I'm tired of wireless, what else is there?

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by SPratt74, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Ok. So, I've had Dial Up, DSL, and Wireless. So far, I don't like Wireless or Dial Up. I have two old computers that don't have the right kind of technology to be with wireless or anything that way, and I don't care to upgrade. They aren't used for anything but simple stuff and the Internet. My question is, what can you do with two computers that are going to be in two different rooms that isn't wireless and that are old computers? Is there anything new out that I don't know about? How does that work, and what kind of problems have you had with the new technology? And/or what about having two DSL boxes or that kind of thing. Does anyone do that? Thanks everyone! ;)
  2. spectator

    spectator Member

    Step up from wirless in your own home... wireless in your own home what comes through the ether from the people in the house two doors down... who says wifi ain't powerful?
  3. pr

    pr New Member

    Usually you can connect several computers to one DSL box. I can connect 4 to my box. :p One use ordinary network cables to connect to it so if your old computers doesn't have network cards you could just buy it. :)
  4. DancinAnne

    DancinAnne New Member

    You could use a router with your modem.
  5. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Sounds like you need a router/hub for your DSL, and lots of ethernet cable to hook the non-wireless computers to the hub.

    What don't you like about wireless? I have DSL that runs to my house, and it's hooked up to this really tiny cute Apple AirPort hub that is about as big as my hand and plugs right into the wall
  6. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    we've got cable DSL with a wireless router for the roaming laptop... no prob.
  7. tj

    tj New Member

    If your older computers can't handle WiFi (the wireless connection) like it appears you're saying, then get a router and connect the computers to the router using ethernet cables. You'll need a NIC for each computer that you're connecting.
  8. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    Most computers come with a NIC that tj is referring to. It would be rare to find a PC that doesn't already have one. It is also called an 'ethernet' port, and looks very similar to the modem/phone jack on the PC.

    You can get a router if you want to attach multiple machines to your DSL or cable connection. Costs around $40. If you look for a deal, you might be able to buy for $10 or so. It will force you to keep the computers close to the router (because ethernet connections are wired - you will need ethernet cables), or you'll have to buy long ethernet cables (very expensive).

    Another alternative is to buy adapters that can connect to your power system using a simple plug (like the plugs in any electrical device), and now you can connect the PC to the your ethernet network near any other electrical socket in the household using a similar device. These types of devices cost about $50 (still less expensive than very long lenghts of ethernet cables).
  9. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Oh wow. I leave for a bit and I get a lot of responses lol.

    Basically what I don't like about wireless is that it doesn't work with old computers. I've bought adapters, cards, and an ethernet cable etc., but nothing works.

    I don't like having wires scattered throughout the house. That's what I have now, and it's a pain. Mainly because we can't go up, because we have voltage ceilings, and we can't go down, because we've had troubles with doors and things like that. It looks awful. So, I've tried everything you can imagine to help with wireless. (I've learned a lot that's for sure lol.)

    Also, I have heard something about being able to hook up your computer to the television? And AOL had something to where you could put in a CD in your computer, and not have anything like wires or anything like that connected to it, and it would take care of the software for you. I almost tried that, but AOL is expensive, and I want to avoid that as much as possible.

    My mom said that in Philly, everyone will become wireless by next year. I guess they are installing points throughout the city taking grid by grid to make it easier for wireless to happen. The only problem I see with that is when you have old computers, because it's not going to do much help.

    And you only have a few selections don't you? I mean it's Dial Up, DSL, Wireless, and then whatever this television thing is. I don't know what it's called. What else is there?
  10. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    I haven't played with them, but what about using WAPs (wireless access points; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_access_point)? As I understand them, wired devices can connect to them and they will connect wirelessly to other wireless devices, such as a wireless router.

    So I would think that as long as the old computer has a NIC (network interface card), then that could connect to a WAP and the WAP would complete the connection to the wireless router. If the router isn't wireless, then connect it to a second WAP.

    So what are the old computers (please don't say "a beige one and a white one"; somebody else pulled that one on me before)? More specificially, what operating system(s) are they running? And are they already equipted with NICs?
  11. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Haha! I did get a degree in computers, but it's been a few years. And DSL was the only thing out at the time. Wireless was not exactly a sure thing yet even though it was out lol. I have a 98 ME desktop and a Windows XP 2000 laptop, and one is gray but the other is well a dusty cream (I haven't dusted it in awhile, which is why I called it a dusty cream color lol). I had to throw that in lol! I believe that the XP came with a NIC, and I know that my desktop has one.
  12. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Ok... so I read about WAP's. I just want to be sure I'm reading it right, because I am extremely tired right now lol. So, you don't have to have any wires connected to a WAP, right? And basically from what I gathered, unless I have read it wrong, was that you install the software, and can put it anywhere in the house, and that's it? Or am I off on that? If so, then this might be the way to go. Are they expensive though?
  13. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I still don't understand what the issues are with your setup. Are you saying you don't want to depend on a public wireless connection to the outside world, like the Philly grid system you described? Or are you saying that your old computers don't have wireless capabilities and so you can't hook them up to any wireless at all? Or that you don't like DSL? Or what?

