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Old 02-02-2009, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Virginia
97 posts, read 363,440 times
Reputation: 90

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I don't know what to do . We are up for a new computer cause our DELL is now 6 years old and is getting slower and slower due to low memory.
I would like a laptop but I would need a router and I don't even know if that will work with our old desktop. As I understand it I would have to plug the router into the pc and the modem (we have DSL).

This would be our first laptop so there are many questions.
Maybe somebody can tell me how this wireless routing will work.

Thanks
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Old 02-02-2009, 06:35 PM
 
11,715 posts, read 36,336,945 times
Reputation: 7514
I think you're confusing several issues.

The laptop vs. desktop decision is as follows: If you need portability or small footprint and are willing to pay extra for it, then get a laptop. If you don't, then desktops are cheaper, faster, and easier to upgrade or repair.

A router is a device that allows multiple computers to share an Internet connection. If you only have one computer (laptop or desktop doesn't matter), then you just plug it into the DSL modem. I don't understand why you think your desktop computer won't work with a router. If you're going to have two computers, then you'll need a router. If you get a laptop and plan on roaming around the house with it while staying connected to the Internet, you'll need a wireless router. Laptops all have wireless built in so there's nothing special to buy for it once you have a wireless router connected to your DSL modem.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Virginia
97 posts, read 363,440 times
Reputation: 90
I do think I am confused about the laptop issue.

I will keep the old computer and my friend told me that if I get a laptop I will need a wireless router and it has to be plugged into the modem and my old computer... I don't know because I never had a laptop.
I am so new to all of this laptop stuff and of course unsure.

I have had a desktop for over 6 years and have NO problems hooking it up and the funny thing is it does not intimidate me one bit to unhook it, open it clean it and hook it back up. This laptop thing though intimidates me ...don't ask me why.
I like the thought of being mobile with the computer though and that is why I asked the question about the router here.

If it is too complicated we just get another desktop.

Last edited by chispirit; 02-02-2009 at 07:28 PM..
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:24 PM
 
11,715 posts, read 36,336,945 times
Reputation: 7514
Quote:
Originally Posted by chispirit View Post
I do think I am confused about the laptop issue.

I will keep the old computer and my friend told me that if I get a laptop I will need a wireless router and it has to be plugged into the modem and my old computer... I don't know because I never had a laptop.
I am so new to all of this laptop stuff and of course unsure.

I have had a desktop for over 6 years and have NO problems hooking it up and the funny thing is it does not intimidate me one bit to unhook it, open it clean it and hook it back up.
You don't HAVE to get a wireless router just because you buy a laptop. Lets say you were going to plant the laptop on a desk in the same room as your desktop and DSL modem. You could get a wired router and connect both the desktop and laptop to if with CAT5 cables. But the reality is that most people get laptops in the first place because they want to roam around the house with it. Wireless routers don't cost much more than wired routers and you can still wire up to 4 computers to one so you're not giving anything up by getting a wireless router. You would wire the desktop to the router and connect the laptop to it wirelessly.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Virginia
97 posts, read 363,440 times
Reputation: 90
Thanks for explaining it that well ... that helped

It would be nice to be mobile in the house with the computer and that is why I was considering a laptop.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
4,121 posts, read 7,876,594 times
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I prefer laptop. We gave our son our desktop, and now are going to get a second laptop. Nothing like being mobile. Sitting on the couch, deck, laying in bed....just nicer and much more comfortable than sitting at a desk.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:04 PM
 
11,715 posts, read 36,336,945 times
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One thing you may want to consider is replacing the old desktop with a nice new one and getting a netbook in addition to it. Use the desktop for more serious work and use the netbook for recreational web use sitting the couch, etc. The pair probably wouldn't cost much more than a nice laptop. The netbook has the advantage of being more portable than a full sized laptop and since its so cheap, there's less concern over it getting broken.
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:40 PM
 
28,617 posts, read 40,594,929 times
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Does your DSL modem have an antenna on it? Perhaps a silly question, but a lot of them come with wireless, and the antenna is the indicator.

Do not let a laptop intimidate you. It is nothing more than a desktop in a compact form.

If you do need a router they are not that expensive and setting one up isn't terribly difficult. Keep in mind that there are plenty of us here to help you through getting it all working.

I prefer a laptop. Summer on the deck, winter in front of the fireplace, life is good.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,243 posts, read 12,765,214 times
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chispirit - I truly understand the feeling of intimidation - I know it doesn't make sense, but it's a real feeling ... after all, there was my desk covered with necessary equipment (the desktop computer) and then there in my two hands was all of the same equipment compressed into one small thin rectangle (the laptop).

That was five years ago, and although I'm not very computer-savvy, I quickly learned that the laptop was actually less complicated than my desktop. I love the mobility of the laptop - it's great to be able to work on it wherever I darn please.

One thing I really like about the laptop is the ease of getting on the internet. There's a slidr switch on the front and all I have to do is slide it and the laptop searches for a wireless network. I've taken the laptop out and about with me on day trips and vacation trips, and it's kind of fun to slide the switch and see what connections are available - you'd be amazed at the number of unsecured networks that can be used.

At home we have internet through our cable company. We have a modem (a black box) and a router (a flat thing with blinking lights and an antenna). One of our desktops is hardwired to this equipment, another desktop connects with a wireless adaptor plugged into a USB port, and the laptop connects whenever I slide the switch. Our daughter has a MacBook, and when she's home visiting, she too can connect wirelessly to our internet connection.

I'm going to guess that your older Dell desktop will work just fine if it's already working with DSL. Adding a router so that the laptop can also connect truly shouldn't have any affect at all. Our desktops are about the same vintage as yours, and when we went from dialup to DSL I figured the old dinosaurs would keel over and choke, but they didn't.

My parents just got their first laptop. So they now have three desktops and the laptop. One desktop (which is ancient!) is wired to the modem and router, and the other two desktops have wireless adaptors hooked into USB ports, and the laptop, well, I'm not sure what room it's in at the moment, but it connects through its built-in wireless. When my father wants to print something off the laptop, he just unplugs the printer from his desktop and plugs it into his laptop. I know there are other ways to do it, but for him that's the simplest way.

IMHO, yes, go with a laptop. It's really not as intimidating as it appears.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Beautiful place in Virginia
2,658 posts, read 10,568,563 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chispirit View Post
I don't know what to do . We are up for a new computer cause our DELL is now 6 years old and is getting slower and slower due to low memory.
I would like a laptop but I would need a router and I don't even know if that will work with our old desktop. As I understand it I would have to plug the router into the pc and the modem (we have DSL).

This would be our first laptop so there are many questions.
Maybe somebody can tell me how this wireless routing will work.

Thanks
As long as you have a NIC card for the router, your desktop will be compatible. There is a network port on all routers.

Are you someone who likes to tinker with computers and change the hardware? If yes, get a desktop. It is cheaper to upgrade RAM, Hard drive and even CPU. Most modern applications require more RAM than anything else unless you are a gamer or work with extensive video editing software.

I prefer a laptop since you can go anywhere in the house. In fact, right now, I am typing from the cafeteria in Mayo Clinic Jacksonville. However, all you can upgrade is RAM, Hard drive and external peripherals through a USB port. Cost is about 2 times that of a comparable desktop.
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