The Acer Warplink is a line of wireless networking products from Acer NeWeb (, a division of Acer Electronics. There have been two major version of this line, the older 1 megabit proprietary design and the newer 802.11b WIFI compatible line. The newer wireless ethernet cards are nothing remarkable, simply a basic wireless card that is comparable to an 802.11b card from any manufacturer.

The older 1 mbit cards, however, are far more, uhm, interesting than the newer cards. They are cheap to buy (in the neighborhood of 20-40 USD a pair) with the added feature of being absolutely infuriating to configure. But with a little perseverance it can be done, if you et very lucky. The problem is the cards and drivers are very finicky about what different machines they work on. The PC Card drivers, even the newest version, only work on Windows 9x with an unsupported driver to Windows NT 4. There are no Windows 2000/Windows XP drivers, though there have been reports of getting the NT drivers to work under Windows 2000 Professional.

The only setup I've been able to get my card pair to work under has been one of two Cardbus enabled laptops and a desktop PC with a PC card slot, though I've tried it in at least 3 other laptops that either the drivers simply wouldn't install of work freeze the machine solid after a few transmitted packets. However, after some luck I was able to get it to work on my main laptop with an old NT Server as the Wireless-to-wired media bridge and since this node it being written over that connection, I'll tell you how I did it.

Providing you can get the drivers installed, everything else isn't too difficult to manage. Installing the drivers inl NT 4 isn't as easy as with Windows 9x, but if you've installed any other network devices, it shouldn't be too difficult. After the NT drivers are installed and the card inserted (remember, NT 4 can't deal with card hot-swapping so you have to reboot the computer), go to the Networking Properties (right-click on Network Neighborhood, select properties), choose the "Adapters" tab, select the Acer Card elements and click the "properties" button. You'll be presented with a basic setup window that needs a little configuration: Give your 'station' a name (i.e. this computer), set "Station Type" to "Primary Master" (because this machine is going to be your "router" and so you want it to be in control), select a network password for "Netkey", and select a "hop sequence" at the bottom (default is 6, and that's what I use).

In Windows 9x (I use 98), install the card, the drivers, blah blah. After that's done, you need to click the system tray icon to bring up the "Warplink Utility" window, click the settings tab and then the "Settings" tab. In this tab make this machine network client (via the radio button), give it a unique station name and network password needs to be the same as "netkey" on the NT 4 box. Next choose the "Advanced Setting" button and choose the "hopSequence" tab. The default hop sequence should be 6, but just to be sure I use the "Choose my own hop sequence" option and put a 6 in the entry just to be sure.

From here whenever you open the Warplink utility, there would be at least two machines showing up -- the NT 4 machine and the Windows 9x machine. From here we need to setup the protocols. You're going to want to use TCP/IP (obviously), and the TCP/IP protocol should have been added automatically on both machines. Assign one static IP to each machine on the Warplink adapter, preferably on a different subnet from your wired network (e.g. wired network IP is, wireless IP should be, both with a netmask of The Windows 9x machine (the client) needs its "Gateway" address set to the IP address of the NT 4 wireless IP, and the gateway for the wireless card on the NT 4 box needs to be empty because we want all packets to flow to the wired adapter.

From here, providing the two wireless card can ping each other, we need to make the NT 4 box move packets from the wireless domain to the wired domain. Go back to the properties window for the TCP/IP protocol on the NT 4 machine, choose the "IP Forwarding" tab and select the "Enable IP forwarding" checkbox. Now the machine knows it's supposed to forward packets, but we need to flesh-out the forwarding path. Open a command prompt and use the magical "route" command thusly "route -p add (Acer Adapter subnet) mask (NT 4 wired network gateway IP)". For my setup I use "route add mask".

Now any packets in the 10.1.2.x range will be forwarded to the wired gateway (in this case my Linksys Router), and the Windows 9x laptop should be able to run on the internet just like any other machine on your network.

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