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Compaq Laptop

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Posted
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#26489 (In Topic #6137)
Joe
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Help please...


Hello,

I was thinking of buying this laptop:


Click here to visit site

I know nothing about laptops, so please bare with me on this one. I asked a few people how I would go about connecting to the internet while on the go, and some have said you need a subscription to a major telephone company that supports broadband such as Verizon, while others have told me all I need is a 'WiFi' card. I've looked at a few of these "PCMCIA Cards", and the requirements say the laptop needs an Available "CardBus Slot"? Looking at the specifications for that laptop, I don't see anything about Available CardBus Slots. So my questions are as follows:

1. Do I need a subscription through a major telephone company, or one of these "PCMCIA Cards"?
2. If I do need a WiFi card, is my computer compatible to use this type of card? Do I have the necessary slots?
3. What WiFi card would you recommend as high-quality? (I don't want to buy a card that is not dependable)
4. Is THIS a good card for my computer? Is it compatible?
5. How exactly does WiFi work? All I do is plug that card into my laptop, and boom! I'm online? I don't have to register anything, or subscribe and pay monthly internet fees?

Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

- Joe

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Posted
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#26491
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That notebook already has a wireless receiver built-in, so you wont need to purchase an extra one.

With regards to wireless Internet… that's up to your Internet Service Provider. In almost all cases, you'll sign up and receive a "wireless modem/router". This device plugs into your home phone line and sends the Internet 'signal' to your laptop from there.

However, if you want Internet "on the move", you'll either have to use dialup Internet - where you plug a cord into a phone line and 'dial-up' (which is very slow), or find a "Wireless HotSpot" (as they're called in the United Kingdom). A HotSpot is a place which offers connection (wirelessly) to their Internet connection. Some places will charge you, others will not. It all depends on where you're going.

But you can use either option so no matter where you go, you should be able to get Internet access somehow!


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Posted
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#26501
Joe
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Seems you have the most questions about WiFi, so I'll try to address that first. The laptop you linked has a built-in WiFi card. You will not have to purchase that separately.

As for connectivity, think of WiFi as a standard cordless telephone and the wireless carrier cards (such as Verizon or Cingular) as a cellular telephone. The WiFi card will work well so long as you are within a certain range of the wireless access point. If you would like WiFi in your home, you will still need to subscribe to broadband Internet (cable or DSL), and you will need to purchase a wireless access point (usually in the form of a wireless router). The service range is usually around 100 meters, but could greatly vary based on the environment. The wireless carrier cards work anywhere you can get a cellular telephone signal, however the speeds aren't near what you would get with WiFi. Basically the decision comes down to whether you will need the wireless service only in certain spots (hot spots) or that you require service everywhere. As you might imagine, the service from a wireless carrier is quite pricey. I've purchased through Cingular before, and the unlimited package runs about $75 per month. Whereas, WiFi can usually be found for free, but only at public hot spots.

I feel like I've rambled quite a bit, so if I missed anything or you need some clarification, please let me know.

Hope this helps.

As he said I'd have a decision on whether I would want internet everywhere, or only at certain hotspots. Say if I wanted internet only at hotspots, than this means I wouldn't need to buy anything seperately, or subscribe to any phone/cable company that supports internet, right?

Now say if I wanted a connection everywhere, I would need to subscribe to a phone company? My current in-home ISP is Time Warner Cable's Road Runner. Is it possible to get a connection everywhere with them, or do I need a subscription with like Verizon or Cingular?


Last edit: by Joe

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Posted
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#26509
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Your home-ISP is a broadband connection. You cannot get a 'roaming' broadband connection unless you do it via other hotspots.


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Posted
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#26629
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You can in the States. Verizon, I know (and perhaps Sprint) offers a PCMCIA card which will allow you to pick up broadband-quality reception in most metropolitan areas in the country (via the cell towers). But, it's limited coverage (doesn't work where I live, for example), and it's also $80/month. :S

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Posted
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#26700
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We have that here in the United Kingdom too, but it's GPRS (or possibly 3G/EDGE) technology which is definitely not considered as 'broadband' speed.


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Posted
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#27190
Joe
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I have three computers in my home, and only one printer. Two out of the three are wireless, and then of course, there is the main desktop in which the printer is connected to. I was wondering how I would go about setting up a printer to the wireless computers. What I mean by this is, many people have their wireless laptops able to print "wirelessly". Does this require any further hardware? If so or if not, could someone maybe provide a walk-through on how to do it? If any further hardware is required, what would I need?

Thanks :)

Joe

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Posted
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#27193
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We have a similar set up in our house, except that all the computers are networked (either cabled or wirelessly). We installed the printer on the host computer, and 'shared it' - this is easy to do via Windows.

Then on the other computers we simply go through the 'add printer' dialogues and choose 'network printer', then 'browse for a printer' and select it. The network will automatically install the printer drivers (from the host computer) and it all works fine.

I'm not sure about how to do this on non-windows computers though… hopefully it should be just as easy.

Clearly you will have to work something out in your case, as the host computer doesn't sound like it is networked at all.


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Posted
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#27197
Joe
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The main computer is connected to the internet via cable modem. The other two computers are connected to the internet via a wireless router which is connected to the main computer. The two wireless computers look for internet from the main computer.

All three computers are running a Windows XP operating system. Using the main computer, I changed the sharing options of the printer to allow printer sharing between the three computers, but when I ran the "Add Printer" wizard on one of the laptops and clicked "Browse for a printer", it didn't find any shared printers.

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Posted
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#27251
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If you saw any computers come up within that 'browse' dialogue, double-click on the one with the printer and it should expand the 'tree' and show a list of printers.


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