whole thing is dependent on the main 
net-connected PC being (a) on and (b) not tempramental about its own wireless 
usb thingy (for a week recently it was needing a service network restart 
every few hours to allow anything else to connect: an accidental reboot seems 
to have sorted it, no idea why!)

I'm hoping people here can help with getting my thoughts straight on this....  
I'm starting wth basics in case I'm misunderstanding anything that early on!

AIUI, the basic idea is that a router has the cable modem plugged into it on 
one 'side', and on the other 'side' provides both ethernet sockets and a 
wireless access point.  I can plug my  main PC and the other one in the same 
room into ethernet ports, and use wireless elsewhere in the house.  

It seems that the routers are configured using a web-style interface; they 
claim to provide a firewall as well.

So, questions before I visit ebay......

1.  Am I right in assuming that it doesn't matter (from the pov of setting up  
a router which uses a web-style setup interface) what OS is on any of the 
PC's?   Many of them seem to have the usual CD "for Windows 98/ME/XP..." - is 
this just clag to make Windozers happy?

2.  How much use are the firewalls?  To what extent do I still need to 
firewall the machines on the 'inside'?  

3.  Do these things enable restriction of connection to specific MACs, to put 
one barrier in the way of anyone in a car outside getting at my systems? 

4.  Is there anything else to think about from the Linux pov before I start?  
Is it likely that any router will have a fit when it doesn't find Windows on 
the end of a connection?

5.  Any specific recommendations for good routers?  Or specific 
de-recommendations for bad ones?  

David Aldred

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