Computer Hardware » Going Online-WiFi

WIFI COMPUTERS WHAT'S ALL THE HYPE ?


 

The time of writing this help page we had just purchased at WiFi network setup so let us tell you our views on it...

Pick up any computer magazine or surf Google for Wifi information and you will see this is the 'in thing' - so what is it? Basically it's a way of connecting computers without using messy wiring - we use it because it means we can use our Wifi enabled laptops in any room or even outside in the garden - complete freedom! Plus of course you can share resources and access the internet on more than 1 PC at one time with just 1 ISP account .

What's needed : - Not much - surprisingly - much easier to configure than a traditional wired Ethernet - we managed to get the basic setup working in less than 1/2 an hour.

You'll need : a broadband router / modem (assuming you want a fast Wifi broadband connection), with our setup we simply connected our desktop PC to the router / modem using a CAT5 ethernet lead to our 10/100 internet port - most newish PCs have these ethernet card ports installed as standard...

For each laptop - unless it comes Wifi Ready
- many new laptops already fitted out
- you'll require a WIFI adaptor
- our Dell Latitudes are ideal for this we just purchased a Wifi USB adaptor for each notebook, if you have a PCMCI card port on your laptop you can also get Wifi cards - Windows XP Plug and Play does all the device driver configuration for you .

All that was required was to remove the old broadband dialup and configure a few things such as ISP password login and Wifi hotspot security - note most Wifi setups come boxed without the security implemented - so anyone within 200 metres of your router can connect to you !

There are a number of ready made kits available which includes all the equipment and cables , we used Belkin but there are Linksys and others - and as the Wifi protocol is a standard used by all manufacturers - these devices can mixed and matched but the out of the box kits usually offer the best value for money

Where to get it :

Surprisingly after searching Ebay and Micro Mart / Computer Shopper we eventually found the best prices for this equipment were at Dixons and Currys , and of course PC World - these share the same supplier so usually the prices and stock are identical - and they offer peace of mind with their returns . A complete home or small office network - to start 1 desktop and 1 laptop can be purchased for well under 100 pounds - which is considerably less than getting an electrician in to do wiring for a wired solution .

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