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Wireless Laptop + Comcast

Discussion in 'Community Broadband & Computers' started by Villager, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. Villager

    Villager Ashburn Village Resident

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    We're going to have a guest at our house for a month or so who has a laptop with a wireless network card in it. We have Comcast for our internet connection but currently have no wireless setup at home. I thought when we got started with Comcast that they had to "ping" or do something with our desktop PC to get it connected to the internet, but I'm not sure if that's true.

    So my question is: Will our visitor with the laptop and wireless card be able to connect in any way or will we need to get a wireless network router of some kind? I think the wireless card is something from Sprint, which may or may not be really a dialup type thing, but I'm not sure (the guest arrives tomorrow night). And if we do have to get a wireless router, will Comcast have to do something for it to be operational with our equipment?

    We've been toying with the idea of going wireless in the house but don't really have a big need for it so haven't seriously considered it until this situation arose. Thanks in advance for any help or advice.
     
  2. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    Your cable modem is setup to detect the network device it is connected to when it powers up. Most will only allow talking to one device. Swap that device (like switching between computers) and you will need to power cycle the cable modem to get it to redetect the device it's connected to.

    The way around this is to use a NAT router, which allows multiple devices to masquarade behind that one device. This is your typical cable/dsl router.

    The wireless card you are describing are the type that work over the cell networks.. if they have this type of card, they don't need your internet connection at all. But if you just want to allow multiple PCs, and or wireless ethernet in your house you should get a router.

    Comcast doesn't need to be involved at all. Installation will simply be powering off the cable modem, plugging the ethernet port of the cable modem into the WAN side of the router, powering up the cable modem, then powering up the router.. and then plugging your PC into the LAN side of the router.

    I'd highly suggest using a cable router all the time - this inherently insulates your computer from unsolicited connections from outside.. which is a natural security barrier. It is not complete, but is FAR FAR FAR better then not having a NAT router to start with.
     
  3. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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    That is definitely the truth. I'll have to dig up the article, but I was reading one not too far back where a security company put up a doze' box on a cable connection with no router/firewall and it took less than a half hour for it to be hacked. Even with full windows security on I sure wouldn't trust it.

    You should get a wireless access point, they are so cheap anyhow. When not in use, just turn it off (in the wireless settings).
     
  4. Villager

    Villager Ashburn Village Resident

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    Thanks for the help. I think we'll go ahead and get the router since were considering it anyway. We haven't done it so far because we don't have a need for regular use of a wireless device since we don't have a laptop, just one wired desktop and one un-networked PC that our 4 year old uses. My husband has a laptop that he uses at work and occasionally brings home, so it would be useful then.

    We have Trend Micro's internet security software and Spy Sweeper and those together work well for a general firewall and security. I realize that that doesn't cover all hacks, so an added layer of having a router (properly set up, of course) would be safer. Just another reason to get one.

    Thanks again for the advice, I appreciate it.
     

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