wifi/wireless again

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wifi/wireless again

Postby nooranismith » Mon 20 Mar 2006 11:52

It's been a subject before, so I am guessing many of you are well experienced now with the use of wireless.

Not me...but I'm hoping to become so shortly. I would like to pick the collective brains on what equipment I need to wirelessly link our laptop with our desktop so we can share our broadband connection (if/when it finally comes through), and what I need to use the laptop to take advantage of the various wifi spots. An obvious hiccup I suspect, is that our laptop may have some antique value now as it has reached a creaky 5yo - Toshiba satellite 1730 cdt, 192mb Ram, 650hz (mHz?) freq and running Windows 98 (XP an option, but not sure it can easily cope with it on only 192).

I've seen various bits and pieces including some that handily simply plug into a usb whenever you need them, but not sure if that is really all I need. All advice gratefully recieved.
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Postby Savannah_Alan » Mon 20 Mar 2006 17:57

Hi Ron,
basically, there are three types of wireless internet available for the PC.
802.11b, 802.11g and MIMO.

802.11b is the oldest, runs at (I believe) 1.2Ghz and is the most widespread. 802.11g runs at 2.4Ghz(and so can transmit data faster), and is becoming the de-facto wi-fi. It is available at many to most places.
MIMO (which stands for Multi-in, Multi-Out, is the newest type. It runs even faster and has much more range (claims are up to ten times the range of 802.11 wireless networks.

All are available in most forms. I used to say that if you are only linking two computers, then you can just buy 2 wireless network cards and link the two. Now wireless routers are so cheap and have many other advantages, that you may as well invest in one of those.
So, basically, you will need one wireless router and up to two PC network cards.
The reason I say "up to" two wireless cards is that the optimum setup (and the one I use is to have the wirless router in range of the desktop PC and connect from the PC to the wirless router via a standard lan (CAT 5, CAT 6) cable. Most wireless routers have hubs/switches built in so that you can "Hard wire" computer to them in this way.
Your laptop may have a wireless network card built in (most modern ones do). If you laptop (given the age) has one at all then it is probably 802.11b, which is fine. Most wireless routers are backwards compatible.
If you don't have a card in your laptop, then you can buy one for it. For a laptop, they are available as PCMCIA cards (the little flat cards that go in the side of the laptop), or as USB adaptors.

Getting this all set up is a very easy process and is well within the range of the home computer user.

Hope this helps,

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Postby ruggie » Mon 20 Mar 2006 18:23

My ADSL provider (wanado.fr) provides a router as part of the package. It has WiFi, Ethernet and USB ports, and its software is centrally updated from time to time. First time they did that, I spent an hour trying to get the link back up, and received an email the next day telling me on no account to switch off the router during the update, in case it got completely screwed up :roll:
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