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If you're going to use wireless or phone-line networking adapters in combination with an existing 10/100baseT network, you should realize that this will add another, separate network to your existing one, unless you use a bridge product to connect the two networks together.  

If you don't use a bridge, then computers on each type of network won't be able to see computers on the other type of network, except for the computer where you have both types of network cards installed (most likely the Sharing computer).  In addition, Internet sharing won't work for both of the networks.


So if you are adding wireless or phoneline nodes to an existing network, we recommend the following:

  • Write down all your network settings before you start.

  • Make sure you have IRQs available (for the ISA cards) or have IRQ sharing (for the PCI-based) cards, before you physically install the cards. (See this page if you need help doing this.)

  • Uninstall any existing Internet Sharing software before you install the new adapters.  This is very important. Some Internet sharing programs really take over the Network settings and install other adapters or copies of protocols and may really confuse the new installation program.  Reinstall the Internet Sharing after you get your basic network working

  • Don't let the installer install Internet Sharing, if you can control this. Do it after you get your basic network up and running.  Reinstall your old sharing program if you had one.  If you didn't have a sharing program, keep in mind that the bundled sharing software will probably only support the new network cards.

  • Delete the unneeded Protocols that the installer installs. (TCP/IP is really the only protocol that you need for both Internet access and File and Printer sharing) Check and remove unneeded bindings on the protocols you do need.  (Most everyone should unbind Client for Microsoft Networks and File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks from any adapter that connects directly to the Internet.)  This is for security reasons.  You can read more here.

What if I want it all?

To get the networks working together you'll need to buy a Hardware Bridge that supports the types of networks that you need to combine.  You can find HPNA / Ethernet bridges listed here and Wireless Bridges and Access Points in the Wireless Networking Product Guide.  There are also "combo" routers available that support multiple LAN connection methods.  The 2Wire HP100 and HP100W are good examples.  You can find others by using the Hardware Router Product Guide.

If you're a do-it-yourself kinda person, hop on over to this page for instructions on how to make your own Mixed Media Router! Earthweb HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation

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