hp digital home networking
wireless USB
network adapter
model hn210w
wireless USB network adapter
acknowledgements and notices
hewlett-packard company notices
The information contained in this document is subject to change without notice. Hewlett-Packard (HP)
makes no warranty of any kind with regard to this material including, but not limited to, the implied
warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Hewlett-Packard shall not be liable
for any errors or for incidental or consequential damages in connection with the furnishing,
performance, or use of this material. All rights reserved. Reproduction, adaptation, or translation of
this material is prohibited without prior written permission of Hewlett-Packard, except as allowed
under copyright laws.
Microsoft, MS, MS-DOS, and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
The following conventions are used in this guide:
The > symbol guides you through a series of software steps. For example:
Click Start > Settings > Control Panel to view the active control panels.
A Warning indicates possible damage to the HP Gateway or to other equipment. A Warning can also
indicate a possible harm to yourself or to others.
For example:
Warning: Plugging into a nongrounded electrical socket can damage your
Copyright 2001 Hewlett-Packard Company
introduction ............................................................. 5
hp digital home networking wireless USB
network adapter ............................................................. 5
features ......................................................................... 6
getting to know the wireless USB network adapter........ 7
port............................................................................... 7
LEDs.............................................................................. 8
USB icon ....................................................................... 9
USB cabling ................................................................. 10
setting up a wireless network.......................................... 11
wireless FAQs........................................................ 13
troubleshooting ...................................................... 15
specifications......................................................... 17
general........................................................................ 17
environmental............................................................... 18
glossary ................................................................ 19
index .................................................................... 29
regulatory notices................................................... 31
wireless USB network adapter
hp digital home networking wireless USB
network adapter
Congratulations on your purchase of the HP Digital Home Networking Wireless
USB Network Adapter. The Wireless USB Network Adapter operates on the
Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) band using Direct Sequence Spread
Spectrum (DSSS) transmission to implement the IEEE 802.11b standard being
developed for the wireless industry. Users can now move easily between access
points without having to reconfigure the connection.
The Wireless USB Network Adapter with its powerful built-in antenna gives you the
freedom to work anywhere you want, letting you take full advantage of your PC
and providing you with access to all your networked resources beyond your
desktop. LEDs provide feedback on power and linkage.
This adapter, which is compatible with Windows 98, Millennium, 2000, and XP, is
a true necessity for all your wireless PC applications.
wireless USB network adapter
The Wireless USB Network Adapter is compatible with Windows 98, Millenium,
2000, and XP operating systems, and includes the following:
2.4 Ghz frequency band, compliant with world standards
Wireless interface is compliant with the IEEE 802.11b standard
A Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface
Capable of up to 128-bit Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption
Wire-free access to networked resources located anywhere beyond the desktop
Move between access points without resetting the connection configuration
Data transfer rate of up to 11 Mbps
Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS)
Automatic fall-back rate
User-friendly GUI setup software provides hassle-free configuration
Free driver/firmware upgrades
Built-in dialectric antenna with LEDs indicating Power and Link
getting to know the wireless USB
network adapter
Wireless USB Network Adapter USB port
to USB port
Connect the Wireless USB Network
Adapter to your computer through the
Universal Serial Bus (USB) Type B port.
wireless USB network adapter
Wireless USB Network Adapter LEDs
Lights green when the adapter is powered
Lights red when the adapter has an active
connection. If the LED is not lit, the adapter
is not interfacing with the network.
USB icon
USB icon
The USB icon identifies a USB port.
USB icon
wireless USB network adapter
USB cabling
The Wireless USB Network Adapter comes with one USB cable. The cable has two
Type A rectangular plug
Type B square plug
USB plugs
Type A
Type B
connecting the cable
Follow the steps below to connect the cable:
1 Connect the Type B square plug to the Wireless USB Network Adapter.
2 Connect the Type A rectangular plug to the USB port of your computer.
USB ports
Typical USB ports
on a computer
setting up a wireless network
setting up a wireless network
network topology
A wireless Local Area Network (LAN) uses a wireless adapter to connect each
computer to the network. Computers in a wireless network must be configured to
share the same radio channel.
