Easy wifi question

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by #12, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. #12

    Thread Starter Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    My nephew just asked me how to make his computer connect to a wifi access next to his house. I assume it needs a board of some sort. Run down to local retail store. What am I asking for?

    Does wifi usually require a contract with a provider? Could this wifi setup work only with free wifi spots, like McDonalds and not need a contract?

    Ps, it's a PC running Win XP and it already has a wireless card talking to a Netgear WGR614 router.
     
  2. #12

    Thread Starter Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    What? Wifi comes standard in Laptops but can't be installed on a PC?
    This is the wrong place to ask?
    Everybody was off for Fathers Day?
    Nobody likes me?
     
  3. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
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    Sure, you can buy a wireless card that installs in the PC. If you know the type of card slots you have, you buy the right one. If you have USB connections, you can also get an external connection, which is probably better than a card version. Or, if you have the regular "wired" network connector, then you can buy an external system that connects into that. This last option is good because the wireless unit can be placed in the best reception spot and then the network cable can connect to the PC.

    Years ago, I did all three of these and they all worked, albeit with the usual obligatory PC-inspired headaches. Now my familiy uses only Macs, and it's all automatic. Every Apple desktop, laptop and iPod etc. has wireless that just works. They cost a little more than a PC, but when you factor in that you don't need to buy anything extra or waste hours and hours of your time trying to set it up, it all balances out (and then some).

    WiFi does require some type of contract, unless you live next door to a business that offers free wireless, as your nephew appears to have available. These plans can be home based (cable or phone) or mobile based (cell phone or satellite).

    EDIT: I just reread your first post and see you already have a wireless card installed. You should then be able to access a local free wireless hotspot with that, assuming the distance is short enough to get good reception.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
    #12 likes this.
  4. #12

    Thread Starter Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Thank you!

    I read this as: There are several ways to do it and my nephew already has one, but I haven't tried to tell it to connect. Now I have to do some studying. I have no fear that it's beyond me just because I've never done it before.
     
  5. computersoftware121

    New Member

    Aug 24, 2011
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    That is the question. It's pretty easy to answer in my opinion. ... be out of battery and that's with all services like bluetooth, wifi, etc, turned off. ..
     
  6. radiohead

    Active Member

    May 28, 2009
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    If the neighbor has WPA, WEP or WEP2, your nephew won't be able to connect. When someone is running an unsecured wireless router, there is no expectation of privacy. Just like leaving the drapes in your living room open at night. When the user encrypts the signal, to "crack" the WEP/WPA password is very illegal.
     
  7. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    There is some controversy over the legality of connecting to a neighbor's unsecured network. However, there are no laws against it, so I'm not quite sure what to tell you--I guess it all comes down to where you live. I suggest you (or your nephew) review the laws and everything. Make sure he's not breaking the law by connecting to his neighbor's network.
    Anyway, to answer your question, if you know he has a wireless card installed, all you need to do is configure it. Go to the start menu, and from there open the control panel. Select "Network connections". If you're lucky, he'll have a "wireless network connection" icon. All you have to do is enable it, make sure your wifi connection switch (if he has one on his computer) is on, and you should be good to go. You may also have to choose a wireless network to connect to--right click on the icon and select "view wireless networks" and choose the right one. From there, just hit connect.
    I hope it works for you :D
    Regards,
    Der Strom
     
  8. #12

    Thread Starter Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    There was never a question about legality. The signal being available and legal was the reason to ask how.
     
  9. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Legality is an issue. Just because there is an available signal does not necessarily mean it is okay for you to use it. Some coffee shops and bookstores have a free wifi connection intended for customers to use. However, if your neighbor has an unsecured connection, there is a question of legality. The best thing to do is to just ask your neighbor if it's okay for you to use his connection. If my neighbor asked me if he could use mine, I'd probably let him--it's on all the time, so most of that signal is just wasted. As long as you're on good terms with your neighbor, it would definitely be worth asking permission.

    Regards,
    Der Strom
     
  10. #12

    Thread Starter Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I'm going to type this slower so you can understand it.

    There NEVER WAS ANY QUESTION OR ISSUE OF LEGALITY.

    The fact that the signal is available and I already checked on the legality and permissions was the reason I asked how to do it.
     
  11. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Apparently I misunderstood what you were saying, and for that I apologize. As long as you have permission, just follow the steps I gave in my first response and you should be set :D
    Good luck!

    Der Strom
     
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