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Wireless PDA on a wired network - is it possible?

Excuse my ignorance, but I'm considering buying the Dell Axim X3i Pocket PC that has an 802.11Mb Wireless LAN built in. I have a Pocket PC at the moment that I use extensively, but the lack of network functionality sometimes renders it useless.

The problem I'm having is that I cannot seem to get a straight answer as to how to incorporate this into my existing wired home network. I'm quite happy with my wired network, and if i don't need to change it then i won't. Some people are telling me that i can purchase a wireless access point to plug into my wired network that will give the wireless PDA connectivity to my network. Others are saying that I need to buy a new wireless router.

Can i add a wireless access point to my existing wired network, or is a new wireless router my only option?

Also, if i do need to purchase a new wireless router, do wireless routers have 10/100 ports on them to plug in my RJ45 cables from my wired home network, or do i need to also purchase wireless PCI cards for each PC on my existing wired network?

If, and when I get all of this up and running, will the network connection to the PDA be fast enough so that I can wander around my house and effortlessly access music files from any one of the desktop PC's on my network?

Lots of questions here I know. Apologies in advance.

All help is appreciated, as I'm in a bit of a wireless networking wilderness at the moment.

Regards

Pat

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6 REPLIES

Re: Wireless PDA on a wired network - is it possible?

Hello Pat,

Option 1

The bottom line is that you will at the very least have to purchase a wireless card for a computer on your network and run it in a mode called Ad-Hoc. This is a mode where 2 wireless devices can talk to each other and if(and this is a big "if") both cards support Ad-Hoc then you will most likely be able to get the PDA access to your network. This is the cheapest way to get the PDA access but in my humble opinion since a PDA is involved it may be a bit more compicated than option 2.

Option 2

Buy a wireless access point. I understand that you want to keep your wired network and you can do so using this option but ask yourself, " How is my wireless device going to connect to the network?" The wireless AP(access point) then plugs into your wired network and serves as the connection point between the PDA and the wired network. This gives you the best of both worlds and properly configured can give you wireless Intenet access through the PDA (assuming you have Internet access through the wired network). This also allows you to bring in other wireless devices with a minimum of fuss and muss.

Option 3.

Get a wireless router. You can get what you want done this way as well but would add uneeded complexity to the situation. You can get a wireless router with 10/100 ports in them as well but an AP is usually cheaper than a wireless router.

If you go with option 2 you should have no problems with speed if you are on a 10/100 network. I would be lying to you if I said the speed would be the same but I am willing to be dollars to doughnuts it will suit your purposes.

Stop going to CompUSA for computer and networking advice!! :)

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New Member

Re: Wireless PDA on a wired network - is it possible?

Thanks for the advice Travis. I assume that by plugging a WAP into my wired network to give connectivity to my wireless device (PDA), that my home network will still work just the same as it does at the moment. By that I mean, my desktop PC's will not need reconfigured to work on my network will they? Are there any 'side' effects of plugging a WAP into a wired network? Also, will using a WAP allow me to file share between my wireless PDA and my desktop PC's, or will it only give me internet access?

Apologies for being so cautious, but i just don't want to go and buy the PDA, and then the WAP, and then discover that it doesnt work on my network the way that i want it to. That would be too sore to take!!!

Thanks again

Pat

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Re: Wireless PDA on a wired network - is it possible?

Hello Pat,

I replied to the ut I don't see it posted so I will recap.

Wireless network will still work the same. No side-effects other than making sure that you have some sort of security on the AP. Yes you can file sahre between the PDA and desktops and have Internet access

From what you have described here you should be fine.

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New Member

Re: Wireless PDA on a wired network - is it possible?

Thanks for the advice. I've now ordered the PDA, and will post an update soon on how I'm getting on.

Re: Wireless PDA on a wired network - is it possible?

Pat,

just an FYI, you can get a wireless card and sleeve for your current PDA cheaper than buying a new PDA if you wanted.

http://www.mobileplanet.com/product.asp?cat%5Fid=109&cat%5Fname=Accessories&dept%5Fid=3709&pf%5Fid=MP965274&listing=1&dp%5Fid=MP965274

and here

http://www.mobileplanet.com/listing.asp?cat%5Fid=109&cat%5Fname=Accessories&pdept%5Fid=200205&dept%5Fid=5040&dept%5Fname=802%2E11b+Wireless+LAN

Just thought I would let you know.

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New Member

Re: Wireless PDA on a wired network - is it possible?

The screen on my dell axim5 has a crack on it, and the insurance co. paid out due to accidental damage, so i am in the market for a new one anyway.

thanks for the advice all the same.

Pat

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