You've heard about it, you've read about it, and even some of your 'geeky friends' have it. So why haven't you bought it? Perhaps you're afraid you don't have a compatible computer, perhaps you feel the WiFi technology is still too new, or perhaps you feel it is just too complicated to setup. Hopefully this guide will answer most of these questions and put to rest your concerns about setting up a wireless network.
WiFi and Compatibility Nearly any computer today can be setup with an 802.11b wireless network in just a few hours. Yes, even your APSD MT C/1700 128MB-40GB 52X ETH FD WXPP can be setup quickly and easily with a wireless network. Understandably you will need to have a few pieces of additional hardware from a reliable wireless networking manufacturer such as Netgear in order to setup WiFi in your home or office, but these few items can be purchased and delivered to your door from Amazon.com. Netgear even offers a dedicated store on Amazon.com to help get you started using the latest technology at a competitive price. The store can be found by going to www.amazon.com/netgear
First decision--802.11g or 802.11b The first decision you will need to make before purchasing the appropriate Netgear equipment to setup your wireless network is whether you wish to setup an 802.11b or 802.11g wireless network. The differences between the two technologies mainly come down to two things--bandwidth and price. A 802.11g wireless network will provide you with more bandwidth (or megabytes per second) making an 802.11g network faster in transferring data within the wireless network. However, understand that even though data flow within the 802.11g wireless network will be faster than the data flow within a 802.11b wireless network, this does not mean that you will be able to surf the internet faster, download files from the internet faster, etc. Understand that the speed of the internet has to do with what type of internet connection you have (i.e. DSL, Cable, 56Kbps dial-up, etc.) rather than whether you have a 802.11b wireless network or a 802.11g connection. I personally have an 802.11b wireless network at home and the wireless network seems to be just as fast as my wired network I use at work (even though technically and realistically this is impossible). My advice to you is that you should go with the wireless network you can afford to purchase today. If you can afford the few extra dollars for an 802.11g (also called 54g) network, invest in the new technology. However, if you'd rather save a few dollars, simply purchase the 802.11b technology--you will be plenty happy with either.
How to Setup a Wireless Network-- The Router Congratulations! You have made the next step as a computer user and decide to invest in wireless networking. You will soon be enjoying the ability to surf the internet while using your laptop or PDA: sitting on the couch, lying in bed, lounging by the pool, or sitting on the front porch. All of this will be done with the complete freedom to roam anywhere within about a hundred feet (depending on interference and placement) of your wireless router or hub--the first required piece to your wireless network. The wireless router or hub is very similar to the base set of a wireless phone. It is from this wireless hub or router that all signals from the other wireless devices you use come and go. There is a wide range of features and prices for wireless routers or hubs including the Netgear WGR614 Wireless-G Router which includes Smart Wizard software that makes connecting to nearly all internet service providers (ISPs) a snap. The 802.11b alternative is the Netgear MR814 802.11b Wireless 4-Port Cable/DSL Router, at the time of this writing a considerably less expensive alternative. If you are still renting a modem from your cable provider and would like to break free of their monthly service fee, Netgear also offers the NETGEAR CG814M Wireless Cable Modem Internet Gateway ( CG814MNA ). More or less the only difference with this product is that it offers a modem built into the router. You will NOT need this if you already own a modem or wish to continue renting a modem from your ISP.
How to Setup a Wireless Network ? Connecting the Devices Depending on the top of setup you wish to have for your wireless network, your Acer APSD MT C can be setup in a few different ways. First off, you could connect your APSD MT C/1700 128MB-40GB 52X ETH FD WXPP directly to your router via a standard Ethernet cable. Understand that you will then have to have your wireless router positioned next to your Acer APSD MT C, so only do this type of connection if your Acer APSD MT C is in a centralized location in your home or office.
Connecting a Desktop Computer to a WiFi Network If you own a desktop that you wish to connect to your wireless network you can do so in a couple of different ways. If your computer is in on top of a desk or otherwise in an area that its reception won?t be blocked, you may want to choose a PCI connection by purchasing the NETGEAR MA311 - Network adapter - PCI - 802.11b. You will get a little better reception (again, if your reception isn?t blocked by a solid oak desk, or other bulky object) then using any other option and higher data transfers. If however, your desktop is under a desk, or in a location that a card sticking out the back of it just wouldn?t work or would provide poor reception, you should choose the Netgear MA101 802.11b Wireless USB Adapter. This is a piece of hardware that will plug into the USB port of your computer and used with a standard USB cable can be positioned in a more appropriate place for better reception.
Connecting a Laptop Computer to a Wireless Network If you own a laptop that you wish to connect to your WiFi network you can do so by either purchasing the Netgear MA101 802.11b Wireless USB Adapter and using the USB port on your laptop or instead using the Netgear MA401 802.11b Wireless PC Card or the 54g equivalent NETGEAR WG511NA Wireless G Pc Card with the PC Card (or PCMCIA) slot in the side of your laptop. In my opinion, for use with a laptop, the only way to go is with a wireless PC Card. Compare the prices between the Netgear MA401 802.11b Wireless PC Card and the NETGEAR WG511NA Wireless G Pc Card because it soon may be less expensive to choose the 54g wireless PC Card, thus giving you the flexibility of utilizing the 54g technology in the future and still being able to use it with your 802.11b network today (54g technology is backwards compatible to 802.11b). NOTE: You may want to double check if a wireless card shipped with your computer from the factory. There are a number of Pentium 4 laptops that are shipping with wireless cards integrated within the laptop. If your laptop did ship with a wireless card, there will be no need to purchase an additional wireless PC Card.