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What do I need to make my laptop connect to wireless router

bevjtaylor
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎28-12-2008

What do I need to make my laptop connect to wireless router

I am about to get a new wireless router (just joining Plusnet) which I will connect directly to my PC, however I would like to have a wireless connection to my old Dell Inspiron 8500. I think the modem has been removed! There is an empty slot on the left hand side. Is this where I would put a wireless card? I dont want to use a USB card as I use the 2 USB ports for a mouse and memory stick and would prefer a card as more protected. Am I wrong? What should I buy?
35 REPLIES
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: What do I need to make my laptop connect to wireless router

one of the Plus Net options used to be a Laptop kit, that was a PCIAM wifi card, not seen one recently though
bevjtaylor
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎28-12-2008

Re: What do I need to make my laptop connect to wireless router

Didnt see anything on the website  Sad
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: What do I need to make my laptop connect to wireless router

soething like this  but not in stock
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=219519
bevjtaylor
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎28-12-2008

Re: What do I need to make my laptop connect to wireless router

Good - looks like I have been looking for the right thing then. I was thinking Belking, Net gear or D-Link but there are some v cheap ones on Amazon.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: What do I need to make my laptop connect to wireless router

I'd check the spec of the laptop carefully first.
I think some of those Dells had a mini-pci wireless card built in, so it may just need turning on.
But if it does have a PCMCIA/PC-card slot then there's loads of choice and better than USB as well.
Highlighted
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎10-08-2007

Re: What do I need to make my laptop connect to wireless router

When making your selection of wireless card make sure it is capable of WPA security. Then when you set up your wireless connection you can make it secure.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: What do I need to make my laptop connect to wireless router

Just had a quick look at the spec of that model.
It should have a mini-pci card slot under a cover on the base. That can take a suitable wireless card (or a modem?) and may have had one fitted originally so check. Look under the cover and/or in device manager.
Also see what Fn-F2 does, that usually turns wireless on/off (inc. bluetooth) on Dell.
bevjtaylor
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎28-12-2008

Re: What do I need to make my laptop connect to wireless router

Thanks for advice - not sure what looking for underneath - there is a slot which is very long and thin. Is this is? Or does the cover need unscrewing? I dont have a manual for it as was second hand.
Going to look at the device manager now.
What is Fn-F2?Huh
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: What do I need to make my laptop connect to wireless router

All Dell Manuals are available online.
Fn-F2 - hold down the Fn key and press F2 - there's a coloured (blue?) label on the F2 key (same colour as the Fn key - clue) that gives some idea of what it does. Might be another F-key though.
bevjtaylor
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎28-12-2008

Re: What do I need to make my laptop connect to wireless router

Located Fkeys Embarrassed But did nothing!
Checked device  manager - PCMCIA adaptor - Texas Instruments PCI-4510 cardbus controller. Is this is?
bevjtaylor
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎28-12-2008

Re: What do I need to make my laptop connect to wireless router

Covered has been opened and there is no mini PCI card but the modem is there.
So what shall i buy?
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: What do I need to make my laptop connect to wireless router

Quote from: bevjtaylor
Located Fkeys Embarrassed But did nothing!
Checked device  manager - PCMCIA adaptor - Texas Instruments PCI-4510 cardbus controller. Is this is?

That just confirms it will take PCMCIA/PC-card wireless adapter. Get one of those, similar to the earlier picture.
bevjtaylor
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎28-12-2008

Re: What do I need to make my laptop connect to wireless router

Can't I get one of the little cards that will fit under the cover?
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: What do I need to make my laptop connect to wireless router

That would be great if you could find one.
Like this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Toshiba-802-11g-Wireless-Mini-Card/dp/B0002IOZ4W
But is it compatible? Probably....... Undecided
You could try taking the laptop to your local PC world and see if they have one.