The Wireless USB Network Adapter provides wireless computers access to a wired
network. This integrated wireless and wired network is called an “infrastructure”
configuration. A group of wireless-network-adapter-equipped computers plus a
wireless access point, such as the HP Wireless Network Access Point, is called a
Basic Service Set (BSS). The wireless access point connects the wireless network to
the conventional wired network. Each wireless-network-adapter-equipped computer
can communicate with any computer in a wired network infrastructure via the
wireless access point.
An infrastructure configuration doubles the effective wireless transmission range of
two wireless-network-adapter-equipped PCs since the wireless access point
forwards data within the network. It is essential to use a unique ID, a BSSID or,
more generically, an SSID within a wireless network. All PCs within an independent
wireless network that are configured without roaming options (see Roaming below)
must be configured with the same wireless network ID.
The wireless network infrastructure configuration is appropriate for enterprise-scale
wireless access to a central database and for mobile users.
Infrastructure mode also supports roaming capabilities for mobile users. A multiple
wireless network can be configured as an “extended” wireless network, known as
an Extended Service Set (ESS), allowing users to roam freely within it. All wirelessnetwork-adapter-equipped PCs within one extended network must be configured
with the same extended network ID an ESSID or taken generically with a BSSID as
discussed above, called an SSID, and must use the same radio channel.
Before enabling an extended wireless network with roaming capability, select a
feasible radio channel and an optimal location for the wireless access point. Proper
wireless access point positioning and a clear radio signal will enhance
wireless USB network adapter
wireless FAQs
Can I run an application from a remote computer over the wireless network?
This depends on whether the application is designed to be used over a network.
Consult the application’s documentation to determine if it supports operation
over a network
Can I play computer games with other members of the wireless network?
Yes, as long as the game supports multiple players over a local area network
(LAN). Refer to the game’s documentation for more information.
What is the IEEE 802.11 standard?
The IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN Standards Subcommittee of the Institute of
Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is formulating a standard for the
industry to enable wireless LAN hardware from different manufacturers to
communicate with one another.
What IEEE 802.11 features are supported?
HP wireless products support the following IEEE 802.11 functions:
CMSA/CA plus the Acknowledge protocol
Multi-channel roaming
Automatic rate selection
Power management
Would information be intercepted while transmitting on air?
Wireless LAN features two-fold security protection. On the hardware side, as
with DSSS technology, it has the devices have the inherent scrambling security
feature. On the software side, wireless LAN offers Wired Equivalent Privacy
(WEP) encryption to enhance security and access control.
wireless USB network adapter
My computer does not recognize the Wireless USB Network Adapter.
Verify that the USB cable is properly connected to both the Type B USB adapter
port and the Type A USB computer port.
Verify that the USB controller is enabled in the computer’s BIOS. Check your
computer’s documentation for more information.
The Wireless USB Network Adapter does not work properly.
Reinsert the adapter’s USB cable into the computer’s USB port.
Verify that the adapter is installed properly:
1 Right-click My Computer.
2 Select Properties.
3 Select the Hardware tab, click Device Manager, and double-click
Network Adapters. If the adapter is installed properly, it will be
displayed. If you see a yellow exclamation point, there may be a resource
conflict. If so, do the following:
Uninstall the drive software from your PC.
Restart your PC.
Repeat the adapter’s software installation.
My computer cannot communicate with computers linked via Ethernet to the
wireless network in the infrastructure configuration.
Verify that the computer you are trying to contact is powered on.
Verify that your adapter is configured for the same channel, SSID, and WEP as
the other computers in the infrastructure configuration.
wireless USB network adapter
Model number
IEEE 802.11b, USB 1.0, 1.1
one USB Type B port
11 channels (U.S., Canada)
13 channels (Europe)
14 channels (Japan)
Operating range: indoors
Operating range:
Data rate
up to 11 Mbps (with automatic scale-back)
Power, Link
11 Mbps
5.5 Mbps
2 Mbps
1 Mbps
(500 ft) at up to 11 Mbps
(885 ft) at up to 5.5 Mbps
(1,300 ft) at up to 2 Mbps
(1,500 ft) at up to 1 Mbps
wireless USB network adapter
123 mm x 86mm x 28mm
(4.84 in x 3.38 in x 1.10 in)
5V DC, 250mA Tx, 100mA Rx, 30mA
FCC Part 15, Classes B and C
Operating temperature
32° F to 104° F (0° C to 40° C)
Storage temperature
–13° F to 158° F (–25° C to 70° C)
Operating humidity
10% to 70% noncondensing
Storage humidity
10% to 90% noncondensing
Ethernet standard topology for twisted pair (T) cabling (transfer rate of 10 Mbps
over 100 meters).
