[mythtv-users] Wireless?

Dewey Smolka dsmolka at gmail.com
Fri Jan 26 15:30:56 UTC 2007

On 1/24/07, Theng Kiat Ng <treblid at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 1/25/07, Pete Cap <peteoutside at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Hello all,
> >
> > I'm building my girlfriend a myth box.
> > ...
> >
> > Any advice is welcome.
> I myself am trying to go wireless... Brought  1 PCI  (Atheros something), 1
> USB (Atheros 5523) and 1 router (all TP-Link)... It's a nightmare to set
> everything up:
> 1) PCI works with a 3rd party module called madwifi. As I'm running
> vmware-server, I need to patch madwifi to get vmware to bridge with the
> wireless interface.

If it helps, I've got a Prism-based PCMCIA card (SMC, can't remember
the model number) that works like a champ. Setup under Fedora requires
a bit of work, but it was recognized and running automatically when I
set my laptop up with Ubuntu Dapper.

It only does 802.11b so can't be dependably used for video playback.
It is more than capable of getting channel lineups though, and is
supported easily without needing to slog through the tweaking of
kernel modules and such.

> 2) USB needs ndiswrapper (and windows driver). To get that to work,
> apparantly I must disable SMP and set up a 8K/16K kernel (Does ndiswrapper
> really fail with SMP on?)

Only one way to find out . . . But ndiswrapper is kludge anyway.
You're better off with a PCI card and native drivers. There are lists
of card model numbers, version numbers, chipsets, and Linux
compatibility that google can help you find.

> Trying to "secure" my network, and I find out that there's:  WPA-PSK, WPA2,
> TKIP, RSN..... WTF? Why can't they make this easier? It seems like one patch
> job on top of another...

The point of wireless security is making sure your fence is a bit
higher than your neighbors, and high enough to keep out the gawkers.
No matter what security you use on your wireless, if someone really
wants to use it to get to your data or signal, they will.

Pick one that works and go with it. If you're in a densely populated
area, I'd bet you can already pick up some open networks with SSIDs
like "default" or "Linksys". Even WEP and and a new SSID should be
enough to limit the average drive-by pedophile or torrent-happy kid.

I knew a guy who used to have a wide-open WAP with the SSID
"SpamVirusBotnetAttack". He says nobody ever leeched his bandwidth.

If you want to be a sport, leave your WAP open but restrict connection
between the wired network and wireless -- eg any wireless host can
access the internet, but only wired hosts can access shared files,
printers, other resources, or router settings. If you want to keep it
locked down, then understand that all wireless can be hacked -- it
just takes time and desire.

> My advice, use wireless bridge, or go wired all the way....

Yup. Especially if you will need to talk someone through connection
problems over the phone when you'd really rather be doing something
else. A wireless bridge won't fail, and certainly not in the creative
ways that some wi-fi cards do.

But as for Pete's probelm: There's no reason why a wireless card
shouldn't be able to do what you want, just make double (or triple)
sure you get a card that's well supported, or get a wireless bridge.
Sharing via Samba shouldn't be a problem either, but don't count on
being able to steam video.

You can pretty easily secure a WAP against all but the most
determined. Encryption by itself should be enough for a residential
setting, and MAC filtering would be even more secure. If you tell the
WAP to only identify wireless requests from your girlfriend's MAC
address, then no one else gets in. A combination of WPA, MAC
filtering, and a hidden SSID should raise your fence high enough that
only the most determined would try to break in.

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