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Old 12-21-2009, 02:24 AM
 
Location: County Mayo Descendant
2,725 posts, read 5,236,737 times
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I need information for a laptop or small computer, I don't know much about laptops, are they all wireless?

Can you buy one that plugs into a phone line, I have not seen any sold. The tell me everything is going wireless, how can that be when alot of people work in metal buildings, doesn't that affect the signal? Most of my friends need to go outside to use their laptops.

I am looking for one for my older friend, she is new to the computer world, she does not need alot of memory and isn't going to run programs like word or use email much, its mainly for searching on the web.

A older laptop could work if it had a phone line, she can get DSL if she wants to.

Any help appreciated.
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:41 AM
 
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Most laptops I've seen still come with a modem (uses a phone line).

Most if not all new ones come with wireless, this is 802.11 with a max range of 100-300 feet, it is not designed to travel outside of a building.

Perhaps a used or refurbished unit from one of the online stores (geeks.com has some good deals) might work well.
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
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If you have DSL - your computer will NOT plug into the phone line for internet access.

A DSL line is connected to a DSL modem. The DSL modem connects to a computer using ethernet networking. The simplest is with a $5 cable - and all laptops have an ethernet connection.

If the laptop needs to be too far away from the DSL model for a cable connection, you can install a wireless router for about $50-$75. All laptops have the ability to connect this way too - commonly called wi-fi. It is really wireless ethernet.

Another kind of wireless internet access uses cellular networks. Only a few laptops have this ability - and when it does - it is specific to one brand of network such as Verizon. You can also buy a wireless adaptor to plug into the laptop for about $50. You will pay $25 or much more to get this kind of internet from your cellular company. People use this when the take their laptop to locations where they can't get wi-fi or a wired connection.

I do not recommend using a dialup (telephone) connection for internet access. The speed is very slow and the internet experience will be frustrating.

You can buy a laptop for $500-$700 that will do everything your friend wants to do.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:20 PM
 
Location: County Mayo Descendant
2,725 posts, read 5,236,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
If you have DSL - your computer will NOT plug into the phone line for internet access.

A DSL line is connected to a DSL modem. The DSL modem connects to a computer using ethernet networking. The simplest is with a $5 cable - and all laptops have an ethernet connection.

If the laptop needs to be too far away from the DSL model for a cable connection, you can install a wireless router for about $50-$75. All laptops have the ability to connect this way too - commonly called wi-fi. It is really wireless ethernet.


Another kind of wireless internet access uses cellular networks. Only a few laptops have this ability - and when it does - it is specific to one brand of network such as Verizon. You can also buy a wireless adaptor to plug into the laptop for about $50. You will pay $25 or much more to get this kind of internet from your cellular company. People use this when the take their laptop to locations where they can't get wi-fi or a wired connection.

I do not recommend using a dialup (telephone) connection for internet access. The speed is very slow and the internet experience will be frustrating.

You can buy a laptop for $500-$700 that will do everything your friend wants to do.

Does she need to get this wireless router from the dsl provider? or can you just buy this.

For instance if she comes over to my house, I have DSL with my regular computer (not a laptop) will she be able to use the wireless router so I can show her how to use it?

I have called my dsl provider and they want $ for an additonal modem + monthly fee added on to my existing service just to show her how to use the laptop.

My friend is in her 70's so we don't need anything real fancy.

thanks for your reply, i really appreciate it.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:27 PM
 
Location: County Mayo Descendant
2,725 posts, read 5,236,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHDave View Post
Most laptops I've seen still come with a modem (uses a phone line).

Most if not all new ones come with wireless, this is 802.11 with a max range of 100-300 feet, it is not designed to travel outside of a building.

Perhaps a used or refurbished unit from one of the online stores (geeks.com has some good deals) might work well.
Do you mean when you buy it, it comes with a modem?

I was in staples and looked at all of there laptops, only saw ethernet connections.

Now that I recall it, years ago one of our salemen had a laptop and he used our phone jack, this was before dsl and the cable companies. I imagine he had dial up serivce, I know dial up service would be a pain (for me anyway) but for someone learning it could work.

I just need to know what to buy and what to buy with it, all this is sort of greek to me since I use a regular computer.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:28 PM
 
10,764 posts, read 18,150,553 times
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Unlike cable internet, you can't just plug in a wireless router and have it work with DSL, it must be reconfigured to connect (likely via PPPOE) and your account username and password must be set up in the routers interface. Once it's moved from your house to your friends it must be reconfigured for her account before it will work.

Almost any wireless router will work with DSL or cable, they are cheap so don't get one from the ISP for a monthly fee. I have no idea why your provider would sell you a second modem, it won't be useable.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:30 PM
 
10,764 posts, read 18,150,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rural lady View Post
Do you mean when you buy it, it comes with a modem?

I was in staples and looked at all of there laptops, only saw ethernet connections.

Now that I recall it, years ago one of our salemen had a laptop and he used our phone jack, this was before dsl and the cable companies. I imagine he had dial up serivce, I know dial up service would be a pain (for me anyway) but for someone learning it could work.

I just need to know what to buy and what to buy with it, all this is sort of greek to me since I use a regular computer.
I'll bet if you took a second look you'd find a modem (phone line) connection, they are still pretty standard on laptops.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:35 PM
 
Location: County Mayo Descendant
2,725 posts, read 5,236,737 times
Reputation: 1206
Quote:
Originally Posted by NHDave View Post
Unlike cable internet, you can't just plug in a wireless router and have it work with DSL, it must be reconfigured to connect (likely via PPPOE) and your account username and password must be set up in the routers interface. Once it's moved from your house to your friends it must be reconfigured for her account before it will work.

Almost any wireless router will work with DSL or cable, they are cheap so don't get one from the ISP for a monthly fee. I have no idea why your provider would sell you a second modem, it won't be useable.
ok thanks, now where do I buy the wireless router do I specificly ask for a certain one? and you are saying if i buy a laptop and configure the laptop to my dsl provider I won't have to pay for a modem or extra monthly fees? Her computer would be about 20 ft away in another room, I am worried because once we buy this laptop no doubt they won't take it back.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:39 PM
 
Location: County Mayo Descendant
2,725 posts, read 5,236,737 times
Reputation: 1206
I have a few on those jacks from the dsl provider, one slot for telephone one for the dsl connection.

I have a feeling my dsl provider did not know what I was talking about.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:41 PM
 
10,764 posts, read 18,150,553 times
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Each account (home DSL connection) requires one DSL modem, I don't think you can have 2 DSL modems connected and signed on at the same time, that's the point of the wireless router, it is what signs on to your DSL account and distributes your DSL connection to computers that are connected to it. Pretty much any wireless modem will work, it will say on the box that it supports PPPOE.
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