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Wireless internet for the home laptop

5 replies
Found 27th Feb 2006
Hi guys,
i just bought a dell laptop (inspiron 630m).

I want to get a wireless internet for it and i am wondering what is the best product to buy.

I already have a 2mb plusnet home connection for the pc, so am i right in thinking i just need to get a wireless router? Would i have to make the pc wireless or will that stay wired.

What is the best equipment to get.

I is ther anything else i would need?.

cheers.

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6 Comments

Hi Quik answer as I'm off to bed!

If the laptop is wi-fi ready then Yes all you need is a router.

If the laptop isn't wi-fi ready then you will need a pc card or USB as well as the router.

The router should also have some network ports so you can 'hardwire' your PC unless you want the PC to be wireless, then you will another card for the PC.

I have just gone wireless.... I went for the 3 com Office Connect My PC is hard wired to the router and my laptop is wireless via a PC Card. It's great and have no complaints, money well spent!

Here are two recent offers - 3Com W/Less ADSL Router + 2 Cards or USB £49.98p Or Less hotukdeals.com/ind…com

PCWorld.co.uk Linksys WAG54GS Wireless 125G Router @ £59.99
hotukdeals.com/PNp…tml

Off to bed Zzzzzz

Original Poster

Cheers for getting back.

Yep my laptop is wifi ready, have even used it a couple of time, and i would like the router to be hard wired to the pc.

So i dont need the wifi card that is being offered.

Do all have carry the same sppeds or will more expensive ones be faster?

Your 630m has an internal wireless card. It runs at 11b or 11g only. That means it's not worth wasting money on a router that goes faster than 11g - i.e. 54Mbps. So, the 3com one that 50p linked to would be fine. However, it also comes with 2 "free" cards - which you don't need either (they allow older laptops without built-in wireless to access a wireless network).

So, all you need is a wireless router that supports 11g / 54 Mbps. Every wireless router will have sockets for a wired connection.

You also need to make sure your desktop PC has an ethernet port.

I suspect that your current ADSL modem is connected via USB. The wireless router will replace this (you can sell it on ebay) but it can only connect to your PC via wireless or ethernet. Most PCs within the last few years will have an ethernet port. It looks like a modem socket, but is a slightly different size. It probably has a green LED next to the socket. I'm sure your laptop has one, so if you don't know what it looks like, look up the diagram on your "getting started" guide included with your 630m.

Right, onto your questions.

Do all have carry the same sppeds or will more expensive ones be faster?

More expensive routers can send wireless signals at 125Mbps and faster now. However, you need the specific wireless network card to be able to use these speeds. The faster industry standard is 801.11g, which travels at a maxmium of 54Mbps. 801.11b travels at 11Mbps. Your internal wireless card supports 11g and 11b, so the fatest wireless you will be able to receive is 54Mbps. Routers that only support 11b are pretty much obsolete now, and 11g routers are so cheap, just stick with that.

Also remember that your broadband line is "only" 2Mbps. So, there are NO bottleneck issues associated with a "slower" wireless network. You'll only be concerned when transferring files from one computer to another. (As a comparable, ethernet, the wired connection, will typically travel at 100Mbps.)

Where price does come into play is reliability. Many cheaper routers are known to "drop the signal" every know and then. They will disconnect from the internet or from your laptop for short periods of time merely because they less reliable. If you plan on hosting a website on your own pc or laptop, it may be worth investing in a more expensive branded router. Otherwise cheaper options are fine. Usually just switching it off and on will fix the problem.

Lots of good advice there andi

I'm full of it

Original Poster

This is great, thanks.
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