Wireless Network Questions

My kids are now old enough to start wanting to play around on web sites, making their old, unconnected computer (PIII 800, Win98) moot. Now I have to give up PC time, which ain’t good. My PC is a P4 w/ XP.
So I plan on going w/ some standard (Linksys, D-Link, etc) router and a PCI wireless adapter for the old computer - whatever I can get a deal on. My questions:
1 ) Can a W98 with a PCI adapter play nice with a router connected to an XP computer? Will the internet sharing work? The file sharing? The printer sharing? I’m cheap and they don’t need XP for the 5 to 10-year old software they’re running.
2) My old computer has PCI v 2.1. Some adapter specs say PCI 2.2 only. Some only say “PCI”. Is it safe to assume that unless they specify PCI 2.2, they’ll work with 2.1?

Thank you.

Windows internet connection sharing is really transparent to the client machines. Your connected pc will act as a dhcp server and automatically configure them to use it as their gateway.

I find windows file sharing at home a little flaky, but I think it’s just because of the non-domain based security. Also, I’ve used a network adapter for the printer forever. It’s been transparent too, and it means there doesn’t have to be one computer always on just to share the printer. Mine just plugs in to the parallel port, and is wired to the router.

I never tried a PCI card on the kids computer, I used a USB adapter. It has been handy for temporarily hooking up a different computer, and worked fine when that pc ran 98 (it’s xp pro now). When I shopped, it looked like all the ‘wireless pci cards’ were really pci pc card (pcmcia) adapters with bundled wireless pc cards.

I strongly recommend bypassing the slower, cheaper 802.11b and getting 802.11g gear. I recently upgraded and the signal quality is significantly better. Not really much of a speed difference, but my wife always had terrible connections from her desk.

Actually, if you’re using a router, ICS shouldn’t even be turned on. The router should be doling out the connections, and it shouldn’t matter what machines you have plugged into it. You could have an XP machine, a 98 machine, a Mac, and a Unix server, and they’d all work fine, as long as they were all compatible with the router.

If the internet connection is dialup, you probably do want ICS. That’s how I used it, even with a router. Now that I’ve got a cable modem connection, the router is the DHCP server as you describe. That is much better, as it removes a traffic bottleneck & no longer requires one computer to always be on to provide the connection.