Living in the past!!

  avesnes 10:57 20 Nov 2006

I'm still using Win98 on an almost 9 year old Gateway machine. Madam has just bought herself a laptop and I've convinced myself to buy a new desktop (with Vista) around Eastertime next year. The idea is to get broadband and to "go wireless" (if that's the right expression). Would someone be so kind as to point me in the direction of a beginner's/idiot's guide to broadband and wireless thingies so that I can read product adverts and talk sensibly to sales people. Many thanks.

  Aargh 11:06 20 Nov 2006

Work out how much you want to spend on Broadband - depends on where you live and what you can get - ie ADSL(Broadband) via a phoneline or cable from someone like NTL.

You may want to include a phone package to consolidate the entire service and reduce cost.

As an example I use the Pipex mini package which gives me free phone calls & broadband for under £30. Theres hundred of offers out there.

You can go wireless for under £50 if you are buying the kit, but some ISP's will even give you the wireless kit when you join.

If the laptop is already wifi enabled, your new PC will be when you get it, so you will have most of what you need.

You will probably get 1000 replies suggesting which internet provider to choose!

  avesnes 14:10 20 Nov 2006

Thanks for the reply. Madam's laptop is ready for wirelessing. I should have mentioned that my ignorance of these matters is pretty extensive! For instance,
1) if you have broadband coming into the house, can you continue to use dial-up?
2) if you have wireless kit and broadband, does it imply that both the computers (i.e. the current laptop and the future desktop)must be wireless or can I continue with the existing wiring to the fixed position future desktop?
3) if two machines were using the broadband kit (wirelessly or not), does that preclude using the telephone simultaneously?
4) are there any things / circumstances/ kit/ positioning of kit etc. that one should be wary of?

  Aargh 15:57 20 Nov 2006

1> You could continue to use dialup as a backup if broadband failed etc - most ISP's provide a dialup service for their broadband customers.

2> Modern PC's will all be capable of using wireless, but not all laptops are. Your new PC should have a network card installed (check before you buy!) which will allow you to plug in an ethernet cable which connects to your modem/wireless router. I would guess most wireless users connect this way - a main pc 'wired' to the router/modem (which is plugged into your phone socket via an ADSL filter), and the rest connected wirelessly. If your laptop is not wireless ready you can buy an adapter card which slots in for around £15.

3> With Broadband, you can use your phone and all your computers at the same time.

4> The main consideration for wireless systems is range of signal - the further from the router or the thicker your walls, the weaker the signal, but most household routers will cope easily with a standard house. The other main issue once you get set up is security to stop your neighbours snooping/using your nrtwork, but thats a secondary issue until you are connected.

So what you need is to check your PC's are ready or can be made ready for wireless, then decide who you want to get broadband from. If they give you a wireless modem/router with the system good, if not you will need to buy an 'adsl router modem'

Then the fun really starts!

  avesnes 16:02 20 Nov 2006

Aargh - many thanks for your explanations - I think I'm beginning to see the light!! Thank you for your help; it's much appreciated.

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