Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

So Much for Simple

We bought a Wireless bridge (specifically, a Cisco-Linksys WET200 Wireless-G Business Ethernet Bridge) for use in the trailer. From the way the product was documented, it appeared that you could use it to connect to a wireless network, then connect devices to it by Ethernet cable. The idea was that we could use that as the access point to the RV park wireless network, then connect it to the small network Lisa has wired within the trailer.

I can't make it work.

The first time I tried it was in the RV park, where I could easily connect the wireless on my laptop to the RV park's network. I then turned on the bridge and connected my laptop to it by Ethernet cable. (Even this took a bit of doing to find out how to configure my network settings, since the bridge is not a DHCP server and thus you have to manually set an IP address.) I could access the bridge's settings. I could tell the bridge to look for local wireless networks, and I could connect it to the RV park's network — the same one that I'd directly connected to from my laptop. But there it stops. Even though it says it's connected, it refuses to connect to any internet site.

I brought the thing back to Fremont and set it to talking with my home network. Even here, where I have complete control over all of the settings on the WAP as well as the bridge, I still can't reach out to the internet. I know it must be connecting to the WAP, because I can access the WAP's settings once it connects, but nothing in the outside world connects.

I'm afraid I don't have time for this. I'm sending it back for a refund. It would be much easier if we could make this work in the trailer (since we could actually run up external outside antennas to pick up the wi-fi, thus avoiding the connectivity problems of trying to use wi-fi inside of a metal box), but when you do everything the Cisco documentation (both paper supplied with the box and on their web site, for which I had to connect directly from my laptop rather than through the bridge) says to do and nothing happens, you get the impression that there's some expert-level setting that some super-duper network guru would say, "Oh, of course you need to make thus-and-such setting change that nobody ever writes down in the documentation because we already know how it works."

Considering that I'm pretty good with computers, situations like this really boil me. You shouldn't need a degree in electrical engineering to set up this sort of connection.
Tags: computers, lisa

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