So My New Laptop Has Wireless Card- Can I Do Anything Away From Home?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by James Edward, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    My new laptop has wireless connectivity. Can I go to Starbucks or somewhere that has wi-fi and get on the internet?
    I am completely ignorant in this area- I know that I can set up a wireless system at home, and use my laptop, but what about outside wi-fi usage? Please educate me.

    Thanks for any replies...
     
  2. DaveD'

    DaveD' Stunt Coordinator

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    That, and also airports among other places have wifi "hotspots". You basically just search for a connection just like you do when connecting a new computer to your wireless network at home(I pick up my neighbors when I do [​IMG]). Some charge you for use, not really sure how that works(probably prompts for a password, cc#, etc.).
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    That's exactly how it works. And since public wifi hotspots are never secure (at least none that I've encountered), I often wonder why anyone would take the risk of inputting a credit card to get access.

    When my DSL service goes out, as it does from time to time, I can usually pick up one of several nearby wireless signals. But I'm always careful what I send over those connections. No online purchasing, etc.

    M.
     
  4. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    OK- So literally, how do I 'pick up' a wireless signal if one is available? Do I just make sure that the wireless receiver is on, and open IE?
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I assume, since it's a new computer, that it's running Windows XP. In its default configuration, XP should detect an active wireless receiver and a new icon will appear on the taskbar. Right-click on that icon for various options, including a list of available wireless networks and status of an existing connection (if any).

    M.
     
  6. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    Thank you Dave and Michael.
     
  7. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    Click on your wireless icon. Should come up with a box to view
    wireless networks. Click on that and it'll show you all networks it's seeing.
     
  8. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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    I have a question along these lines. The wireless connection in my son's Dell 8600 went bad. It was an 801.b, and we've decided to just put in a 801.g in it. I really would like to try Bluetooth, but am not sure how that would work. Any advice?
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Bluetooth is a different type of wireless "network", which is intended for short-range connections between computer devices and peripherals. It is not intended as general-purpose, high bandwidth wireless data communications network. See here for more information.
     
  10. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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    not to get stuck on the bluetooth tangent;

    i sometimes use my bluetooth cellphone to get an internet connection with my laptop when i am out of range of an wireless network. it is considered a dial up connection according to win xp connection manager. granted max speed is some thing like 130 kb/s. but, in those situations something is better than nothing.
     
  11. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    James,

    Starbucks charges for access, but may coffee shops, libraries, and other organizations offer free wi-fi. Do a google search on "free hotspots ny" and I'm sure you will find something.



    Michael,


    In my experience, "g" adapters are more sensitive and reliable than "b" adapters. Your upgrade should result in better connectivity. As others have said, Bluetooth is incompatible, so if you are connecting to a Wi-Fi hotspot, you will need a Wi-Fi (either "b" or "g") adapter.
     
  12. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I read those in the disjunctive, since rarely is one prompted for both a password and a credit card. The point is, you have to input something to identify you to the system.

    And while some might say I'm overcautious, I don't like to input even a password over an unsecured wireless connection. In those situations where I've had to do so, I change the password as soon as I'm on a secure connection.

    M.
     
  13. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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    Got it. Drop the bluetooth angle, don't need it. Thanks!
     
  14. DougR

    DougR Second Unit

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