Broadband and WiFi and clueless

  Beth 14:16 02 May 09
Locked

We're going travelling this year and the family tell me that I have to come up with one of those blog things. I've got as far as buying a laptop (Vista Home Premium).

Currently, my broadband access with the desktop (Win XP) is via the phone line and an ethernet cable. If I want to go on line with the laptop to top up the security I just swap over the connection. I don't want to go WiFi at home for a whole lot of reasons, one of them being that I'm the only PC user in our house. However, it would be useful sometimes to get the PC's to talk to each other. I went searching for info on Homeplugs but the site I accessed started on about different speeds. What's that about? Are the Homeplugs a good idea? Is it possible to share the broadband connection as well? (I wouldn't need to do this very often.) There is a spare slot on the back of the modem marked USB. It isn't for the usual 'flat' connector though.

When I boot up the laptop it comes up with a message something like 'WLAN is on'. Does that mean that if I am somewhere with access to WiFi (legally!) I can just log on to the internet or is there something else I have to do first?

Like I said - clueless!

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:47 02 May 09

"When I boot up the laptop it comes up with a message something like 'WLAN is on'. Does that mean that if I am somewhere with access to WiFi (legally!) I can just log on to the internet or is there something else I have to do first?"

Take your machine to a free hotspot area to try it out click here

To connect read click here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:50 02 May 09

However, it would be useful sometimes to get the PC's to talk to each other.

Connect together with a "crossover cable" tutorial click here

  mgmcc 15:14 02 May 09

As your PC's broadband connection is by *ETHERNET* cable, then presumably you are using a Router. To get the two computers talking to one another (networked) plug both into the Router with ethernet cables. They will then have simultaneous internet access as well as being able to share files/printers.

  Beth 15:34 02 May 09

Fruit Bat - the crossover cable demo was to connect two XP PC's. Would the same cable work with the different OS? I had a look at the free hotspot list. (The obvious solution!) The nearest one is about 20 miles from us but I'll give it a try sometime soon.

mgmcc - What is confusing me is that the spare port on the back of the modem is marked USB. Does that mean that I should get another cable which looks just the same as the one I have or is there a difference?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:52 02 May 09

I suspect you have a USB modem that allows connection to one PC either by USB or ethernet cable and you are using the ethernet cable.

As its a modem NOT a router you cannot connect both machines to the modem at the same time.

I suggested the "crossover cable" as the quickest and easiest and cheapest method.

First get the 2 computers communicating.
Create an identical user account on both machines.
Install an Ethernet Crossover cable between the Network ports and run the network setup wizard on the desktop, selecting to enable file and printer sharing.
Then do the same on the laptop. Make certain they both have the same workgroup name. Now any files you place in the shared folder are available on the other machine from my network places.
If not, view Workgroup computers and click until you get to the shares.

If you receive a notification of 'Limited or No Connectivity' for your newly set up network - Ignore It! Microsoft seems to have formed the opinion that if you are setting up a network you MUST want to connect to the internet. The Limited bit only means you have no 'Net Access.

If you have problems with 'Access Denied' or 'Contact Network Administrator' - Change the name of the Workgroup. It tends to default to 'MSHOME' so dump that as a name and give both PCs a network name that is a single word only, and not MSHOME. By simply changing from the default network name, most network setup problems seem to miraculously vanish (I wonder why that is...?).

  Beth 16:01 02 May 09

OK I can follow that. I used the word modem because that was the one which came naturally but it turns out to be a router after all - BT Voyager 205 ADSL. Apologies for the confusion.

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