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Router questions for networking newbie
USB, ADSL, set up, etc

 10:53 am on Jan 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm thinking of getting a router. I found one that seems good value, with a built-in ADSL modem. The only problem is that it uses USB 1.1. Will this be fast enough for my PC? (My ISP currently gives me 576Kbps down speed and half that up.)

The company offer a USB 2 adapter. Will I need to buy this? I have a USB 2 card in my PC already.

Also, with the router/modem being external, will it be slower than my existing modem, which is an internal PC card?

Using a router is all new to me, so I have some more questions.
___1) Will it need to be permanently left switched on? Even when the PC is off?
___2) Is it much safer than a standard PC running Zone Alarm? Should I ditch that and use the router's firewall? Or both?
___3) I have heard it takes "only" 30 minutes to set up a router! Is this true? Is there a lot to configure? Can't you just plug them in?

At the moment I'm thinking of just using 1 PC with the router, but I might add other computers later. Any advice welcome!



 11:04 am on Jan 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

USB 1.1 is fast enough. USB 2.0 is backward compatible to support 1.1. USB speed is measured in MB, your ADSL speed is measured in kb so it's plenty fast ;). A USB2 adapter is what your USB2 internal card is. You don't need another one. ADSL modem speeds may vary by minor amounts but 99% of the speed you get is dependent on the quality of the line and service/ISP. People usually leave the router always on. But you can turn it off. Use as much protection as you can but bear in mind that the more protection you have the trickier setting up tends to be. It could be setup by a "newbie" in as little as 30 minutes. Check how many RJ45 (network) sockets it has if you want to connect other PCs later. Having protection like Zonealarm can make setting up the network a bit stressful.


 11:55 am on Jan 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

A USB2 adapter is what your USB2 internal card is.

Yet this only allows USB 2 enabled devices to benefit from the extra speed. Seeing the specs of the router say "USB 1.1" suggests it would not run at USB 2 speed. (But if that doesn't matter, I don't need to worry!)


 11:59 am on Jan 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

It doesn't matter. 1.1/2.0 is academic for the current issue. :)

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