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Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎06-22-2009
Accepted Solution

laptop internet connection on the road

We have purchased a Dell Inspiron laptop which we want to take on the road with us. It is not wireless. We bought a cable connector but I understand there is some kind of a card we can purchase to use it anywhere? We also are renting a house in Florida where Comcast is the server and would like to use the card there as well. What do we needf to buy?
Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎09-10-2009

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

You can try this, the Comcast HighSpeed2Go

 

http://help.comcast.net/highspeed2go

 

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 42,159
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

[ Edited ]

ishkabible wrote:
We have purchased a Dell Inspiron laptop which we want to take on the road with us. It is not wireless. We bought a cable connector but I understand there is some kind of a card we can purchase to use it anywhere? We also are renting a house in Florida where Comcast is the server and would like to use the card there as well. What do we needf to buy?

 

Do you desire to connect via a WiFi hotspot or are you talking about connecting to a cellular phone carrier via a 4G card ?
Message Edited by EG on 09-11-2009 07:27 PM
Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎06-22-2009

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

The hotel we are visiting next week has Wi-Fi. The house we are renting in Florida has an internet hook up. No, we weren't planning on using a phone card, but ee really don't know what that entails. We're a couple of "older folk" who aren't too savy on these things. Help?
Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 42,159
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

[ Edited ]

You'll need a wireless laptop adapter such as one of these:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=31&name=Wireless-Adapters

 

Or you could use a USB type.

Message Edited by EG on 09-11-2009 08:18 PM
Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎06-22-2009

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

We don't have a wireless laptop so I assume the wireless adapter wouldn't work?
Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 42,159
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

If it has a PCMCIA slot or a USB port, those respective types of adapters will indeed  work.
Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎06-22-2009

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

My husband is still stumped by the fact that ours is not a wireless laptopbut he said he'd try to see where we could buy n adaptor. We do have a USB plug.
Connection Expert
JamesR
Posts: 6,423
Registered: ‎09-29-2007

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

[ Edited ]

ishkabible wrote:
We have purchased a Dell Inspiron laptop which we want to take on the road with us. It is not wireless. We bought a cable connector but I understand there is some kind of a card we can purchase to use it anywhere? We also are renting a house in Florida where Comcast is the server and would like to use the card there as well. What do we needf to buy?

 

Just called bestbuy and they have never heard of a Dell Laptop that does not have WIFI

If you would supply the model number of your Inspiron, we can research further.

 

In the meantime, You might look for the wifi switch on the side, usually left side. 

Also you could look in Start > All Programs > Accessories > Windows Mobility Center and see if wifi Radio has been turned off or Disabled.

 

I also called Dell Tech Support at 800 999 3355 and the tech said that all current models of inspiron come with wifi built in. 

 

While listening to music on hold they mentioned that if you don't have a switch on the side of the lapeop case, you could try depressing the Fn Key and the F2 key at the same time to turn the wifi on.

 

Message Edited by JMCS on 09-12-2009 11:27 AM
Message Edited by JMCS on 09-12-2009 11:46 AM
Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎06-22-2009

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

OKI, I tried everything you suggested and I called Dell Tech Support. Never got beyond the recorded messages because it seems I don't have a wireless card. Our house is not wired for wireless and I don't have a card of some sort. We have an Inspiron 1545. Guess I'll just have to go back to Best Buy where I bought it and Geek Squad who did the "optimization" at the store.In the meantime, I'll check to see if the Florida house is just wired for a desktop or for Wi-Fi. Thank you for all your help.
Bronze Problem Solver
Posts: 5,958
Registered: ‎03-12-2004

Re: laptop internet connection on the road


ishkabible wrote:
OKI, I tried everything you suggested and I called Dell Tech Support. Never got beyond the recorded messages because it seems I don't have a wireless card. Our house is not wired for wireless and I don't have a card of some sort. We have an Inspiron 1545. Guess I'll just have to go back to Best Buy where I bought it and Geek Squad who did the "optimization" at the store.In the meantime, I'll check to see if the Florida house is just wired for a desktop or for Wi-Fi. Thank you for all your help.

I went to the Dell web site where it appears that the Inspiration 15xx does have built in wifi. What does your user's manual say?

 

It is not clear what you mean by your house is only wired for desktop. You don't need any wiring. To use wifi you need your computer to have wifi capability (which I think it may have by reading the Dell site), and you must have a wifi router to connect your computer to via the wifi.

 

Before spending money, is there a neighbor or friend who can look at your computer then let you know its wifi capabilities?

Bronze Problem Solver
Posts: 5,958
Registered: ‎03-12-2004

Re: laptop internet connection on the road


zen72 wrote:

You can try this, the Comcast HighSpeed2Go

 

http://help.comcast.net/highspeed2go

 


I don't think this is what the OP is looking for. I think they are looking for wifi connections.

Bronze Problem Solver
Posts: 5,958
Registered: ‎03-12-2004

Re: laptop internet connection on the road


ishkabible wrote:
We don't have a wireless laptop so I assume the wireless adapter wouldn't work?

A wireless adaptor is used if a laptop does not have built-in wifi. I think your laptop may have built-in wifi so you would not need the adaptor. What does your manual say? I found the Inspiration on the Dell website and every Inspiration 15 I saw there has built-in wifi.

Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎06-22-2009

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

You people are great! I found the manual and located the "wireless key" on the keyboard. I don't have either a wireless router or the Dell Wireless WLAN Card, but at least I now know what I'm looking for. In the meantime I called Florida, spoke to the owner of the house we are renting and she said the house has a simple Comcast cable connection which we would have to have Comcast activate - for a fee and monthly fee. If we get the wireless card we can use the local library computers, should we not want to hook up the house.

 

Many thanks for the help you've given me. Sorry to be so dumb about these things but your patience has been great!

Connection Expert
JamesR
Posts: 6,423
Registered: ‎09-29-2007

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

I think we have established that you do not need to buy anything else.

All you lack is a little bit of knowledge.

 

Your laptop is ready to go to any wireless hotspot and connect right up and get you on the internet.

 

You have paid some money to the Geek Squad at Best Buy just take it back there and find some nice young sales person and ask them to show you how to make the Wireless connection (wifi) if they can't help you go over to the Geek Squad Counter and make the same request.

 

Once you get to Florida you will find Wireless hotspots all over the place.  My Dell Laptop can connect wirelessly in Targets, walmarts, wendys, mcdonalds, applebees, college campuses, city libraries etc.

 

One trick you might want to pull is buying a wireless router and hooking it up to the Comcast Cable modem so that you can use your laptop out on the patio or in the den or dining room. 

 

If you buy a wireless router take it along down to florida and hook it up to the cable modem down there. You might put your comcast account on vacation hold and just transfer it to the florida house for the winter, Lot of people do that. \\

 

Good luck with it.  Please post back here and let us know how you make out with it.

 

Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎06-22-2009

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

What a neat idea! I had no idea we could put our Comcast account on vacation mode and transfer it to Florida! I'll certainly look into that. Thank you for telling me about that option.

 

Yep. I think I pack up my little baby and trot over to Best Buy (the Geek Squad has a counter there) and see if I need a card or if I'm ready to go. As we leave for a few days in Vermont on Monday, I may just carry the laptop along as the Inn has Wi-Fi and that would enable to find out whether I'm good to go or I need to buy something.

 

Most of the time I use the laptop for excel spread sheets logging in -  with common and Latin names -  some 14,000 natural history slides in the process of being readied for the University of Georgia Bugwood Network where they are converting them into digital images and posting them for public use. But secondarily, we wanted it for use in Florida for the 6 weeks we'll be there getting out of New England winter!

 

Again, many thanks!

Connection Expert
JamesR
Posts: 6,423
Registered: ‎09-29-2007

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

Sounds like an exciting project. 

 Might be a good idea to have the data on the laptop backed up to DVD or external Hard Drive on a scheduled basis.  Loss of family chit chat when a hard drive crashes is painful, but loss of a major academic project is a loss felt by all.

Perhaps one of your contacts at the University can help you with your technical issues.  If you scratch an academian, many times he/she will bleed Geek. I know, I know many of the will also bleed Greek. :-)

 

Good luck with your projects.

 

Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎06-22-2009

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

Oh yes, it is backed up on my desktop hard drive - which is where I put the finishing touches on the spread sheet and on an external hard drive. Plus hard copy. Also it goes to the University both electronically and in hard copy with each shipment.

 

We will carry the laptop to Vermont tomorrow and test it out on their wi-fi. We have time yet to decide what to do about Florida. Don't leave until January.

 

Thank yhou again.

Connection Expert
JamesR
Posts: 6,423
Registered: ‎09-29-2007

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

When you get set up on the Network there in Vermont, post back here and let us know how you made out.  You will probably find that the people on the Front Eesk can show you how to get connected.

 

Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎06-22-2009

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

Greetings from Vermont! It works! You were right. The innkeeper set up my laptop and it does indeed have wi-fi capability anywhere in the inn! Thank you so much for all the help! Haven't been up here in years and I had forgotten how truly beautiful - and quaint - Vermont is - especially the back country roads.

Will enjoy every day until we return home Friday. Thank you again for all your help.

Connection Expert
JamesR
Posts: 6,423
Registered: ‎09-29-2007

Re: laptop internet connection on the road

Well that's a good thing!  I am sure that you watched that innkeeper like a hawk to learn how to connect to the wireless hotspots of the world. :-)  Right?  Heh heh it's all a learning process.

 

Once you get the wireless tricks down, you can find lots of places to connect  wirelessly.  I walk the Mall in the mornings and I see people in the Target Coffee shop with their laptops and notebooks wifing like little demons.  You and your husband can do that too.  Some places like Starbucks have a charge for use of the wifi connection, but the City libaries are free.

 

If you like you can go to any electronic store and buy a wifi sniffer that you can yse to check for wifi availability.

 

So now the next thing is to get a wireless router when you get back home.  You connect the wireless router to your comcast cable modem and voila, you have a wireless hotspot right there in your own home.  You can have the desktop hooked up with a cable and the Laptop connected wirelessly.  That way you can have your morning coffee out on the deck and read the morning news and do your email.

 

Once you get that done, then it is no trick at all to calling Comcast to switch the service to florida for the winter and then you take the laptop and the wireless router down and create a wirelesss hotspot in your winter home.

 

There are two tricks to setting up a wireless hot:

1. Power cycle the Cable modem every time your connect a different device to it.

2. Set you wirelses encryption on the router and the PC.  Note: WPA2 is preferred.

 

Enjoy your time at the Inn, and when you get back home, and are ready to set yp your hotspot, post back and someone will walk you through it.

 

The older routers are Wireless G and the new routers are Wireless N.  Wireless N have the longer range which might make a difference depending on the distances involved.