Fast Ethernet twisted pair cabling (transfer rate of 100 Mbps over 100 meters).
ad-hoc network
Group of computers, each with a wireless LAN network adapter, connected as
an independent wireless local area network for the duration of a single
communications session. An ad-hoc wireless LAN is applicable at a
departmental scale for a branch or SOHO (small office/home office) operation.
ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
A DSL modem technology geared to acceptable Internet performance in which
downstream data transfer (downloading data from the Internet to the subscriber)
is faster than upstream data transfer (uploading data from the subscriber).
ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode)
Asynchronous transfer mode (broadband switching). ATM (asynchronous
transfer mode) — a dedicated-connection switching technology that transmits
digital data over a physical medium using digital signal technology. An
individual cell is processed asynchronously relative to other related cells and is
queued before being multiplexed over the transmission path.
Fast Internet access through DSL, cable modem, or other means.
BSS (Basic Service Set)
One wireless network.
BSSID (Basic Service Set Identification)
A unique name (or ID) used by all computers on the network. A specific ad-hoc
LAN. Computers in a BSS must be configured with the same BSSID.
bus topology
Simple way of connecting computers in a network linearly along a single cable
(each connected to the cable, not one to another).
wireless USB network adapter
client/server network
Network in which one computer (the “server”) shares resources with other
computers, called “clients” (as opposed to a peer-to-peer network).
CSMA/CD (Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detect)
The protocol for carrier transmission access in an Ethernet network in which
each device senses whether the line is idle and then sends data. If another
device sends data at the same time, a collision occurs, the data is discarded,
and the devices try again.
default gateway
The router used to forward all traffic not addressed to a station within the local
DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)
A utility for assigning TCP/IP addresses to workstations automatically (a unique
IP address must be assigned to each computer in the network). When computers
are moved within the network, DHCP allows automated IP addresses to be
assigned automatically. DHCP “leases” an IP address to a device for a specific
amount of time, which is useful in education and other environments where
users change frequently. DHCP also supports static IP addresses for computers
needing a permanent IP address, such as those containing Web servers. See
static IP address.
DCHP Client
A device configured to receive a DHCP address.
DHCP Server
A device configured to assign IP addresses to DHCP clients.
DMZ (Demilitarized Zone)
Computer host or small network inserted as a “neutral zone” between a
company’s private network and the external public network. It prevents outside
users from having access to an internal server containing confidential data.
DMZ Hosting
Allows one IP address (or computer) to be exposed to the Internet. Some
applications require multiple TCP/IP ports to be open. It is recommended that
you set your computer with a static IP address if you want to use DMZ Hosting.
DNS (Domain Name System)
Method for matching Internet domain names with IP addresses. When a
Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is entered into a Web browser, a domain name
server retrieves the corresponding IP address for the domain name specified
(“name resolution”) and sends the request to the appropriate server. Domain
names are convenient “handles” for IP addresses.
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)
Transmits data bi-directionally at high speeds.
DSSS (Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum )
Generates a redundant bit pattern for each bit to be transmitted. This bit pattern
is called a chip (or chipping code). The longer the chip, the greater the
probability that the original data can be recovered. Even if one or more bits in
the chip are damaged during transmission, statistical techniques embedded in
the radio can recover the original data without the need for retransmission. To
an unintended receiver, DSSS appears as low-power wideband noise and is
rejected (ignored) by most narrowband receivers.
dynamic IP address
An IP address that is automatically assigned (typically by a DHCP server) in a
TCP/IP network, as opposed to a static IP address.
ESS (Extended Service Set)
More than one wireless network.
