Wireless Internet Tips

Read these 18 Wireless Internet Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Wireless tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Can I share a wireless internet dial up connection?

Wireless Internet and Dial up

It is possible to share a wireless internet connection with dial up, but it's not a very good idea. Some access points, such as the airport extreme base station from Apple, will allow this. However, there is some slow down time with sharing a wireless internet connection, and if you decide to share a dial up connection, you won't be surfing anything fast.

   
The hotel I’m staying at doesn’t offer wireless internet access, is there anything I can do?

Wireless Internet: Portable Access Point

There are devices, known as portable access points/routers, which can easily solve this situation. Simply plug the device into the wired port and you have instant wireless internet access. Check with the hotel for fees for the wired network access.

   
How do I share a wireless internet connection?

Sharing Wireless High Speed Internet

To share a wireless internet connection, you will need to have an access point or a router on the network. The access point/router will hook up directly to your high speed internet connection via a cable. The access point/router will then transmit the broadband signal to the network. Remember, the access point can be a server, router or special access point hardware. It is also possible to mix a wired connection with a wireless one.

   
Can I mix a wireless and wired network to share wireless internet access?

Mixing Wireless Internet and Wired Internet

You can easily share a wireless internet access while still maintaining a wired network. There are many wireless routers on the market which offer both wired and wireless network capabilities. It is also possible to add on an access point after a wired router for wireless access.

   
How do I configure my wireless card to work at various hot spots?

Configuring Wireless Internet Card

You will need to use the configuration software that comes with your network card to configure your computer to work at various hot spots. Simply type in the hotspot network name (various depending on the service you are using) and state the type of network, such as access point. You can also scan available wireless broadband internet access in the area and choose which network you wish to connect with.

   
Do I need to pay for wireless internet access when I travel?

Paying for Wireless Internet Access

Most likely, you will need to pay for the high speed wireless internet access when you travel. Starbucks for example uses T-mobile as their wireless internet provider. You will need to have a t-mobile account in order to access wi-fi at Starbucks. There are some restaurants that may advertise free Wi-Fi, but in general, you should expect to pay a fee.

   
Should I leave the default wireless internet sharing turned on?

Wireless Internet Sharing

If you plan on sharing your wireless internet access, you will need to have that option turned on in your settings. However, if you do not have other computers hooked up to the network at this time, for security purposes, you should leave the setting turned off until the need arises to share the wireless internet access.

   
Why is WI-FI important?

Wireless Internet - WIFI

WI-FI, the 802.11 standard, is important for a variety of reasons. Having a standard in the industry ensures that anyone using wi-fi will be using the same standard, therefore equipment and connections are interchangeable. Having a set standard makes setting up wireless networks, sharing wireless internet access and working with wireless equipment more user friendly.

   
How can I find a specific chain that offers wi-fi access?

Finding a Wireless Internet Hot Spot in a Chain

If you are traveling and know that you will be stopping at Starbucks, for example, and want to access the internet, you can check out their website to see what specific franchises offer wireless internet access. Many places offer a free one time pass so you can ‘test drive' the wireless internet access that they offer.

   
I know that 802.11 is the WI-FI standard, but what about the newer technology?

Wireless internet - WiFi Standards

802.11 is the Wi-Fi standard, however there are other standards which are variations of the 802.11. These include:

  • 802.11a
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11i.

The differences among these standards includes speed, transmission frequency, and price. 802.11g is backwards compatible with previous products, but that is not the case with 802.11a. Make sure you check on compatibility issues prior to purchasing products.

   
Do I have to use equipment from the same vendor?

Wireless Internet Equipment

The beauty of the WI-FI is that it set a standard for wireless networking. Because of this, you do not need to have equipment from all the same venders in order to run a successful wireless network. You will be able to share wireless internet access as well without having equipment from all the same venders.

   
I’m attending a university in the fall, will I be able to use wireless internet access?

Wireless Internet at Universities

Most universities these days offer wireless internet access in the dorms. Each university will have their own procedures and set up instructions for high speed wireless internet access. Check with the universities technical support for hardware requirements and configuration information.

   
How do I find a hot spot to share wireless internet access when I’m on the road?

Finding a Wireless Internet Hot Spot

There are several stores and restaurants that offer wireless internet access, such as Starbucks. If you have a particular destination in mind, you can call the hotels to see if they offer the service. There are also hot spot directories that you can search to find wireless internet access.

   
Can I mix apple and PC’s on a wireless network?

Mixing Apples and PC's to Share Wireless Internet Connection

You can mix apple and PC's on a wireless network and share a wireless internet access. For example, Apple makes an access point called the AirPort Extreme Base station. Even though it is made by Apple, it still uses the Wi-Fi standard, and PC computers with a wireless adapter on the network will be able to share the wireless internet connection

   
What equipment do I need to access the wireless internet while on the road?

Wireless Network Equipment While Travelling

You will need to have a wireless network card, either an adapter or integrated in your laptop. If you do not have an available slot on your PC, there are adapters you can purchase that plug into a USB port on the computer. That's all you need for equipment!

   
Is there a national wireless internet service I can sign up with to use while I’m traveling?

Nationwide Wireless Internet Service

There are a plethora of national wireless high speed internet services available. AT&T, Sprint PCS, T-mobile, and Verizon are a few which offer nationwide service. You will want to check out various pricing, roaming policies and fees for the various networks.

   
How do I configure my access point so I can share wireless internet access?

Configuring Wireless Access Point to Share Wireless Internet Connection

Once you install the drivers on your computer for the access point, you will be able to open up the configuration software that comes with the router. The IP address 192.168.0.0 is the lowest in the network and should be dedicated to the router. Make sure to follow the specific configuration instructions that come with your wireless router, as each product will be slightly different from one another.

   
What are the different speeds for the different wireless network standards?

Wireless Internet Speeds

Coming in at the slowest is Bluetooth, followed by 802.11b, 802.11a and topping the charts currently is 802.11g. 802.11b is roughly equivalent to the traditional wired 10BaseT Wired Ethernet networks. Therefore, switching to Wi-Fi should not considerably slow down your wireless internet connection.

   
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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.