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Old 03-19-2009, 11:11 AM
 
2,707 posts, read 5,458,411 times
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First of all, yes...it's true. I know nothing about computers. I'm woefully uninformed when it comes to all things technological. It's just not an interest of mine so I haven't been in a hurry to join the 21st century in this respect.

This week I bought a laptop -- my first computer. I do not at present have the internet. What I'm curious about is: What are the steps for getting signed up for the internet, beyond calling TimeWarnerCable, I mean?

Do I need to buy anything -- software or hardware?

I would prefer to be set up wireless if at all possible (for use inside my apartment, I mean).

Please educate me! (But be gentle!)

Thanks...and yes...feel free to laugh. I know it's crazy to be so uninformed about something that's now so ubiquitous.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:45 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
11,750 posts, read 11,317,384 times
Reputation: 7707
It's been a long time since I used a cable modem, but some DSL modems have wireless capability built in. If you ask Verizon when you sign up for service, they will give you the wireless capability. In other words, you may not have to spend another nickel on hardware to have what you want.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:45 AM
 
Location: I <3 NY
371 posts, read 1,637,836 times
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I dont know much about computer myself

However, I believe mostly all laptops will detect a wireless modem, which comes with DSL. So if you get high speed internet with a wireless modem, your good to go. Your laptop does have WiFi right? Im assuming it does since so many come out today with that feature. If not, I *think* you need a router. Dont ask me to be more specific, I have absolutely no clue how to help you there

You pick up a lot of things by roaming forums lke these, especially the GameSpot PC & Hardware Forum
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:07 PM
 
28,645 posts, read 40,622,302 times
Reputation: 37346
TW will supply you with the connection, modem, and software. Make sure they know you want to use a wireless connection when you call.

Depending on what they provide you may or may not be able to add encryption (for security purposes) so ask them if the unit they give you will allow you to add WEP (they should know what WEP is). if it doesn't then we will take you through getting what you need to add it - which is a router.

Come back for help if/when you need it. There is always someone around to get you through it!
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:22 PM
 
1,597 posts, read 1,690,665 times
Reputation: 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niftybergin View Post
First of all, yes...it's true. I know nothing about computers. I'm woefully uninformed when it comes to all things technological. It's just not an interest of mine so I haven't been in a hurry to join the 21st century in this respect.

This week I bought a laptop -- my first computer. I do not at present have the internet. What I'm curious about is: What are the steps for getting signed up for the internet, beyond calling TimeWarnerCable, I mean?

Do I need to buy anything -- software or hardware?

I would prefer to be set up wireless if at all possible (for use inside my apartment, I mean).

Please educate me! (But be gentle!)

Thanks...and yes...feel free to laugh. I know it's crazy to be so uninformed about something that's now so ubiquitous.
I use RoadRunner through Time Warner. It's cable broadband, and yes you can get it wireless. All you have to do is call them and tell them you want to have RoadRunner installed, and you want to go wireless. As I understand it, TW offers several different speeds....the basic 768Kbps, high speed which is up to 7Mbps, and Turbo which is (I think) up to 20Mbps...something like that. Depending on how much you're wanting to download, and how fast you want various pages/videos to load will determine what package to get. I have the middle package of up to 7Mbps, although my speeds average about 5.75-6.75Mbps. But for all the more I've ever downloaded, it has suited me fine. TW will take care of the install for you, and provide the modem as well...even the wireless adapter if you need it.

As for software you need to install, you don't have to install anything to actually access the internet...except, of course, a browser. Most likely that will be preloaded on the laptop anyway. But if you want to stay safe while surfing online, it's very important to have anti-virus software, and likewise a firewall is a good idea. You don't really need to spend money on those if you can't afford to. There are several free and very capable programs you can download from the internet, and many time people feel they do just as good as commercially purchased ones...perhaps even better because they don't come with a lot of bloatware and don't consume much in the way of computer resources. That means they won't bog down your computer as much. You can ask anyone in this forum for suggestions.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Arizona, The American Southwest
52,161 posts, read 30,224,159 times
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Niftybergin - What kind of laptop did you get, and I assume it has Windows Vista(???)

Your laptop should have what's called an Ethernet port, which is usually located on either the back or either sides of the laptop, and it looks like a telephone wall outlet. Be careful not to confuse that with a modem port, which is slightly smaller than an ethernet port. That's a port for high speed internet connection, which is the preferable way to get on the internet. Avoid dial-up connections as much as possible, they are outdated, and slow, plus you won't be getting the full benefits of the laptop.

Check locally in your town to see if there are service providers for high-speed internet, usually the companies that provide cable TV, or telephone service, also offer high-speed internet. When you sign up with them, they'll send somebody to set up the wiring in your house and deliver the high-speed modem, or the DSL device.

Find out if your laptop has wireless capability also, they're good to have if you don't want to keep your laptop in one area of the house. That requires what's called a wireless router, which are usually about $50 to $75, depending on how many computers you want to hook up. If you're only going to have the laptop and you're not planning on adding more computers in the future, you can get the least expensive router with wireless cpability.

This is probably too advanced for you at this stage, but as you start working with the laptop, you'll learn more and more about computers. Don't let anybody sell you anything, or convince you to buy something, especially software, or programs, before knowing exactly what you're getting, and checking your laptop to see if it already has software that does the same thing, already installed on it. Typicallyl when you buy brand name computers and laptops, you'll get some pre-loaded software installed on it.

Another thing you might want to look into is enrolling in a class at a small college. They typically have classes for basic computer training, which will be very useful for somebody who is just starting out.

Good luck.
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,244 posts, read 12,771,777 times
Reputation: 3801
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niftybergin View Post
...feel free to laugh. I know it's crazy to be so uninformed about something that's now so ubiquitous.
Not laughing!!! You are not alone, no, not at all. You're just one of the few who are brave enough to actually say it aloud, so congrats to you on that!

We just went through this with my daughter. Where she lives has limited options for internet, so we went with her cable provider (Comcast).

The first thing we did was to make sure her new laptop had a built-in wireless detector, which it did. If yours doesn't, you'll need a wireless adaptor (a gadget that plugs into a USB port on your laptop.)

When I called Comcast to order cable TV and internet, I just simply told them what we wanted (TV and internet) and what "stuff" we had (a cable-ready TV and a laptop). What I neglected to say was the word "wireless", so the installer came with just a cable TV box and a modem (to hardwire the laptop to the internet) and not a router (for the wireless connection).

For us, we decided to rent Comcast's router rather than buy our own. If the laptop didn't have a built-in wireless detector, we would have purchased a wireless adaptor from Comcast - I know, not the most economical route, but for us nontechies it would have been the simplest.

Being new to all this, we let the installer do all the setups (fee was $50) including setting up the WEP encryption -- it was worth the money, but after watching him, I know I can do it myself the next time.

No software was installed - the laptop (a MacBook) came with a preinstalled browser (Safari). I think most if not all Internet Service Providers are partnered with some sort of antivirus program (Comcast has McAfee) - just say no and don't install them (there are better AV programs out there).

There are cheaper and better ways to get onto the 'net than the way we did it (letting Comcast do the driving), but for this first time around, paying Comcast to do it was worth it for us. We're more savvy now, so the next time we can do more ourselves.
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:31 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
11,750 posts, read 11,317,384 times
Reputation: 7707
If you just bought a new laptop, it is virtually certain to have built-in wireless capability. When you request Internet service, you should certainly ask for wireless. In some circumstances, the stuff will be brought to your house and installed by a tech, like when they have to modify your cable connections to fit one in. My experience with DSL is that they send you a package to install yourself. Since you're new at it, make sure you have your answers that you are comfortable with. Come back and ask questions as you need to.
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