ESSID (Extended Service Set Identification)
A unique name (or ID) used by users roaming among the multiple wireless
networks. An infrastructure configuration can support roaming capability for
mobile workers. More than one BSS can be configured as an ESS. Users within
an ESS can roam freely between BSSs while served as a continuous connection
to the network. Wireless stations and wireless access points within an ESS must
be configured with the same ESSID and radio channel.
Protocol and cabling scheme allowing transfer of data at 10 Mbps.
Ethernet card
See NIC (Network Interface Card).
wireless USB network adapter
FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum)
Uses a narrowband carrier that changes frequency in a pattern known to both
transmitter and receiver. Properly synchronized, the net effect is to maintain a
single logical channel. To an unintended receiver, FHSS appears to be shortduration impulse noise.
A set of related programs, located at a network gateway server, that protects
the resources of a network from users in other networks. It also controls access
of internal users to outside resources. A firewall, working closely with the
Gateway, examines each network packet to determine whether or not to
forward it to its destination.
Programming inserted permanently onto a chip within a computing device.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
Enables electronic exchange of bulk information over an intranet or the Internet.
Hardware or software acting as a translator between two different protocols; a
HomePNA (Home Phoneline Networking Alliance)
See HPNA (Home Phoneline Networking Alliance).
Computer on network that provides services to other computers.
HPNA (Home Phoneline Networking Alliance)
A standard for home local area networks using phoneline connections.
IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)
The IEEE promotes the development and application of electrotechnology and
allied sciences, fosters the develoment of standards that often become national
and international standards, publishes several journals, and has local and
regional chapters.
LAN incorporating both wired and wirelss devices. Allows wireless devices to
access a central database.
Worldwide network of networks linking millions of computers together; see also
WAN (Wide Area Network).
Private home or business network.
IP (Internet Protocol) address
A unique 12-digit number (for example, identifying each
sender and receiver of network packets across the Internet.
IPSec (Internet Protocol Security)
A developing standard for security on the Internet.
IPX (Internet Packet eXchange)
A Novell NetWare communications protocol similar to IP (Internet Protocol) used
to route messages from one node to another on a network.
ISM band
The FCC and its counterparts outside the U.S. have set aside bandwidth for
unlicensed use on the ISM band. In particular, the spectrum in the vicinity of 2.4
GHz is being made available worldwide.
ISP (Internet Service provider)
Company or organization providing access to the Internet.
LAN (Local Area Network)
Computers and peripherals linked together by cabling in a home, business, or
local area with communication via networking protocols.
MAC (Media Access Control) address
A computer’s unique hardware number that identifies it over a network.
Megabits per second.
NAT (Network Address Translation)
Translation of an IP address in one network to a different IP address known
within another.
Novell’s network operating system.
wireless USB network adapter
System connecting two or more computers and peripherals enabling them to
communicate and share resources.
network adapter
See NIC (Network Interface Card).
network mask
See subnet mask.
NIC (Network Interface Card)
Card or adapter that allows a computer to connect to a network. Also called a
network adapter. Ethernet cards and phoneline adapters are examples.
PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect)
Specification defining an interconnection system between a PC and attached
devices through up to ten expansion slots.
PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association)
A memory card or I/O device that is inserted into a PC, usually a notebook or
laptop computer.
peer-to-peer network
Network in which all computers are of equal rank and share resources equally,
as opposed to a client/server network.
Any piece of equipment attached to a computer, including printers, scanners,
CD-ROM burners, Zip drives, or other means.
Ping (Packet Internet Groper)
Internet utility used to determine whether a particular IP address is online. It can
be used to test and debug a network by sending out a data packet and waiting
for a response.
PNA (Phoneline Networking Alliance)
See HPNA (Home Phoneline Networking Alliance).
PPPoE (Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet)
Method used mostly by DSL providers for connecting personal computers to a
broadband modem for Internet access. Similar to a dial-up connection but at
higher speeds.
PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol)
Protocol allowing corporations to extend their corporate network over the
Internet through private “tunnels.” This has the effect of using the Internet as a
large private local area network known as a “virtual private network” or VPN.
print server
A hardware device that enables a printer to be connected directly to a network.
Network language allowing devices to communicate.
proxy server
Computer with software that controls user access to Internet services and
ring topology
See token ring topology.
RIP (Routing Information Protocol)
Widely used protocol for routing traffic on the Internet.
