PDA

View Full Version : Wireless notebook question. Warning-STUPID question!


Fast Pass
06-27-2005, 01:36 PM
Have no idea where I can ask this question so please move if I posted it in the wrong area.

I am going to get a Toshiba M35X-S1142 notebook that has a wireless card in it.
How do I get on the internet with a wireless card? I know that I have to be in range of a hot spot to pick up a wave to broadcast a signal but thats all I know.Do I keep my home internet company? Do I have to get a company each step of my way down to Florida?
Laugh if you must but I have never owned a wireless notebook and don't have a clue how to operate one.
I tried to do a search over the net on my home computer but all I get is reviews on notebooks.

Any help would be appreciated.

WebmasterCricket
06-27-2005, 04:27 PM
You should try reading this and see if you have other questions first.

http://www.intel.com/personal/wireless/unwire/index.htm

But, I'll give it a shot without you knowing what questions you need to ask.

Just because you have a wireless capable notebook does not mean you will always be able to connect it wirelessly (I think that is a word), you may still need a wire at many hotels or other locations. If your card is active and set up properly, your home network (assuming you are going to have a home wireless network) will work automatically when you are in range.

Your ISP will only come in to play wirelessly in your home. Every place else, you will either have free access to an open wireless network, "pay to surf" wired/wireless access or a local/800 dialup access # to dial to reach your ISP (old school).

The best method will depend on where you are and what you are willing to pay to hit the net.

Give us some more questions and we can try to give you better answers more specific to you.

Fast Pass
06-27-2005, 08:01 PM
O.K. now I'm really confused.

Let's say I'm in Nashville. Say I'm on Interstate 24-could I pick up a free hotspot automatically(providing I have my wireless card configured properly)?

Do all cities have a hotspot? There are some areas that are definitely small town hick vill U.S.A that I will be going through-does that mean I won't be able to connect or will I get disconnected?

One more question, If I'm in Disney and choose to access the WI-FI network will they charge me additional costs if say I want to access my e-mail in Kentucky?
I guess I'm asking if Disney will charge me long distance?

I lied,just thought of another question. In the article you linked me to(thanks by the way) it said that some ISPs will automatically configure your card for you. If by chance mine can't be automatically configured will I have to by something much more expensive to get the card configured?

Okay,I promise no more questions. Sorry to be a pain in the butt but it is such an expensive purchase for me I don't want to risk the notebook just sitting in the closet doing nothing.Thanks for all your help.

ohanafamily
06-27-2005, 11:11 PM
Webmaster Cricket, Mind if I give this nice person a little insight. I think he got a little confurustrated with all of the weird communication setups available. Please feel free to edit my post as you feel is apropriate.....

Fast Pass, there are a few types of wireless cards, and each configures in different ways. For Example, WebmasterAlex has a really cool network card that hooks into Cingular's cellular network. It may be a different company. He travels a lot, so he needs to be connected.

When People talk about WiFy, they are usually referring to 802.11B or 802.11G networks. There are many "Hot Spots". There are not many network nodes set up on highways; they were designed so an establishment (IE Starbuck's) can sell wireless access to individuals while they have their coffee. Each one has it's own ISP/Plan. I think you can buy a monthly plan that works in all Starbucks, but I am not sure about that.

Bluntly, A hot spot is a small location that you can access the internet from.

That being said, some companies/neighbors do not set security on their wireless networks, so you might very well be able to see the internet and connect to a neighbor's wireless network without their knowledge (there is a computer store a few miles away from my house that has an unsecured network that they let anyone connect to so that salespeople can download patches to a customer's laptop)

OK, as an example of how it works, let me tell you what to expect at WDW...(what you seemed to really want to know)

IF you are in a resort that has WiFy (there are only a few) you will call the number on the phone for internet connection and they will talk you through it...turn on your computer. Then, you will need to click on the wireless icon on the bottom right side of the taskbar. Look for the Disney Resort Connection (I don't remember what it is called) and connect to it. Next, you will need to go into Internet Explorer (you may have to adjust the settings so it tries to use the wireless network rather than dialup). You will go to a certain website where it will ask for a credit card and what plan you would like to use. After you "Pay the piper, you will have access to the wireless broadband connection for 24 hours (or whatever you sign up for) At the end of that time you will have the option to use it for another day. It may automatically bill your credit card if you log in the next day, but as I recall, it asked me.

