laptops, WiFi, mobile broadband

  DanP 17:58 04 Sep 2007


We're two translators working from home and thinking about becoming mobile.

At the moment we've got two PCs (one Dell Dimension 2400 and one Dell Dimension 3100, both with Windows XP) directly connected (as a wired peer-to-peer network) via a Netgear Router and Ethernet cable. This allows us joint internet usage sharing the same broadband access (provided by AOL) as well as file sharing.

We're now thinking of buying intially one laptop/notebook PC and using this for working away from home. We're still at the early planning stage and therefore have lots of questions (unfortunately, Dell and other potential vendors either don't answer our questions or can't even be contacted by E-mail):

1) Are all new laptops nowadays able to access free WiFi hotspots automatically, i.e. without the need of additional devices or software? Or do we need to look out for some piece of hardware and/or software they should be supplied with?

2) Since we don't want to rely entirely on free WiFi hotspots, our long-term idea is to get a mobile broadband contract (e.g. with Vodafone). Our question for this: Can we connect the laptop and the Dell Dimension 3100 in a similar way as before (either by wire or wireless) and share this mobile internet access in the same way we're doing at the moment with our home internet access?

Many thanks for your help!

Best regards


  Strawballs 22:32 04 Sep 2007

Q 1 Look for built in wireless 802.11g or 802.11n
11g is the current standard and 11n is the new one coming in soon and it is backwards compatible.

Don't know much about aircards sorry.

  ambra4 02:25 05 Sep 2007

Q 2: - Sharing Mobile Broadband Connection Over Wireless Router

Its possible using Windows Internet Connection Sharing

You must allow Windows to set the IP address

And enable Windows Internet Connection Sharing on computer with mobile broadband card

Equipment required: - 1 – Wireless Router

You need to disable DHCP on router

  DanP 09:28 05 Sep 2007

Hi Strawballs and ambra4,

Brilliant - many thanks to both of you for replying so quickly! I think this covers our most important questions, so I can get cracking and look out for a laptop + wireless router.

Any idea if the built-in wireless 802.11g or 802.11n would also work for free WiFi hotspots in Spain? I'd assume it should be the same technology everywhere, but you never know...

Thanks again, take care,


  ambra4 11:41 05 Sep 2007

Will work world wide once you find a hot spot you can access

  DanP 17:19 05 Sep 2007

Great, many thanks for this, ambra4.

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