Have you got a laptop?

  Forum Editor 14:23 04 Dec 2004

If you have, do you run a wireless network at home, or have you used a wireless 'hot-spot'? Perhaps you don't have a laptop, but have networked a couple of PCs - or more than a couple.

I'm interested to know what you think about wireless networking i general; have you found it the answer to your prayers, or simply a pain in the neck - have you steered clear of it because you think it will be complex to set up, or because the hardware is too expensive? What are the pluses and minuses in your opinion?

All printable thoughts are welcome, but if you don't want your real name to appear in the magazine please say so in your post.

  norman47 14:48 04 Dec 2004

Yes, have 2 laptops. One is an ibook with an airport extreme card. The other is a pentium 111 700Mhz with a pcmcia card.

I live in a hotspot that my ISP provides, so there is no need to set up a wireless network. So long as the laptops are in a room with a decent sized window, they pick up the signal. Signal strength can vary from 60 to 80% depending on what room is used. I do not need to share a printer or to share files. The files are moved, if need be, by an external usb 2.0 hard drive.

I did try to setup a WiFi configuration, to boost signal strength, belkin router and belkin pci card. I think the hotspot signal interfered with the setup, so in the end I gave it up.

  bremner 15:04 04 Dec 2004

I have a wi fi network at home and use an Acer laptop with a PC Card wireless network adapter.

I am able to connect throughout the house and into the garden. The signal strength varies from very good to adequate.

I also have a work Vaio laptop with built in Centrino wi fi. Took it home and added the mac address to the network. The Vaio immediately sees the network and connects - absolutely no problem.

I have used the Acer here and in the States connecting to both Hotel wireless networks (ridiculously expensive) and hotspots - again could not have been easier.

Plus - ease and convienience.

Minus - Cost (when not at home)

  Forum Editor 17:04 04 Dec 2004

More experiences please.

  spikeychris 17:26 04 Dec 2004

I can honestly say that my Net life (or my marriage) would have ended years ago if I didn't have a laptop. To be anchored to a desk on me own no longer appeal to me. the freedom of a wifi network enables me to type this crashed out on a settee in my conservatory.

I'm in a different part of Lancashire every day and I always seem to be able to hook up to a local council wifi pipe and log in. I have a couple of desktops at home but I might as well just shove a plant pot on them....

  mikef. 18:02 04 Dec 2004

I have a Novatech centrino laptop, networked wirelessly using a Belkin ADSL/Router only problem setting up the network was realising zonealarm free version blocked communication between laptop and desktop, but as soon as I sorted it out problems.

I agree with bremner using Hotel hotspots is ridiculously expensive if easy to use.

  Forum Editor 18:04 04 Dec 2004

is it powerful enough? In other words, does your network have the range you would like?

  Chaz10 20:40 04 Dec 2004

I have just set up a wireless network using a ad-hoc configuration, so far the problems seem to be few ( I am writing this from my garage 70ft from my desktop computer) I have to say though that windows 98 is rubbish at the wireless lark so I spent £60 on a new win xp disk.

  tomsdad 20:52 04 Dec 2004

Yes I have got a laptop and yes I do run a wireless network to my desktop. To me it has changed the way I use my laptop as I can surf the net and share files from anywhere in my house and even my garden.

I found it real easy to set up and have never any problems with it, am so impressed with having a wireless network that I have upgrade to 54 Mbps so I can share my files a bit quicker.

I have used my laptop once at hotspot at coffee shop but found to quite hard to configure and the staff in the shop were not much help to me so I don’t think I would use one again.

All in all, I think home wireless networks are brilliant, Tomsdad

  VoG II 21:15 04 Dec 2004

Yes I have a WiFi network between my desktop and my daughter's laptop. The main purpose of this is to give her internet access via a router.

I had no problems initially simply installing the router and getting internet access from both machines. This works well on the lappy from anywhere within our modest residence.

I did have problems installing a wireless network card on the desktop which led to a black screen, lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth and a couple of posts on here. Duff card - there is bound to be one isn't there.

The odd thing is that, in contrast to spikeychris, my daughter far prefers using this desktop machine for internet access. For Word and so on, she doesn't mind. Teenagers!

  lixdexik 21:15 04 Dec 2004

Our computers only share the internet connection, they are not networked as such so the setting up was no problem.

We have a BB connection that she can now share with her laptop. It also means that she does not hog the room and the desk top PC, and can use her laptop in her room or any part of the house / garden.

The wireless connection also means when daughter No2 gets a laptop she too can have uninterupted study time.
So far it has been a real asset.

Cheers Lixdexik.

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