4-wire phoneline cable connector.
8-wire twisted pair connector used for connecting Ethernet devices.
Roaming allows a portable computer user to communicate continuously while
moving freely throughout an area greater than that covered by a single wireless
access point. Before using the roaming function, the computer must be set to the
same channel as the wireless access point for the coverage area.
Device or software connected to at least two networks that determines where a
data packet will next be forwarded on the Internet. Located at the gateway
where two networks meet. Often part of a network switch.
RTS/CTS (request-to-send/clear-to-send)
In exchanging data on a network, RTS is a signal sent from one computer or
other device requesting permission to send data to a receiving device; CTS is a
signal from the receiving computer or device indicating it is ready to receive the
wireless USB network adapter
Computer on a network that provides services to other computers on the
SPI (stateful packet inspection)
The ability of a firewall to remember outgoing requests to the Internet from
internal network users and only allow responses to those requests back through
the firewall, thus denying attempts to access the local network that have not
been requested.
spread spectrum
Wideband radio frequency technique designed to trade bandwidth efficiency
for reliability, integrity, and security.
SSID (Service Set ID)
A generic term for a Service Set ID.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
Protocol enabling encrypted and authenticated Internet communications.
star (or spanning tree) topology
Ethernet networking in which all devices (including computers, print servers, or
additional hubs) are connected through a central hub.
static IP address
Permanent IP address assigned to a node in a TCP/IP network. Network
devices serving multiple users, such as servers and printers, are usually
assigned static IP addresses, as compared to dynamic IP address.
subnet mask
Method for splitting IP networks into a series of subgroups, or subnets. Also
known as a network mask.
A network device that selects a path or circuit for sending a unit of data to its
next destination. It may also serve as a router, but at its basic level is simpler
and faster than a router.
T1 line
High-speed communications line.
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
Basic communication language of the Internet (but can also be used in private
networks). TCP keeps track of individual data packets, while IP handles the
actual delivery of the data.
TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol)
A simple, easy-to-implement protocol for transferring files on a network that
lacks most of the features of a normal File Transfer Protocol (FTP) program (it
cannot list directories or authenticate users).
token ring topology
Networking layout in which computers and other devices are connected in a
unidirectional loop or ring. A computer captures a “token” being passed
around the network and waiting for data transmission.
Arrangement of cables and hardware in a network; see bus topology, default
gateway, star (or spanning tree) topology, and token ring topology.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
Unique address on the Internet.
USB (Universal Serial Bus)
USB ports connect high-speed peripherals; supports multiport hubs.
UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair)
The most common kind of copper telephone wiring connecting home and many
business computers to a telephone service.
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
See PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol).
WAN (Wide Area Network)
Communications network that extends over a wide geographic area; sometimes
used to mean the Internet.
WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy)
A data privacy mechanism based on a 64-bit shared key algorithm, as
described in the IEEE 802.11 standard.
wireless USB network adapter
USB 10
USB cabling 10
USB icon (pictured) 9
USB port 7
features 6
summarized 5
glossary 19
indicators 8
introduction 5
LEDs 8
link LED 8
listed 6
network topology 11
port 7
power LED 8
roaming 11
setting up 11
environmental 18
general 17
troubleshooting 15
wireless USB network adapter
regulatory notices
hewlett-packard company
This device complies with part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two
This device may not cause harmful interference, and
This device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause
undesired operation.
Pursuant to Part 15.21 of the FCC Rules, any changes or modifications to this equipment not
expressly approved by Hewlett-Packard Company may cause harmful interference, and void your
authority to operate this equipment. To maintain compliance with FCC Rules and Regulations, use
only cable accessories provided.
For further information, contact:
Hewlett-Packard Company
Manager of Corporate Product Regulations
3000 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, Ca 94304
(650) 857-1501
This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device,
pursuant to part 15 of the FCC rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection
against harmful interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses, and can
radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, can
cause harmful interference to radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference
will not occur in a particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or
television reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment off and on, the user is
encouraged to try to correct the interference by one or more of the following measures:
Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.
Increase the separation between the equipment and the receiver.
Connect the equipment into an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the receiver is
Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.
wireless USB network adapter