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Changing to WIFI

deekay
Grafter
Posts: 209
Registered: 05-08-2007

Changing to WIFI

Up to now, I have only had one desktop computer, with very short cable connections between computer, modem, and the phone socket.
However, we are thinking of getting a laptop for use downstairs. This will mean that I have to change to a WIFI modem. Unfortunately, I know nothing about WIFI and networking. Googling and reading the PlusNet Thompson installation notes hasn''t made things clearer for me. At 80 years of age, the old brain is very sluggish! So I have a few very basic questions, please.
Is the Plusnet's Thompson Router capable of running both wired and wireless together, or is it an either/or situation? If it was both, I could keep cable connections for the desktop and use wireless for the laptop.
If I have to use wireless with the desktop, will I need to buy a wireless adaptor (dongle?) to plug into either the Ethernet socket or one of the USB sockets of my desktop. Does Plusnet supply these adaptors? If not, which adaptor do you suggest I buy?
I have seen great stress laid on making the wireless link secure, including using a frequency which none of my neighbours use. There's no way I can go round all my neighbours asking if they use WIFI, and if so, what frequency!!
Finally, in a previous thread, JoJo said that a user could pay for his Thompson router's post and packing with a credit card. I pay by Direct Debit. So, for me, would the cost just be added to my next Direct Debit payment, or will I have to pay by credit card?
Many thanks for any help.
Keith
10 REPLIES
AxeMurderer
Grafter
Posts: 164
Registered: 18-05-2011

Re: Changing to WIFI

Quote
Is the Plusnet's Thompson Router capable of running both wired and wireless together, or is it an either/or situation?

It can run both!
Quote
I have seen great stress laid on making the wireless link secure, including using a frequency which none of my neighbours use.

You don't need to worry about what frequency the wireless will use; that has no impact on security. All you need to do is to set up WPA2 encryption on the router, which is usually just a matter of selecting a value on a drop-down list. I am not familiar with the Thomson but it will be easy to do.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,128
Thanks: 8
Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Changing to WIFI

Don't worry about the channels, even if your neighbour is on the same channel it won't make any difference. You can't tell what other wireless channels are around you using the router but there is ways to see what's about using various software. You would only need to go down the route of manually picking a certain channel rather than the router auto one if you  believe its causing problems but you should be ok with the auto settings.  A way too look at it is even though you have a phone and so does your neighbour you can't hear their conversations and they can't hear yours because your call is encrypted with your key and theirs with theirs if that makes any sense. Even on the same frequency, your router sends out encrypted information which is decrypted. So too anyone with out the same key its just garbage a bit like the Enigma machine but using radio waves  Smiley
Running combinations of wired and wireless is perfectly normal. The big difference being as you have found the wired PC doesn't need security so should just plug and go. The wireless will need secured, WPA2 is the best option so you need to set this in wireless section of the router interface by logging into it first. Pick a key with random numbers and letters rather than names, dictionary words. Then it's just a case of setting your wireless laptop to have the same WPA2 encryption on and using the same key to connect and your away.
If your pc is near the router and your happy with the cable there is no need for this to be on wireless. If so there are wireless adapters that can be bought from most places that will either just plug right into the USB port or fit inside on the actual board.
I can't speak for individual cases but PN just added the router in my case to my direct debit.  
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,606
Thanks: 624
Fixes: 1
Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: Changing to WIFI

One other question - what version of Microsoft Windows are you running?
Some of the earlier version might not handle Wifi except with special software from the suppliers of the PC Wifi network card. Recent stuff like Vista and Win 7 will give you no problem. XP is usually ok.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,128
Thanks: 8
Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Changing to WIFI

Quote
However, we are thinking of getting a laptop for use downstairs.

I hope a new one doesn't come with windows 95 pre-installed  Smiley I get the impression the OP only wanted to know if they had to put the desktop so probably isn't going to now they know there's no need.
deekay
Grafter
Posts: 209
Registered: 05-08-2007

Re: Changing to WIFI

AxeMurderer and AverageWhiteBloke.
Thank you both for your very clear and concise replies. They have clarified things considerably and I can go ahead with the change feeling better about it.
I will keep the desktop as a wired connection. A wireless link over a distance of three feet does seem to be a bit of 'overkill'! 

AlaricAdair.
Thank you too for your reply. The desktop is running Windows7, as I assume the laptop will be. Haven't yet decided which one we are going to buy. Wish I was still running XP, but that's another story.  Sad
Thanks again, all.
Keith.
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: 16-06-2010

Re: Changing to WIFI

HI deekay,
My mum recently upgraded to windows7 from XP and she's been very frustrated with it. As I keep telling her, stick with it and you'll soon get used to it. Setting up wireless is a lot more simple than it sounds, but if you do come across any difficulties then we'll be here to help you out.
Jojo Smiley
deekay
Grafter
Posts: 209
Registered: 05-08-2007

Re: Changing to WIFI

Hello JoJo.
Thanks for your post.
We're due to look round on Thursday and see what laptops are available in our price bracket. If we decide, I'll order a Thompson from you.
Don't want to hijack this thread into a 7 versus XP one, so I'll keep my criticisms very brief.
I felt that I could get 'under the hood' far more with XP. For me, there is too much hand-holding with 7. "Mummy says you must do this", "Mummy won't let you touch that", "Do as Mummy tells you and don't argue" and so on.
Round here, Doctor, Dentist, Bank, Building Society, shops, are all still using XP. Not seen any of them using 7.
Been running Windows7 for two and a half years, so I've stuck with it!
I've said enough!
Cheers.
Keith
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 26,546
Thanks: 1,542
Fixes: 101
Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Changing to WIFI

inSSIDer is good for running on your new laptop (when purchased) to check the lay of the land regarding WiFi networks in the neighbourhood (including your own when set up).

Customer and Forum Moderator.

jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: 16-06-2010

Re: Changing to WIFI

Hi Keith,
I'm very interested in the opinions of win7 v XP, so, especially for you, I've started a thread so we can talk about it a bit more and see what other people think.
Jojo Smiley
p.s. I saw the url fail, Strat Wink
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 26,546
Thanks: 1,542
Fixes: 101
Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Changing to WIFI

Can't get anything past you Jo Cheesy Wink

Customer and Forum Moderator.