Wireless with stand alone laptop?

  ITchallenged 19:50 19 Jan 06
Locked

Bear with me, I'm a novice. For you technical bods this may be a dumb question but I'm new to this!

I work from home and employer has put in broadband phone line to go with their laptop. This has come wireless enabled - (at least the laptop is detecting neighbours' wireless networks) Current internet connection is wired through BT Voyager router with wires everywhere. I'd like to use the laptop wireless so I can work in any room and without the trailing cables. Friends who have wireless connections say they have them set up through a desktop PC with laptop as secondary user but I only have the laptop for work. (I do have our home PC but that's on another phone/b'band line and I don't use that PC for work.)

So can I set up to use the laptop as a stand alone wireless enabled machine? Do I just need a upgraded router or do I have to get one of those cards for the laptop as well? And how much? I'll have to fork out for this, work won't!
Thanks
ITchalleneged

  ade.h 20:01 19 Jan 06

In order to perform configuration of the modem-router, you will need to connect a PC of any kind to it via an Ethernet LAN cable, which will have been supplied and is probably how you are currently connecting it, right?

Once it is configured, you can go wireless, but you need to attend to all the security settings and such like first.

Your laptop is wireless ready.

  De Marcus™ 20:02 19 Jan 06

To get wireless internet access on the business broadband line you'll need a compatible wireless router, and an wireless enabled laptop. From your post I'd say your laptop is already wirelessly enabled as you say you can detect your neighbours network. The router is well worth looking at to see if that's also wireless enabled, that way you won't have to fork out for anything.

  ITchallenged 20:28 19 Jan 06

Ok I think I get it. For security I'll be able to set it to my own password/account I assume? I have noticed that one of the three networks I'm picking up from neighbouring houses says 'insecure'.
I don't think the router I have is for wireless use but (sorry to be so thick) how would I tell? It doesn't have an aerial.

  De Marcus™ 20:35 19 Jan 06

Ok I think I get it. For security I'll be able to set it to my own password/account I assume?

Yes.

I have noticed that one of the three networks I'm picking up from neighbouring houses says 'insecure'.

Perhaps tell them that they are insecure?

I don't think the router I have is for wireless use but (sorry to be so thick) how would I tell? It doesn't have an aerial.

Some do some have them built in. The easiest way is to google the make and model to find out.

  De Marcus™ 20:37 19 Jan 06

For example, I've just google mine click here

  ade.h 20:43 19 Jan 06

Three steps to wifi security:

1) Password your config page (the oe that is accessed through an IP)

2) Enable WPA-PSK (Pre Shared Key) and set a very good key. Something like bGky6854Rd+#?S43a would be as safe it will ever get!

3) Change the SSID (the name of the network) from the default to something more unique. This prevents prying eyes from knowing what brand of router you have. Then they don't know any shortcuts to cracking it.

  ITchallenged 20:53 19 Jan 06

Many thanks both - that's really helpful.

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