wireless for a beginner

  SylvesterMagic 23:54 08 May 2005

I'm about to buy a laptop and would like to set up a wireless broadbad connection so I can do work on the computer all around the house. What would I need to buy (I've heard of Linksys wireless routers?) and what would my laptop need in order to receive the wireless signal? Would the signal reach over a couple of floors of my house? Is there a limit to how quick the wireless signal can be (512kb? 1MB?).

Many many thanks for your help


  The Kestrel 12:42 09 May 2005

If you are about to buy a laptop, make sure it comes with a built in wireless connection. The alternative is to fit a wireless PCI card or buy a USB wireless adapter. If your present broadband modem is a USB type, you will need to buy a combined modem/router, which you connect by cable to the filter on your 'phone socket. The laptop will then connect by wireless to the modem/router.

I am not sure, others will be able to advise on this, but you may need to initially connect your modem to the laptop by cable in order to set up and configure the wireless connection to your ISP. This will not apply if you also have a desktop PC, which is hard wired to the modem as this can be used to set up the broadband connection to the ISP. In any event, your modem/router will come with all necessary software and instructions on how to do this.

  mgmcc 20:40 10 May 2005

There are essentially two ways to use a laptop wirelessly:

1) Install Wireless Network Adapters in both PCs (unless the laptop is already WiFi enabled) and set up an “Ad Hoc” wireless network, which is one in which the devices communicate directly with one another rather than via a Wireless Access Point. “Internet Connection Sharing” is set up on the actual Internet connection in the “host” PC and the “client” then has internet access provided the “host” is running and online.

2) The better, but more expensive solution, is to install a Wireless Router and, if your broadband service is ADSL this should be a combined wireless “Router/ADSL Modem”. With Cable broadband, a stand-alone router is used because the Cable modem supports an ethernet connection. This creates an “Infrastructure” wireless network with any wireless PCs connecting through the router’s Wireless Access Point. The desktop PC could connect with an ethernet cable if it is to be located beside the router, eliminating the need to equip it too with a WiFi adapter.

If the laptop isn’t WiFi enabled, you would use either a USB wireless adapter or a PCMCIA card.

<<< Is there a limit to how quick the wireless signal can be (512kb? 1MB?).>>>

Even wireless networking runs at a much higher speed than the relatively slow speed of broadband connections – an 802.11b wireless network runs at a nominal speed of 11Mbps and 802.11g has a nominal speed of 54Mbps.

  tangomouse 19:05 11 May 2005

is it posible to have a wifi connection with a wireless cable modem ,i car`nt find any cable routers. do thay make them?

  selfbuild 22:21 11 May 2005

How do you get your broadband connection?.... through a set top box or a cable modem?

Any of these from click here will do the job.....

  palinka 22:44 14 May 2005

If it's any help here's what I did, though i'm sure there are cheaper ways. I already had wired BB with Pipex on my desktop PC via a BB external modem. My laptop was not wireless enabled, so I bought a package from BT, via their website - included a wireless external modem to replace the existing one and a wireless network adapter for the laptop as well as software to set it up. Why did I buy from BT? because their website gave me all the info about what bits & pieces I really needed to go wifi. And the bonus is that the wifi modem gives me much better connection than the one that came with the Pipex package. (sorry, Pipex, the rest of your service is great)

  SylvesterMagic 22:48 14 May 2005

I did wonder whether going for one of the WiFi packages (I see that Wanadoo also does one) would be a good way of doing it... does anyone else have any opinions on what the ISPs provide?

I'm actually thinking now of getting a desktop rather than a laptop, but I'd be working a long way away from my phone line so wifi would still be the best thing for me I think, does that change anything?

  Forum Editor 00:50 15 May 2005

you'll need either an internal PCI wireless network card, or an external USB adapter. I recommend the internal card.

Otherwise you just use a wireless ADSL router/modem combination, but remember that you must connect a computer to the router (via the cable that will be supplied) in order to set it (the router) up with your ISP login details. Once you've done that you may remove the cable connection.

I can't comment on the ISP hardware packages - I've never used one - but to be honest it's so easy to set up a wireless network that you may as well buy the components yourself.

  SylvesterMagic 18:29 15 May 2005

Many many thanks, that's all really helpful.


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