In need of a laptop / wifi experts advice :) pretty please.... :) cherry on top :)

    OK... so I bought a Dell laptop... er and didnt select for it to have wifi DOH!

    Obviously now I want to add wifi capability....

    I know I need a mini PCI express card, and I'm pretty sure I can buy the same model as Dell would have put in... so thats not a problem...

    The problem is... will I be able to fit this myself ?- or by internal, does it literally mean INTERNAL (ie voiding my warranty). I'm pretty good at fitting dvd drives and the like, and given instructions on a normal PC I can virtually fit anything... but never opened up a lappy before...

    Second problem is ... will I need to add those antenna thingies? Or should just the card be enough? ie will it work without antennae due to me not selecting the wifi option - do lappys need them to even get a reception?

    I'm not too worried about strength of signal etc as I'll be sitting bang in the middle of a hot spot, just mainly wether in not choosing the wifi option, wether there is more than just the card that Dell dont install...

    I know... I'm a dumbass... should have just paid the extra few quid for the things I never thought I'd need just incase... of er... well... needing them :o)

    Any help on this would be hugely appreciated guys!
    Dont want to break the flippin thing before I've even had it a few weeks - lol


    Jeez... I don't have a clue (I know that doesn't help), but I would just use a wifi dongle...
    You could ask at a PC world if u don't get an answer on here.

    The cards are meant to be user replaceable and upgradeable. Its a simple case of opening the case up connecting it all up and installing any relevant drivers and software on the laptop. That's assuming it has the antenna in place. Im not sure what to do if its not there. (Probably involves threading the antenna through the laptop or something similar)

    TBH its probably worth getting a usb adapter instead. They are much cheaper and a lot easier to install.
    Or another thing is that i'm looking to upgrade to the new n technology so you could buy the n card and we could swap cards for the difference (I send you my card + the difference, you send me the new card)

    Original Poster

    lmao - you know me well vixygwim - hehe

    Vostro 1700

    I have a dongle, but I wont use it often enough to bother with a monthly fee, so I go pay as you go... £10 a month, when I might only need to use it once or twice is a bit excessive... hence why it would be easier for me to have wifi :o)

    When you select your model from Dell and 'customise' it, you have to add the wifi (or more specifically the card) in as an extra. I had the base model of the Vostro 1700, but upgraded the processor, hard drive and memory (which sounds backwards but actually gave me better performance and more space than the next one up which was a fair few quid dearer... dont know why..).

    So yep its totally possible! lol

    Alternatively I have an express card slot on the side aswell (I might be wrong but I'm thinking that the mini PCI card goes in the bottom somewhere), so if its possible... easier... cheaper... and er...possible :-)... then I could always add a wifi option there

    Original Poster

    You are a star!

    Thank you, I think I'll have a peek in a sec - lol

    @ deathtrap - thats nice of you to offer me your old card for a new card... I think I'm missing the point though... how is your old card going to be better? Or easier to fit?

    an 802.11g usb dongle would be the quickest and easiest way to go. You pick them up for just about £5 these days (on the basis you have a free usb port of course :-) ) - so cheap and cheerful option

    oops slightly over £ 5.00 - this one anyway but just an example…tml

    Agreed with the above. A USB dongle is all you need. Its cheap and all you do is stick it into a USB slot, install the software and you are wifi ready.

    No if you have a slot, put an internal card in. A gagabyte one will cost you about £15.

    cannot understand why you have no card , did you buy from Dell? the 1700vostro base model comes with a wireless minicard fitted as standard if you read their gumph it states all vostros are wifi enabled this is the case now and was the case in jan when I bought my vostro 1700 suggest you contact Dell I'm sure there should be a card fitted, a wireless upgrade is available to a bettet card and for bluetooth but a bog standard card should have been fitted, well I'd be suprised if it wasnt

    mines a vostro 1000 and i have had it around 3 months-when i took the options i didnt recall an option for wifi? it was just included? we bought a wifi router and have a dongle to use on the family comp with that-isnt that all thats needed anyway(we havent set it up yet!)

    I would be very surprised if Dell sold ANY laptop that was not wi fi enabled nowadays.

    Double check, there is normally a switch on the laptop somewhere to turn wi fi on.

    Have a look at the documentation that came with the laptop and see where the switch is.

    switch is front left hand side next to the express card slot


    You are a star!Thank you, I think I'll have a peek in a sec - [email protected] You are a star!Thank you, I think I'll have a peek in a sec - [email protected] deathtrap - thats nice of you to offer me your old card for a new card... I think I'm missing the point though... how is your old card going to be better? Or easier to fit?

    The old card will be the same as a new card.
    I only suggested it as I'm looking to upgrade and when I do I will have a spare wi-fi card not doing anything.

    i also think that you must have wireless already on a vostro 1700.

    have you checked that the switch is in the right position ?

    and don't confuse a £10/month 3g dongle with a £free/month wifi dongle.

    Whilst a dongle is easier etc you will get better signal with an internal one because of the size of the antenna around the screen

    Original Poster

    Wow guys! Thanks for all the replys!

    :oops:Hmm, ok so it sounds like the wifi option was an upgrade rather than a take it or leave it job - phew! I will still check as soon as I can find a screwdriver small enough to get the back off - lol.

    OK so... some people prefer dongles, some people prefer cards - but essentially they are all cheap enough, and I'm assuming as they are upgradable that some give you better quality over others... as I'm gonna save a fortune I might aswell grab a good one :-D

    @ j35 WOW! Didnt even know there were dongles specifically for free wifi until today - when popped in a search all I came up with was pay monthly or pay as you go -:w00t:

    Time to sell my PAYG dongle and think about using up my ebay stars voucher then - lol

    Thanks again to all - you've been a huge help!
    Reps been left:friends:
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