The unnecessary pain of…

… setting up a home network.

I finally got down to setting up my old wireless router for a friend yesterday. Its a D-Link DI-624+. Now this should have be a relatively painless activity since I had set it up successfully before myself after 1-2 days of Internet-less pain. It was more about the DSL modem settings rather than the router! Now my friend uses a cable modem from SCV MaxOnline, a black box so to speak. Good, one less thing to worry about. Basically the setup is as follows:

1. The cable service provider assigns the external IP address to the modem;
2. The modem hooks up with the router;
3. The router assigns internal IP addresses to its clients (desktops, laptops).

I reset the router to the default settings (DHCP) and it was fine with the IBM Centrino laptop. Wired of course. Then we setup data encryption and wireless connectivity. Voila! Wired and wireless is fine. IBM laptops have their own network configuration software, and it was comprehensive enough that I could get wireless connectivity up and running within 5 minutes.

Time elapsed: 25 mins, inclusive of cleaning the top shelves for a place to put the modem and router and the fact that I had no mouse!

Now we go over to this Acer laptop in another room. Centrino as well. it should be a piece of cake because I just need to key in the wlan ssid and the network key. I use the Windows one, since Acer doesn’t provide the IBM equivalent of the network configuration software. But for some reason the internal IP for the Acer is incorrect, even though I’d made sure that the settings are the same. It doesn’t help that the laptop seems to having some virus/adware issues and slow as hell. I try various combinations to no avail.

Time elapsed: 1 hour 30 mins(?!?), inclusive of booting and rebooting the laptop into Windows.

I finally decide to shift the modem and router into the Acer room, wireless be damned. Billy Bombers was calling out to me. Within 2 seconds, the network card gets a correct IP address and Internet access is fine now.

Time elapsed: 1 hour 35 mins.

So… what was the issue? I used a workaround, but its simply not satisfying. It just might be the router? I should go upgrade the firmware the next time I’m down. Maybe that will help.

*update*

The local D-Link website navigates like:

Tech Support -> Drivers & Updates -> Wireless -> DI-624+

I would expect firmware updates and the link to be hosted here, but its just a product page with some setup information. Perfect.

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