Laptop for wireless internet

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MINIMH

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May 9, 2006
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Missouri
I have never messed with laptops or wireless internet only my desk top with dial-up.

I am going to by a laptop for mainly RV use.

What do I need to have with the computer to take advantage of free hotspots
 

Just Lou

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Dec 25, 2005
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Most laptops come with wireless capability now days.  If not, you can buy a PCMCIA wireless card or a USB wireless adapter.  nothing to it....
 

Tom

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Jan 13, 2005
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If you're buying a new laptop, most come equipped with internal wireless capability. If it doesn't, you can buy a wireless card that plugs into a PCMCIA slot in the notebook.

We have an article in our library that covers the basics. Click the Library button above, select Newcomers need to know, then click About Wireless Networking (WiFi).
 

gensetbill

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May 3, 2006
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actually alot of laptops doesnt include pcmcia slots any more alot of them is going usb. But as everyone said the laptops noadays comes with a wifi as standard equiptment.... A good thiing to have is the broadband card from sprint that lets you access the internet on your laptop from anywhere that you can get a phone signal.... Otherwise put a good wifi sniffer on the machine I use boingo because the software is not always the best can we can have.  good luck
 

427v8

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Apr 25, 2006
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I just bought a $500 laptop, it came with ethernet and wireless, it works great, I an very happy with wireless.

keith
 

Karl

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I'm with Gary on this one. If you don't have wireless built in, get an external USB adapter; Linksys makes a good one. Better to move the adapter around for best signal strength, than to have to move the laptop around. Also the patch antennas in PCMCIA cards aren't all that good.
 

John From Detroit

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Well, there are PCMICA cards and there are PCMCIA cards.  I have had nothing but headaches from Linksys PCMCIA cards, have had good luck with Netgear and D-link, and am currently using a Hawking, if you are going to get one, I suggest Hawking.  The one with the adjustable antenna.

Now, with USB adapters.. Again there are good ones and not so good ones,  I tried a hawking, a small one, and basically did not like it... Hawking also makes one that looks like a mini-sattalite antenna... Now that one is quilte likely the second best on the market... Hawking also makes the best
 

Ron

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IMHO the worse wireless products on the market are Belkin, Netgear, and D-Link.?

I think Linksys is good but I believe Hawking is better.
 

Karl

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I think Linksys is good but I believe Hawking is better.

You may be right, but you're comparing a rifle to a shotgun. Unless I missed something, Hawking uses directional antennas with all their adapters, and aiming is important. In some cases an omni (Linksys) might better simply because aiming is not that important, and it may pick up reflected signals that the dish or patch may not.   
 

Ron

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If setting in a campground with marginal wireless reception then the Hawking would be just the to have. The Hawking can be used with a strong signal as well as with weaker signals while the Linksys range is limited.  Bottom line they both work well.  We have a Linksys for the second computer but then our wireless is in the coach where there is not much need for high gain in our use.

 

Jeff

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The problem I have had with my Linksys 54G card is that everytime the laptop goes into hibernation or power savings mode the card will not reconnect without rebooting the computer.

Hawkings automatically reconnects within seconds.
 

Ned

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Some (many?) PCBus cards have problems with hibernation or standby modes.  Usually, but not always, removing and reinserting the card will wake it up, but sometimes a reboot is needed.  USB devices seem to be much better behaved in this repect.  I'm connecting via Russ's AP about 100 feet behind our motor home with about a 12MBS connection, but it works.  This is with a Hawking HWU54D adapter, no longer available in stores.  The HWU54DD that replaced it is at least as good but more fragile.
 

John From Detroit

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The problem I have with linksys cards is they don't work, period, (I think they need more power than my laptops can provide) other cards use lower voltages and work perfectly including D-link and Netgear

But hawking works best
 

Ron

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Karl said:
Huh? Any card is supplied with the same voltage from the motherboard as any other card, and you can't compare an internal card to an external adapter. The external will win hands down.

Unless it is a Netgear or D-Link then IMHO the Netgear and D-Link would have a real handicap. :D
 

John From Detroit

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Per the cards themselves D-Link and Netgear require 3.0 VDC,  Linksys 5.0 VDC, it appears both voltages are supposed to be present on the PCMCIA or Cardbuss port, my 5 volts may be fried.  (At least on the 600E) however I got very simular results with a totaly diffferent computer using Linksys PCMCIA

Now Linksys USB... No problem
 

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