I needed a print server for a customer last month, so I stopped by
Staples to pick one up. To my surprise all they had was wireless
USB models. I understand that almost everything is USB nowadays, and
that the home market is saturated with wireless, but is there so little
demand left for wired and Centronics printers that they really can
stock none of that? I guess so.. I had to order what I needed on-line.
Last week one of my neighbors called wanting to "go wireless". I
walked over and found that he had everything he needed - his ISP provided
firewall/router was already wireless, and so was his PC. The only
thing I did was put a better password on the router and set security.
I did notice that he had two printers
connected, and told him he'd need a print server if he truly wanted
to roam freely. He said he'd pick one up.
He called today and I again walked over to find a Netgear WGPS506.
Apparently that's an older model; I couldn't even find it on-line. Or
maybe I've remembered it badly: I do find WGPS606 and the picture
and specs look the same.
I had an awful time making this thing work. The setup program
just would not detect the unit. I tried resetting it (hold the little
paper clip button in for 10 seconds), but no luck. I read in the
PDF manual that it has a default address of 192.168.0.4, so I
programmed the PC's nic to 192.168.0.1 and was able to connect
to the print server's web interface. I manually set the wireless
info, and then returned
to the setup program, telling it that I just wanted to add a new printer
rather then going through the whole setup. It liked this, and configured
the rest easily.
However, I couldn't get it to work with any security set. During the setup
I had disabled that, allowing anything to connect. Now that it was
working, I wanted to add it back.
No luck: it would only work with security disabled
entirely. That's not completely outrageous: this guy is a good
distance from anyone else. I'm probably his closest neighbor, and
the signal is too weak for me to connect, Still, I don't like
leaving it wide open like that. It's like leaving your doors
unlocked: in this neighborhood, that's probably perfectly safe, but
it would still bother me.
I explained the problem to him and offered to spend more
time on it, but he decided to let it go.
Trouble is, I feel vaguely guilty. I could drive around this
community and probably find several dozen wide open networks, but
it just eats at me. Every other one I've setup here is protected,
I don't like leaving this open.
I'm going to give him a call and see if he'll let me play
with it a little more.. it's just not right!
Tony Lawrence 2007-06-07 Rating: