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View Full Version : Laptop and internet access - dumb questions!



Beemer
22-05-2008, 10:38 AM
I currently have a desktop computer which is in my study. I do a lot of online editing work and would love not to be tied to the study all day, which is why I am interested in buying a laptop.

I was born blonde, so forgive the dumb questions, but I know I'll get the truth from you lot, so here goes!

I have broadband and my computer has a modem and is plugged into the phone line. I realise laptops can access the internet via wireless, but how do I go about setting this up? I want to keep the desktop computer but I want to acces the internet for my work in other areas of the house. I am with Telstra Clear and have PDQ broadband. We live in a rural area.

Can I buy some sort of wireless connection that I plug in at home that will allow me to use the laptop within a certain distance of that connection without actually having to be plugged into it, or not?

Also, recommendations for a laptop would be appreciated. I currently have a Compaq Presario desktop computer running Vista, and it also has Photoshop. For the laptop, I don't need all the bells and whistles, but I would like to be able to upload photos when I am away from home (but I probably wouldn't need Photoshop necessarily - but if I did, could I load another copy of it onto the laptop from the original disks, or is that not permitted?). I will mostly be doing online editing, emailing, researching on the internet and word processing. I currently use an ergonomic keyboard so it would be good if I could plug one into the laptop if that is possible. I'd like one with a good screen - I know someone who bought one (Asus or something like that?) and it has a very reflective screen and he says it's terrible when used outdoors.

Sorry for all the dumb questions but if I go into a computer store and ask the same, they see dollar signs and I tend to walk out with far more than I need! As for price, I don't really know how much I want to spend, but preferably not more than $2000 or thereabouts.

pctek
22-05-2008, 12:31 PM
Get a wireless router.
Connect using the laptops wireless you would just plug the modem into the router.
Any ASUS laptop would do you - you can still get XP on it too, if it has Vista Ultimate or Vista Business. They have a rnage from $900 up.
Yes you could load Photoshop onto your laptop. Legal matters are another thing.

And BTW I own a computer shop, lots of us here do, we don't all sell you things you don't need, Some of us like repeat customers you know.

Beemer
22-05-2008, 12:40 PM
Get a wireless router.
Connect using the laptops wireless you would just plug the modem into the router.

And BTW I own a computer shop, lots of us here do, we don't all sell you things you don't need, Some of us like repeat customers you know.

Thanks for that - and sorry if I offended you by my comment about computer shops - by computer shops I meant shops that sell computers such as Noel Leeming, etc as that is all we have locally and that is my experience of them.

How does a wireless router work - not the technical stuff, but more how it works with my existing set up - does it plug into my phone line and then send the wireless signal to the laptop? I have a modem built into my current computer so would I need another modem? (I got a free one when I signed up for broadband so I do have a spare one.)

Sorry to be so dumb but it's a whole new field for me and I don't have anyone I can ask.

Safari
22-05-2008, 01:02 PM
The free one you got with the signup that you are not using will not be a wireless one.
You will need to buy a wireless modem/router which will connect into your phone line and it will allow the laptop to connect wirelessly to it.

You could then connect your desktop to the wireless router by ethernet cable if you have a network card in the desktop.

Speedy Gonzales
22-05-2008, 01:05 PM
But does Telstraclear / Beemer use an adsl, or cable modem??

If its a cable modem, wouldnt it be different from an adsl modem??

So, even if you brought a modem/wireless router, it wouldnt work with TC, if Beemer is on cable?

If it is an adsl modem then yup it'd be better getting a modem/router/wireless in one

Safari
22-05-2008, 01:20 PM
But does Telstraclear / Beemer use an adsl, or cable modem??

If its a cable modem, wouldnt it be different from an adsl modem??

So, even if you brought a modem/wireless router, it wouldnt work with TC, if Beemer is on cable?

If it is an adsl modem then yup it'd be better getting a modem/router/wireless in one

Quote: I am with Telstra Clear and have PDQ broadband

This is normal adsl wired broadband.

Speedy Gonzales
22-05-2008, 01:47 PM
I did read it, but dont Telestra have adsl and cable?? Thats why I asked

Safari
22-05-2008, 02:07 PM
I did read it, but dont Telestra have adsl and cable?? Thats why I asked

Cable is called Cable Broadband
Adsl is called PDQ Broadband

Speedy Gonzales
22-05-2008, 02:16 PM
Ok then, good we got that sorted.

Beemer
22-05-2008, 02:27 PM
Thanks everyone, think I've got that part sorted now! So, what you are saying is I need to buy a wireless router/modem in one, that plugs into my phone line? Where does that get plugged in - at the moment my modem is next to my computer so would the wireless one replace that? At the moment the phone connection is in the spare room so I have an extension lead plugged into the filter and then that runs along the hall into my study where it is plugged into my computer. I've currently got an ethernet cable between my computer and my modem, so would that cable plug into the new wireless modem in place of the existing modem?

And more advice on suitable laptops would be appreciated. As mentioned, a friend has an Asus one and he finds the screen too reflective. Our house has heaps of windows and lots of light so that sounds like a poor choice for me also. I'm not fussed on brands, I just want something that does the job and does it well.

Speedy Gonzales
22-05-2008, 02:40 PM
The modem / wireless router, would replace what youre using now

Just connect it the same way. Just put your username / password in for the ISP in the new modem.

Only diff is the wireless

The laptop you buy, will probably have WIFI built in. All you have to do is configure it, the same way you would, with ethernet. Other thing you have to remember is to secure the wireless. With a password

Beemer
22-05-2008, 02:47 PM
Sounds wonderful, I'm thinking wireless modems aren't hideously expensive so that part shouldn't be too painful! And all I need to do is ensure the laptop I buy has WIFI built in? As for configuring, stand by for another round of questions if I can't figure out what I'm doing once I get to that stage!

Speedy Gonzales
22-05-2008, 02:54 PM
The laptop doesnt HAVE to have onboard WIFI/wireless (but more recent laptops probably have it).

You can buy wireless USB adapters as well.

bachelorno1
22-05-2008, 03:38 PM
Have you had a look at the NZ PC-World article "How to Buy... Wireless networking gear" online here? (http://pcworld.co.nz/pcworld/pcw.nsf/pg/1D401715EEF229E3CC256E450077F286)