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Wireless Internet - Help

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Cricket, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

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    I'm thinking about going with a wireless laptop and am concerned about coverage.

    1. How uniform is wireless coverage? If I have to travel out of the service area how the heck can I get ethernet access? It appears that IW coverage is sporadic at best and run by many small companies.

    2. Do most new laptops come with the transceiver/receiver whatever you call it already built in? Looks like you have to buy a card for some.

    3. The setups I've checked run from 129 to 179. If I am already using Comcast cable internet what else is necessary for Ethernet?

    4. What about security, signal interception, et?


    Ahhhhhhhhhh, damn technology.
     
  2. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    Just get a 802.11 card and download this:Netstumbler
    Then you can be a fellow "War Driver " and access other peoples wireless networks anywhere for free.
     
  3. paulmoon

    paulmoon 1/2 ton status

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    At home, you would need to attach your cable modem to a wireless router. The router will send the signal to your laptop. You can password protect your signal if you want. Out and about town you can frequently pick up nonpassword protected systems. Coffee shops, hotels, etc often have there's that way. It's nice. "wireless coverage" availablity is going to vary depending on where you live, size of town, stuff like that. There are locating devices to can buy also. And as mentioned there are web sites to help search for them. I do password protect my signal at home. I do online banking etc. Better safe than sorry. If you want to access your printer remotely you'll need to buy a printer router also. Wireless is the way to go!!
     
  4. Goober

    Goober 1/2 ton status

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    Fixed it for ya.


    Many new laptops come with wireless built-in. Wireless networking is whats called a broadcast technology. That means that you toss the signal out there and anyone can see it. There are ways that you can encrypt your signal so nobody (or at least very few) people would be able to actually see what you are sending.

    If you want to use wireless at home then you will need to set-up an access point to connect to. Most decent access points also have a few extra ethernet ports (they have a network switch built-in) so you can connect to them the with a cable also.

    Answers to questions:

    You should be able to get a good signal within 50-100 feet from your access point in a normal house. You may get more or less depending on wall structures, type of access point, type of wireless card and types of auxilliary antenna's.

    Once you get away from home you can sometimes find free access points at libraries, coffee shops, sports bars and restaurants. Netstumbler is a really cool tool to search for places to connect. What it does is just listens for wireless signals and checks to see if they are secured or not. If you find one that is not secured then you can try to connect and surf the web on their connection. It's a great tool, well worth the free download even if you just want to play with it.

    You can also subscribe to paid wireless services that allow you to access the internet from anyplace that they have a service provider located. That would include lots of restaurants (like McDonalds) and most Hotels. You will pay about $20./month for a subscription but if you use your laptop for work and find yourself in airports and hotels it is definately worth the cost.

    Check for free access points: http://www.wififreespot.com/


    Yeah, most of the newer ones have a wireless transceiver/receiver built-in. If you have a choice, go with 802.11g. Better security and higher bandwidth.
    You can also buy wireless cards for laptops (and desktops) that do not have them installed. Prices range from $25 - $100.


    If you already have Comcast then all you need is an access point to connect to a wireless enabled laptop. You will just connect an ethernet cable from the Comcast Modem (it's actually a router but most people call them modems) to the access point. All of your internet connections will now go through the access point. Prices range from $25 - $500. Even a cheap one will work for basic internet connectivity. Here is one of them that I like/use: http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=33&scid=35&prid=610


    Yes, you can encrypt your signal so (most) others can't intercept it. You can also configure your access point to require authentication so others need a key, passphrase, password or some other form of authentication in order to connect. Most access points will come with a simple configuration tool that will do all this stuff for you and make it seem easy.



    Does that help? :ears: :ears: :ears:
     
  5. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

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    Does that help? HELL YES!!

    Thank you guys for taking the time to reply, very much appreciated. This place is better than a university.
     
  6. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    Fixed it for ya.

    Yeah True! but it is amazing to me how many people have unsecured networks. They just buy them and hook them up and think things are hunky dory. They dont even pasword protect their wirless router :screwy: If i want to I can drive around log on to other peoples routers change its configuration put my own password on it. So they cant use it.(Untill they figgure how to reset the factory settings) I dont do that of course. But I know other people do just for kicks.

    So if you are thinking about going wireless be sure to read the section on seceurity and at least pasword protect everything. Other wise someone may come around and hack your system and cause all kinds of misery.

    Wireless is great but there are dangers involved. SO PROTECT YOURSELF!
    Use a firewall too.
    My Virus scan (Trend Micro) alerts me if anyone trys to hack my wirless network
     

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