stop reading if you're easily bored by computer network lingo: i've been using a spare wireless belkin router as an ethernet switch/hub in my bedroom for a few months now. previously i had a dedicated cisco network hub, but it was an old model that only had 10base-t ports. the only problem with the belkin hub was it was on a different network than my main linksys router, i.e. computers on the linksys had 192.168.1.x ip numbers, while anything connected to the belkin fell under 192.168.2.x. why is this important? because computers on different networks can't see each other (i won't be able to share files).
in trying to figure out the wireless webcam problem at the cafe, i've been trying to solve my own network issue. i've changed the ip address of the belkin router a bunch of times so it fell under the 192.168.1.x network, but every time i did, i couldn't reconnect to the belkin anymore until i completely reset the router.
i finally managed to fix it tonight, after an extensive search of the internet. the solution: the ethernet cable coming from my main linksys router has to be connected to one of the regular LAN ports on the belkin router, not the WAN port. after i made the switch and power cycled the belkin, it started up on the same network as the linksys router and gave my bedroom computer a proper 192.168.1.x local ip address (prior to that, the machine was on the 192.168.2.x network). hopefully with my newfound network knowledge i can finally fix the wireless camera this weekend.