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Windows 2003 as Wireless Access Point / Router?


SilverBulletUK
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Hi all,

[in Brief]

Currently I have a wireless router in the living room with a laptop connected to it, the laptop has a 160gb network share on it.

My question is this, can I just scrap the wireless router, connect my cable modem direct to my laptop, add a USB wireless dongle, install Windows 2003 server and somehow make a PC based Wireless Access Point / Router??

It seems a bit pointless to have 2 items drawing umpteen amount of watt-age when 1 could do....

Ideas?

A guide to perform this would be much appreciated!

Thanks,

SilverB.

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You could use them together though - if your wireless router supports 802.11x, you could install IAS on the 2003 box and use it as the RADIUS server for your router. Much greater security than simple WEP or WPA when paired with MAC filtering :).

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Yes you can :) but router doesn't take that much power anyway (approx 7-13W) and Win2k3 box will never do the jos as good as real router uneless a third party software is used ...

100% disagree. Yes, router consumes not much power, but if one already has a box running 24/7 (for P2P or as a NAS, video server or anything), then using it as a router/NAT box also effectively consumes 0 watts. A Win2003 box is FAR better than any router I've tried out there at being a firewall/NAT, and trust me, I've tried dozens of them (linksys, dlink, netgear, etc). The dinky little routers just don't have enough CPU power and RAM to handle very fast connections. After 2 weeks or so (using BT and emule and other stuff simultaneously), every router I've owned (WRT54G, etc) overheated, started acting up, and after about a month in total, they're totally fried. Yes, I've tried to open them up, put heatsinks on them, fans, etc. They just CAN'T handle today's broadband speeds. And the switches in most of those routers are absolute trash. Transfers a several GBs across them and they overheat and reset all the time - even then I bothered with routers, I had to buy a separate quality switch so the connections wouldn't drop all the time. The switches inside about half the routers I've tried were totally useless and absolute junk. As for using Win2003 for NAT/firewall, using RRAS I have yet to have any problem. It can definitely handle what a router just CAN'T (lots of simultaneous NAT sessions, high speeds, etc). It's a pretty solid/good firewall too (most firewalls in basic routers are a joke, they rely on NAT more than anything as a firewall, and NAT is NOT a firewall). If that's not good enough, then ISA Server on Win2003 is arguably the best firewall out there - definitely better than ALL consumer routers out there no questions asked! (If one doesn't like that, then there's tons of very good linux based firewalls too). Consumer routers suck. I've given up on them a while ago, and I wish I had not wasted as much time and money on them.

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Yes you can :) but router doesn't take that much power anyway (approx 7-13W) and Win2k3 box will never do the jos as good as real router uneless a third party software is used ...

100% disagree. Yes, router consumes not much power, but if one already has a box running 24/7 (for P2P or as a NAS, video server or anything), then using it as a router/NAT box also effectively consumes 0 watts. A Win2003 box is FAR better than any router I've tried out there at being a firewall/NAT, and trust me, I've tried dozens of them (linksys, dlink, netgear, etc). The dinky little routers just don't have enough CPU power and RAM to handle very fast connections. After 2 weeks or so (using BT and emule and other stuff simultaneously), every router I've owned (WRT54G, etc) overheated, started acting up, and after about a month in total, they're totally fried. Yes, I've tried to open them up, put heatsinks on them, fans, etc. They just CAN'T handle today's broadband speeds. And the switches in most of those routers are absolute trash. Transfers a several GBs across them and they overheat and reset all the time - even then I bothered with routers, I had to buy a separate quality switch so the connections wouldn't drop all the time. The switches inside about half the routers I've tried were totally useless and absolute junk. As for using Win2003 for NAT/firewall, using RRAS I have yet to have any problem. It can definitely handle what a router just CAN'T (lots of simultaneous NAT sessions, high speeds, etc). It's a pretty solid/good firewall too (most firewalls in basic routers are a joke, they rely on NAT more than anything as a firewall, and NAT is NOT a firewall). If that's not good enough, then ISA Server on Win2003 is arguably the best firewall out there - definitely better than ALL consumer routers out there no questions asked! (If one doesn't like that, then there's tons of very good linux based firewalls too). Consumer routers suck. I've given up on them a while ago, and I wish I had not wasted as much time and money on them.

you have right to disagree, but that doesn't mean that you're right! :) ... anyway, I wasn't talking about Linksys, dlink nor netgear consumer routers, but was aming at Cisco, Zyxel or Netgear semi-pro or pro routers, liek Zyxel ZyWALL 35, CISCO 800/1700/1800, Netgear DGFV338, all these are not so cheap and not so expensive routers that will do things any Windows or Linux box will never do (without third party sw). I've used so many different routers in past 13 years, and have tried so many different configurations on both Win and Linux boxes and was never as good as a real router. :)

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