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shepherd
03-20-2008, 10:24 AM
I have a new laptop computer. If I was someplace that advertised free WiFi (like a hotel or coffee shop), what software/hardware would I need to take advantage of it? Obviously I'd need some kind of wireless transceiver. Do I need my own internet account - like Verizon or something - or would I just be piggy-backing on the host's account?

No Skeez
03-20-2008, 10:26 AM
You are just piggybacking off of that location's wireless network. Normally when you turn on your wireless, you will have a list of available networks come up that you can connect to. Hope that helps!

bmeth11
03-20-2008, 10:26 AM
Ok if the laptop has an internal wi/fi card you wouldn't need any type of router or card... its its free you shouldn't need an internet acct either...

If they are offering free wi/fi then all you should have do to (if your computer came pre-installed with an internal wi/fi card) is turn on comp and connect to their network.

pilot02
03-20-2008, 10:26 AM
Your laptop should have the wireless built in and not need an additional card. If you click on internet explorer a window should pop up showing wireless networks in range and ask if you want to connect.

If you go somewhere you don't have access to an unsecured wireless network, you'd then need one of the cellphone wireless cards which require a subscription.

Farmer Ted
03-20-2008, 10:27 AM
I have a new laptop computer. If I was someplace that advertised free WiFi (like a hotel or coffee shop), what software/hardware would I need to take advantage of it? Obviously I'd need some kind of wireless transceiver. Do I need my own internet account - like Verizon or something - or would I just be piggy-backing on the host's account?


doe the laptop have integrate wireless? if so you'll just need to find the icon in the system tray to find the SSID and select connect and you'll be on the network, just pop open your browser and surf

if you don't have integrated wireless, you'll need a wireless card or USB adapter to get the signal

bcampbe7
03-20-2008, 10:28 AM
Chances are your laptop already has a wireless network card.
What model is it?

Once you enable the wireless card (WNIC) you should be able to see any available wireless hot spots in the card properties or within software that came with the card. You just find the one you want and connect. :cool:

bcampbe7
03-20-2008, 10:42 AM
Looks like everyone was replying at the same time. :D

shepherd
03-20-2008, 10:42 AM
Thanks all.

OK. I looked in my "Device Manager", "Network adapters", and found listed: "Realtek RTL8187B Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps USB 2.0 Network Adapter"

Is that my wireless card? Should I be good to go? If I need to "activate" it, how do I do that? Maybe I'll run up to Starbucks and give it a try.

Thanks again!

bcampbe7
03-20-2008, 10:46 AM
What brand/model is your laptop?

Some have a switch on the side of the laptop. On some others you press the Fn key along with the corresponding key that has the wireless icon on it.

shepherd
03-20-2008, 10:49 AM
It's a Gateway. With Vista if that matters...

Workin' 4 Toys
03-20-2008, 10:53 AM
Wait a minute...Your on an unsecure public access wifi network??...Give me a second and I'll download all your files and get back to you on this...:purplaugh


Edit: Beau has you covered on the real answer....;)

bcampbe7
03-20-2008, 11:09 AM
Wait a minute...Your on an unsecure public access wifi network??...Give me a second and I'll download all your files and get back to you on this...:purplaugh


Edit: Beau has you covered on the real answer....;)


Yeah, be careful with those wireless hot spots. There is bound to be some 12+ year old sniffing traffic.

I think it goes without saying that you should not be doing any sort of banking transactions or logging into your PayPal, eBay, etc accounts. :eek3:

bmeth11
03-20-2008, 11:10 AM
i would think by default your wireless card would be turned on... but if not: what is the model of your gateway laptop?

shepherd
03-20-2008, 11:20 AM
No banking or credit card info will be placed on this computer. I just want to browse the internet, visit this forum, when I'm on travel. But I don't travel enough to justify a monthly wireless access account.

shepherd
03-20-2008, 12:24 PM
This message is coming from my laptop via the Panera wireless network. I guess I'm slowly getting into the 21st century here. Thanks for your help.

bmeth11
03-20-2008, 12:26 PM
Congrats...

ski_king
03-20-2008, 12:36 PM
This message is coming from my laptop via the Panera wireless network. I guess I'm slowly getting into the 21st century here. Thanks for your help.
whats for lunch?

shepherd
03-20-2008, 12:42 PM
whats for lunch?

Creamy tomato soup and chicken salad. Yummmmm.

I guess Panera deserves the plug since they're giving me free internet.
(it IS good)

bcampbe7
03-20-2008, 12:50 PM
This message is coming from my laptop via the Panera wireless network. I guess I'm slowly getting into the 21st century here. Thanks for your help.


Congrats and welcome! Check-out the iPods and LCD TV's. We have gotten away from using CD's now-a-days. :D :D

The turkey bacon bravo is a good one to get at Panera.

phecksel
03-21-2008, 09:32 PM
go get network stumbler, it will help you find hot spots

http://www.netstumbler.com/downloads/

TMCNo1
03-21-2008, 10:18 PM
This message is coming from my laptop via the Panera wireless network. I guess I'm slowly getting into the 21st century here. Thanks for your help.

WOW, they must have burnt the bread and the second hand smoke has got you stoned, congrats!:rolleyes:

Doug G
03-21-2008, 10:23 PM
Make sure your anti-virus / anti-x stuff / firewall is working and up to date. When you use those networks your puter is hanging out in the wind. The only thing between the punks and your stuff is whatever anti-x / firewall you have. Doesn't sound like you are going to use the public access often but if you do investing in some version of firewall software is good piece of mind IMHO.