    In my house, I have a DSL line that comes in as usual via the phone wires and plugs into a DSL modem. Then I run a cable directly from the DSL modem into an Apple AirPort that is plugged into my wall. The AirPort is a device that is super-easy to use and broadcasts a wireless signal throughout my house that my TiVo, my Mac, and my PC all use to connect to the Internet via my DSL line. I have a printer that is connected to the AirPort via a USB cable, and both my computers can print to it over the wireless. So, there is one wire, the one that goes from the phone jack to the AirPort, and that is it. (Oh yeah, and the one that goes from my printer to the AirPort, so that makes two.)

    If you don't want DSL, you can get your connection to the Internet via a cable modem. You'd still have a wire coming into your house (the cable) that would attach to your cable modem. You can attach the AirPort (or other device like it, my ex-husband uses something made by Linksys) to the cable modem as I described above, and so on.

    If your old computers aren't even wireless capable, no matter what networking card or USB-based wireless antenna you have tried, then you are stuck and you will have to use good old ethernet cable to connect them to your DSL or cable modem, and you'll need a hub to connect to that to manage the multiple computers. No big whoop, Linksys (among other companies) makes one.

    I understand the suckiness of having a completely useful but old computer around. My parents finally had to get rid of their perfectly functioning old Mac because it was impossible to get any more memory for it, and so many things on computers use tons more memory that was required 10 years ago. This is not the first time they've been "bitten" by this.

    My favorite laptop is now over five years old, and although it's working great, I realize at some point it's just going to become an unsupported wasteland. There are groups, though, that collect old computers in good condition and give them to schools in places Africa and South America. So, maybe that's something you can do with your computers if you can't get them to work the way you want them to.
  14. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    I'm thinking that it's my old computers that don't have the wireless capabilities. I seriously have spent lots of money getting all kinds of equipment for wireless the past year, and the only thing that works is an ethernet cable. It's alright for now, but seriously. I don't like it, because we can only have in on the floor right now, and I'd rather not put ducktape down on the carpet all over the house etc. lol.

    Oh wow. I haven't heard of such a thing. I don't mind DSL. I've had it before. I know how to use it. Is it easy to set up like software wise I mean? With wireless I had to learn about different numbers and all kinds of things I didn't understand. How expensive is it? I still don't understand them a whole lot, but I know how to work with them though lol.

    Oh yeah! That's what I was going to question about. Why do they have the cable modem outside? I mean, what kind of wiring do they have to do for that? How is it different from wireless? It sounds in a way sort of the same.

    Yeah see... the less wire the better. I would like the two computers in two different rooms. So, the apple thing you mentioned might be something we think about if it's not overly expensive as well as the WAP thingy mentioned earlier.

    Oh that's a good idea! We also have a computer recycling store in town that will take your computer whatever for ten dollars each and recycle the parts. I've taken a tour of the place, and it's very well run. A lot of big businesses leave their items with them for safety reasons etc. And the reason why I would like both computers is because I like my computer for the basic simple stuff. But it's nice to have the XP, because you can't download some programs without having XP on your computer. I'd hate to upgrade my computer if I don't have to, and was looking to find the cheapest way to get Internet inside the house instead. I don't need an expensive anything, but XP does come in useful for some things. ;)
  15. Laura

    Laura New Member

    If they're old enough, that's very possible. I had one computer that wouldn't work even when we put a perfectly reasonable networking card in it that worked in another computer. Sometimes the old stuff just won't work and you pretty much have to give up on it.

    Regarding the Apple AirPort:
    The "different numbers" are IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. Think of them this way: you know what a zip code is, for paper mail? And you've heard of zip+4, which is the extended zip code? Zip+4 identifies your exact house by number. An IP address is like that for your computer: it identifies your computer by number, and that number is used by other computers so they can communicate with each other. Whether you use wireless or not, you need to deal a tiny bit with IP addresses, but they really are no big deal and your Internet Service Provider's technical support line can tell you what you need to know.

    Setting up an AirPort is very easy. Apple makes their products easy to use, which is why I like them :) . When I got my DSL, my provider mailed me a piece of paper with a couple of IP addresses on it. Once I had my DSL modem plugged in and up and running, I then plugged in my AirPort and connected to it via my laptop. I had to type in a few of these IP addresses into the setup screens and the AirPort did the rest. Their set up and configuration screens are very easy to deal with. It was so easy that it took me about half an hour to set up the connection to the outside world via my DSL, get my Mac and my PC up on it, get my TiVo configured to connect to it, and get a printer set up so that both my Mac and PC could use it without having to connected to it with a cable. Pretty nifty! As far as price goes, an AirPort Extreme costs $180, look for it under the "Hardware" section at Apple dot com. There's lots of info there about it and how it works.

