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Netgear "house wiring" Ethernet network

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Dan, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Dan

    Dan Guest

    I need to connect my wife's mac laptop to our cable Internet. I have a
    pc at the modem. Maybe I'm a bit paranoid, but a wireless router
    concerns me, even with encryption. So I'm looking at these, a Netgear
    product (belkin, others also make them) that basically turns your house
    wiring into an Ethernet LAN:
    http://www.netgear.com/products/details/XE102.php A set of 2 (what I'd
    need for a connection to my wife's laptop in her office) is about 100
    bucks, adding a router takes the total to ~$150. Once set, the
    "transmitter" is plugged in to a wall outlet at the router, then the
    "receiver" can by plugged into any house electrical outlet & you have an
    Ethernet jack (though presumably the outlets must be on eht same side of
    the 120 line?) I do have a concern though regarding whether or not our
    signal might be propagated over the local power grid to other homes in
    the area. Also, the device operates at 4 to 20 mhz. I'm guessing at
    these frequencies, house wiring is not a very effective radiator, but is
    it possible the signals may be broadcast under the right conditions?

    TIA

    Dan
     
  2. Guest

    Do you know that you can use most wireless routers as wired routers
    also?

    I don't know of any wireless router that doesn't but I do have a
    Netgear which have four wired ports. It comes out of the box with the
    wireless capability disabled. To activate it, you have to go into its
    settings by using a web browser from a connected PC.
     
  3. Dan

    Dan Guest

    No, I didn't know that, but it's a useful bit of information. I need to
    get a router in any case, and this way my options would be open. Do you
    recommend any particular make/model? I have 8 meg cable internet.

    Thanks for the reply!

    Dan
     
  4. Mr. Land

    Mr. Land Guest

    Ugh! I don't know about you, but trying to get a 20 MHz signal cleanly
    propagated around my house using the 110 V wiring would scare the hell
    out of me. Not that I think it would be fire hazard or anything like
    that...I'd just be skeptical of it working right out of the box.
    Having dabbled in X-10 a bit, and seeing how ordinary,
    otherwise-innocuous-seeming appliances can destroy X-10 signals (which,
    I believe, are at a frequency much lower than the 4-20 MHz range...does
    that make them easier or harder to deal with in this situation?), I'd
    be very impressed if this stuff worked right out of the box in all
    situations. My own experience is that most of the larger appliances
    in my home always seemed to have some sort of internal AC filter or
    surge suppressor or some kind of other protection device, which goes
    unnoticed as far as normal 110VAC is concerned, but screws up other
    signals in a big way. I've had to purchased an X-10 signal indicator
    for troubleshooting, various X-10 filters, repeaters, etc., just to get
    a few lights to turn on and off with an acceptable level of
    reliability. Way over the cost of the devices themselves, I should
    add. Running a modulated Ethernet in this same environment sounds
    hairy.

    Definitely do some research on this one...and let us know how you make
    out!






    Using existing wiring for Ethernet is a tempting choice...but I'd try
    to find out more about how it will play with existing stuff plugged
    into outlets
     
  5. Don Bowey

    Don Bowey Guest

    I agree, you are paranoid. I have two PCs (both wireless) and two Macs (1
    wireless and 1 Ethernet) served by a wireless router with 64 bit encryption,
    and don't have any problems, nor do I expect any. I'm using an Airport
    Extreme, which makes it simple for all to share a USB printer located near
    the base station. Wireless would permit your wife to be just about
    anywhere in your house or outside with the laptop, without dragging a cable.

    Don
     
  6. Don Bowey spake thus:
    So just how hard is it for a determined hacker to get past those
    barriers? Anyone know for sure (no speculation, pleeze)?
     
  7. The alternative is his device which is a one man BPL disaster. He's going
    to wipe out HF communication around his home.

    As for a determined hacker, there is no way to lock them out. Eventually
    they will hack into your system. If you use decent passwords it will be
    more difficult. Unless they live next door, they won't be able to crack
    your network in the time they have before the police notice them.

    Even 64 bit encryption is enough, because the current state of wireless is
    that most people leave their SSIDs (network id) as "default" or "undefined"
    (whatever the router comes with) and don't use encryption at all.

    They can just drive a few feet and be able to send spam or download
    porn without any hacking at all, so they'll just drive on.

    Geoff.
     
  8. Mr. Land

    Mr. Land Guest

    I agree, you are paranoid.

    Heh, heh. I suppose so...
     
  9. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest


    I haven't tried those but they may well not be any more secure than a
    wireless setup.

    What you can do though is place the wireless portion on a different
    subnet which gives you one more line of defense. There's custom
    firmwares available for popular hacker-friendly routers like the Linksys
    WRT-54GS which allow you to do this, or you could use an IP-Cop or
    Smoothwall based PC router and plug a wireless router into the DMZ port.
     
  10. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    It doesn't hurt to be a little paranoid. A while back I was running 64
    bit WEP encryption and just for fun I downloaded a few freely available
    script-kiddie type hacking tools and was able to break into my network
    in about 20 minutes. Now I run 128 bit WEP along with MAC adress
    filtering and it's quite a bit more secure. At any given time I can
    usually see 2-3 other wireless networks from my house, amazingly about
    half of them have no encryption at all.
     
  11. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest


    As I stated in another post, pretty easy.

    Use 128 bit encryption, enable MAC filtering, and turn *off* SSID
    broadcast on the router, that will make it very unlikely for someone to
    stumble upon your network, though you will have to manually supply the
    SSID and the key to each client machine you use and the MAC address of
    each client to the router.
     
  12. Ray L. Volts

    Ray L. Volts Guest

    The newer and preferred protocol is WPA-PSK encryption. With this much
    stronger encryption, the key is rotated at user-defined intervals, so even
    in the unlikely event someone hacked your network, they couldn't use it for
    longer than your rekey interval before they'd have to figure out the new
    key, ad infinitum:

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/networking/expert/bowman_03july28.mspx

    Broadband hijackers don't enjoy being cut off frequently, so they'll look
    for less secure setups.

    You can and should use MAC address filtering. But this isn't perfect, as
    MAC's can be forged:

    http://www.techexams.net/technotes/securityplus/spoofing.shtml
     
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