Home Networking and Digital Camcorder

I need some advice/suggestions on two matters.

I have Verizon DSL at home. It uses PPPoE. We have 2 desktop computers and one laptop. I am thinking of connecting them in a network so that files can be shared and we can also access the internet through any machine. I am not sure whether to get a wired router or a wireless one. A wired solution is cheaper and faster. Plus we live in a 1-bedroom apartment and I have a really long cable. On the other hand, wireless would give some freedom in moving the laptop around and would be useful later when we move to a bigger apartment after the baby. But I’ll have to buy wireless adapters for the desktops as well.

What would you suggest? Plus any router/adapter recommendations? Do you know of any quirks of Verizon DSL with home networking?

Does anyone know of a good and extensive review website for digital camcorders? Something like Phil Askey’s Digital Photography Review. Also welcome are camcorder recommendations. I am looking for something nice and high tech, but not professional.

UPDATE I: My bad. As Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Zhang Fei point out in the comments, a wireless router has a few ethernet connections as well and hence for faster transfer of data between my computers I can connect them via ethernet instead of Wi-Fi. It also turns out that 802.11b wireless routers are going for about the same price as wired routers nowadays. I looked at Linksys BEFW11S4 Wireless-B Cable/DSL Router and Netgear MR814 802.11b Wireless 4-Port Cable/DSL Router and bought the Linksys.

UPDATE II: The immediate idea for a camcorder came because of the baby. So the most likely use is taking videos of our baby, but family events, outdoor/wilderness trips etc. will also be among its uses.

In terms of specifications, at least a 10x optical zoom, a megapixel video capability, image stabilization, external mic capability, low light capability and IEEE1394 and USB connections are among things I would like.

Here are some camcorders I am looking at: Sony DCR-HC85, Sony DCR-P330, Sony DCR-TRV80, Sony DCR-TRV950, and Panasonic PV-DV953. Please suggest any other models that you like or comment on any of these.

Author: Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer

5 thoughts on “Home Networking and Digital Camcorder”

  1. Why would you need to buy wireless adapters for the desktops? Most “wireless routers” are simply four- or six-port Ethernet-cable routers with a wireless antenna bolted on. I connect both of my home desktops to my Netgear wireless router via plain old Ethernet cables; the “wireless” part is for my notebook computer.

  2. Zack: A wired solution is cheaper and faster.

    It’s cheaper, but not faster, at least for DSL access. Top speed for Verizon DSL is about 2Mbps. Even basic wireless access will give you 12Mbps. If you’re ever need to transfer large files (gigabytes) from the PC to the laptop, just hook the laptop up to the router using a network cable. Otherwise, a PC Card wireless adapter should be fine for the laptop. Netgear equipment is good and cheap, running about $80 for router and a PC Card wireless adapter for the laptop. The wireless router can be stacked on top of the Westell DSL modem and connected to the PC via a regular network (CAT 5) cable.

  3. Gary: Thanks, looking at different camcorders, I like the Sony ones as well. In addition to the touchscreen controls, they have a nightshot mode which uses IR to capture under no-light conditions.

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