    Of course you can't do any of this without each computer having a wireless card, either internally installed into the computer, connected via a slot, or in some cases connected through the computer's USB port. I'm guessing from what you've said that this is the part you are having troubles with: getting a card or a USB device that actually works with your computers.

    Basically, your cable comes in to your house as usual. You know how you have multiple cable outlets in your house? You can plug your TV into one outlet and your cable modem into another.

    You need to have something that connects your house to the outside Internet. This can be a DSL connection, via your phone line and a DSL modem. It can be a cable connection, via your TV cable and a cable modem. It can be a public wireless, like the grid system that's being put together in Philly. Since you don't live in a town like Philly, though, have to use DSL or a cable modem. Once you have that, you connect a private device like the AirPort or Linksys to it to create a local wireless network in your own house. To access it, your computers have to have some kind of wireless antenna and processor -- one of those cards I talked about earlier.

    So, in my house, my laptop sends information using its internal wireless networking card out into the air. My AirPort base station picks it up, and passes it on via a short cable to my DSL modem. The DSL modem then sents it out over the phone line, where it connects to the rest of the Internet.

    IF you can make the computers wireless capable, either by installing a wireless networking card or attaching them to some external antenna, then you can use the AirPort to create a local wireless network for them so that you don't have to use any cables. The AirPort is the WAP thingy.

    So, the first thing you need to do is determine if your current computers are even wireless capable. If not, then you're stuck. If they are, then you need to move on to the next step, which is getting something like an AirPort.
  16. tj

    tj New Member

    Simplest of definitions:

    DSL = broadband connection from your phone line. Phone line connects to a DSL modem to your hub/router.

    Cable modem = broadband connection from your cable tv line. Cable tv line connects to a cable modem to your hub/routher.
  17. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Oh, I meant to ask: you say you've spent a lot of time and money trying various wireless devices with your old computers, and they don't work. How do you know they don't work? Did you take those computers someplace like Starbucks where there is a wireless hotspot? Because unless you have a device in your home (or your neighbors have one you can poach off of, or your town has one for the public to use), then there's nothing for your computers to connect to and so you can't tell if they work or not. The fact that you've never heard of anything like an AirPort or WAP device leads me to believe that there is no wireless network in your home for your computers to connect to in the first place. This is a problem. Like, if I didn't have a device like my AirPort, I'd have to plug my computers in to my DSL modem with ethernet cables, just like you do, even though I have wireless networking cards built into both of my computers.

    So, start here: if you are at a WiFi (wireless) hotspot, like a Starbucks, or in Las Vegas airport (free wireless there), or at your sister's place in Philly, can you use any of the wireless devices you've bought to connect your old laptop to the wireless network?
  18. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Oh I see. So, even with a hub, you'll still end up using wires right?
  19. Laura

    Laura New Member

    The internet is like the phone network (in fact in many ways it is the phone network -- that's how it started). It's made up of wires. You have to have at least some wires. Your phone line comes into your house. Even if you have cordless phone, you still have to connect the base/charger part of it to the wall socket.

    It's the same thing with the internet: it comes into your house via cable or phone line, and if you want wireless inside your house (i.e., turning your computers into the equivalents of cordless phones), you have to have some kind of base somewhere. The WAP device is that base.

    The exception to all this is cellular phones, of course. That's because there's a grid of cellular base stations all around that your phone can connect to via radio waves. Philly and San Francisco are building an equivalent of that for computers, but it's not operational yet in San Francisco. Unless your town has something like that, you have to go the two-stage route of bringing the internet into your home via wires (phone or cable), and then using a local WAP device like the AirPort.
  20. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    I've actually taken the laptop elsewhere, and it's worked fine. My brother also took it to Starbucks with him when he was there, and it worked fine.

    Well, I have Linksys adapter. But that's not the same thing as a WAP though is it? It sort of looks like one, but not exactly the same thing though I don't think.

    But basically then from what I understand, unless I'm really tired lol, is that I'm missing a piece like AirPort etc. I have everything else the modem, wire, or what have you. But if I don't have something like AirPort, then it won't work then right?

    Yeah. All I had to get was a password etc., and my laptop worked fine. That's all my brother did too. He didn't believe me actually, so he checked it out as well lol. Oh, and it's my mom that lives in Philly lol. I live in Missouri, so it would be hard for me to check it out in Philly lol. But I get what you mean, and I'll think of something different.

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