Alastair’s Place

Software development, Cocoa, Objective-C, life. Stuff like that.

Wireless Networking

If there's anyone out there who is thinking of purchasing a Belkin Wireless Access Point and is actually going to use the thing, don't bother. I bought one, quite some time ago now, and soon discovered that it trashes its WEP key occasionally, usually part-way through transferring large (compressed) files. OK, I thought, perhaps this one's just broken. So I contacted Belkin, who were very helpful and even sent me a replacement before I'd returned my original unit.

Sadly, that one doesn't work properly either. It forgets its WEP key less often than the original unit, but it still does it, which is annoying, not least because you can only reset the key from a PC running Windows (for those that don't know, I defected to the Macintosh some time during 2002, and haven't looked back since).

Anyway, I got fed-up and did what I should have done in the first place… I bought an AirPort. Owing to the fact that I didn't want to run all Internet traffic via the AirPort (largely because I have a DSL router with a built-in Ethernet switch), configuring the thing took me a few minutes longer than I had anticipated (but only because I was indecisive about whether my LAN should be connected to the LAN port or the WAN port on the AirPort). I was a little concerned about the lack of an external aerial, but it seems to work fine.

The really neat thing (which I didn't really expect, since I was just buying something to replace the Belkin unit) is the USB printer port. I could already print to my laser over the wireless link (the laser printer in question has a network card), but the addition of the AirPort has meant that I can get at my inkjet as well :-)