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Need some advice about how best to go wireless.
We currently have AOL broadband on our desktop PC (which does not have a wireless card).
We also now have two laptops in the house – both of these are work laptops, which means that we don’t have administrator rights to be able to install AOL software, yet we would like to be able to use these as well as the desktop for wirelessly accessing the internet. Both laptops have wireless cards.
1. Is it possible to access wireless broadband at home on the laptops without installing AOL? If so, how?!
2. If not, and we are able to persuade work to install the AOL software, is it necessary to ‘sign up’ for wireless with AOL, or can we just buy our own router and go wireless without ever telling AOL? (I understand that to ‘sign up’ with AOL we would need to renew the contract for another twelve months, which I am not keen to do as we may want to switch ISP anyway)?
3. What sort of ‘router’ would we need (there seem to be so many different kinds available). Is a router the same as modem?
4. If we decide to switch ISP (we would probably go to Sky), how easy would be that be to do? I have heard that AOL are not very helpful in facilitating this …
5. If we switch, can we still keep our @aol.com e-mail addresses?
6. With Sky (or any other ISP), do you also have to install their own software, or is AOL unique in this regard?
7. In general, is it possible to have one desktop connected by cable as well as have two wireless laptops, or once you go wireless must all connections be wireless?
I’m a bit of a dullard when it comes to this technology, so if anyone can point me in the right direction I would be very grateful. Many thanks, and apologies for so many questions.
Ah, a link to the AOL FAQ page! Thanks Ambra, but I've already been there, and I couldn't (and still can't) find any info that answers my questions (which is why I posted here) - there's plenty of stuff there that I don't really understand that MIGHT be relevant to my questions, but I can't tell - e.g. it says I must have "An AOL Broadband supported modem router" - how the H do I know what one of those is? It also says that another minimum system requirement is "AOL broadband wireless" - just what does that mean? Seems a bit of a tautology to me!
If your Desktop has an ethernet connection then all you need is a Netgear dg834g (v3). Amazon sell these or sometimes get some on ebay with the AOL set-up cd. Then follow the AOL set-up link; click here . The router is a modem/router so no need for anything else. I suggest the Netgear as it is straight foreward to set-up with the AOL help. It's fairly easy to set up any router/modem but would advise to use this set-up until you get confident about wireless.
As for your laptops there will be no need to install AOL's software at all. All you'll need to do on the laptops is to connect to your wireless SSID or name and put in the security password (wep or another system).
Note the Netgear must be version 3. (v3)
An immage of an ethernet port that hopefully will be on your desktop; click here
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