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Wireless internet service for my Dell laptop

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Wireless internet service for my Dell laptop

  • I know this question has been asked many times before in a variety of ways, so you'll have to excuse my density.  Apparently I need the answer in extremely simplistic layman's terms in order for it to make any sense to me.
    I just purchased a Dell Latitude D600 Pentium 4 1400Mhz laptop (256megabytes of PC 2100 DDR memory, 30GB, Window XP Pro).  It has:
    - Internal wireless 802.11 card
    - Built-in 56K modem
    - Built-in 10/100 network card
    - Two internal USB slots
    - An internal wireless slot
    It can supposedly "connect to any wireless hot spot" and is "dial-up and high-speed DSL/cable internet ready right out of the box."
    Here's the thing:  I don't know what any of this means to me in terms of establishing an internet connection.  All I want is to be able to access the internet wirelessly.  I understand that it's possible to establish a network with my PC.  While that might be a possibility in the future, and believe me I'll need help doing it when the time comes, my PC's DSL service is inactive at the moment so I must connect my laptop using another means.
    Step-by-step instructions on what to do from those of you who know a whole lot more about such things than I would be very much appreciated.
  • The ideal thing to do would be to activate your dsl service then purchase a wireless router.  You could then connect your dsl modem to the router, yourr PC to the router by ethernet cable, and the laptop to the router (and therefore the internet) by wireless.   Since that is not what you want to do right now,  you will not have your own wireless network to connect to.  Thus, the only way you can connect your laptop to the internet right now by wireless is to find a place like a coffee shop, bar, restaurant, library, or hotel that offers free wireless internet connections.  These are called hot spots.  You have to be within range of the wireless routers running at these hotspots, which usually means less than 300 feet. 
  • if i can throw my 2 cents in here we also have a latitude d600 laptop. when we got it we didnt want to connect it to our other computers we wanted to be able to use it in any room. and anywhere outside etc, we went and bought a netgear wireless card popped it in the slot at the side and we are able to connect to the internet. we have aol and we use ie7. it works great its slow compared to the other two but hey we didnt have to do anything. our other 2 are on roadrunner and the one upstairs is connected to another netgear router. now i dont know what magic i performed where im able to get an internet connection without being connected to dialup or my broadband or not having any wires but its not costing me anything so you might want to do like i did and see if it works for you. hope this helps you.


  • This is great until the FBI comes along and arrests you for "borrowing" internet access that you are not paying for and don't have permission to use.
  • id like to know how the fbi is going to arrest  me as i have a free account with aol and have had aol since 99. ive also been paying for roadrunner since 04. i wonder if my laptop netgear is somehow picking up the signal from my other netgear router and thats why its working. then i would assume im not doing anything illegal. is it any different than people getting a signal at a public place like a coffeeshop etc, and being able to use their computer.


  • It was not clear from your message that you even know whether or not you are connecting to you own internet service.  Is your router a wirless router?
    Free hotspots are different, as they give their permission for anyone to use their service.  Connecting to a neighbor's wireless router without their permission, however, is "borrowing" a connection and is illegal in most states.
  • my dell laptop is using a netgear wireless card. my other computers are using roadrunner and my upstairs one is connected to another netgear wireless router. im certainly not stealing service from anyone if thats what you are implying. therefore this isnt illegal in any way shape or form. its no more illegal than if you tv is hooked up to rabbit ears or an antenna and you get a signal so you can watch tv or you get signals so you can play radios in your house with or without an antenna. the last time i checked no one owns the internet and it is free. the only time it would be illegal is if you tap into a neighbors cable, electric service, gas water, electric ,etc then its stealing and therefore illegal. id like to hear your explaination as to how this can be illegal. i dont know how wireless cards work but they probably get a signal from a satellite. all i know is that they work. tell you what go to radio shack and arrest them for selling wireless cards and for giving people according to you illegal advice on how to put them in their computer so theyll have a connection and see what happens. it works on the same principle as gps or onstar in gm cars. so should all of those people be arrested too? i dont understand your logic on this at all.


  • As I said before, you did not make it clear that it was your router that you are connecting to.  You basically just said that you turned it on it worked but you didn't know why.  Now that you have clarified the fact that it is your router, it is clear that what you are doing is not illegal in any way shape or form.  Sorry I jumped on you.
  • no problem. apology accepted. believe me before i put the netgear wireless card  in the laptop i checked with my computer guys who are experts and i was assured that i would be connected to the internet and that everything would be legal and above board. i was also told that my 2 netgears work together and that the laptop one feeds off the other one somehow. something about radio wave signals. i dont know how a lot of things work but im not happy when they dont. weve now had science lesson 101. how do routers work. :)