The setup proceedure for a wired network is very similar at WDW, but there is a free phone call you can make where they will talk you through the setup...

OK, let me make sure I answered your questions...

Let's say I'm in Nashville. Say I'm on Interstate 24-could I pick up a free hotspot automatically(providing I have my wireless card configured properly)?
Probably not, unless you get a Cellular card. There are lot's of Hot Spots around (heck, even the McDonald's down the street has WiFy... it is a test market) Most Starbucks have Hot Spots.


Do all cities have a hotspot? There are some areas that are definitely small town hick vill U.S.A that I will be going through-does that mean I won't be able to connect or will I get disconnected?
Pretty much all major cities will have hot spots, but again, unless you are using Cellular you will not have a continuous signal.

One more question, If I'm in Disney and choose to access the WI-FI network will they charge me additional costs if say I want to access my e-mail in Kentucky?
Disney will charge you an access fee, but connecting to your KY e-mail depends on their setup. If it is a corporate server that you are behind, you will have to talk to your IT person. If it is a YAHOO account, you shouldn't have any trouble.

I guess I'm asking if Disney will charge me long distance?
If you use Dialup service, and the number isn't local, YOU BETCHA they will happily take lots of money. If you choose the Dialup route, make sure that you have a local access number. I would also call the front desk and find out how much each local call is (and if they charge an extra fee for long connections; some hotels charge lots to make connections and lots to keep a persistant one. I forget what the Disney Resorts rules/charges are.

I lied,just thought of another question. In the article you linked me to(thanks by the way) it said that some ISPs will automatically configure your card for you. If by chance mine can't be automatically configured will I have to by something much more expensive to get the card configured?
Webmaster Cricket Is indeed one of the most knowledgable IT professionals I know, but if you can't get to the internet, you cannot get his excellent advice on how to set up your computer. ;) Actually, as I stated earlier, ISP's are in it to make money. If you cannot get connected, they cannot charge you. There is always some form of support available. The one time I used WiFy at WDW, there was a free number to call and I think there was also 24X7 support.

Okay,I promise no more questions. Sorry to be a pain in the butt but it is such an expensive purchase for me I don't want to risk the notebook just sitting in the closet doing nothing.Thanks for all your help.
Can't help you there; My DW would rather play at WDW than let me Surf. When I got engaged there, we posted a report here on the Dis, Some Pictures, and she made me cut it off. Time at WDW is too valueable to waste doing something that you do every night from home. I need the laptop in case I get a problem I need to log into my corporate network on that nobody else in my office can fix. It happens...I would suggest if the e-mail is that important, have a friend check it and call your cell phone (there isn't great reception all over, but getting a voicemail while on vacation is OK if they can't attend to whatever needs attending to) if you are needed. One time our phone system went out (while I was at Disney Studios) They called cell phone to cell phone and neededa tech dispatched sooner than immediately. I was stuck in a Designated Smoking Area for a half an hour setting up a trouble ticket and sending help. I got good reception there and I didn't want to loose the call.

OK? If you have any more questions, please feel free to PM me or post back in this thread...

Fast Pass
06-28-2005, 11:14 AM
Thanks for the help. It is way more complicated then I thought. I guess I can get along without the internet for 2 1/2 weeks. I can still use it to download my pictures so all isn't lost. Maybe by the time labor day rolls around I'll have it all figured out.

Thanks again!

ohanafamily
06-28-2005, 11:31 AM
It really is fairly simple, the details look a little tough but it is very straight forward.

If it were me, I would bring the Laptop with me, get a Power adapter for the car, and take a few DVDs with you. If you want to try to connect at the resort you can. If you are DVC, some of the resorts have DVD rentals (I think OKW and BW have Video tapes still) This way the family has some entertainment for the car trip, and if you are suffering Internet withdrawel, you have it there. I would call your resort and ask if they have Wify, or other network connections you might need a network cable. You can call the resort and they will tell you what type of connection is available.

Again, if you get the service at the resort, they will walk you through setup in about 2 whole minutes.

:jumping2: