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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is off topic (for HTPC) but since there are so many experts here, I'm sure someone can help with this.


I have a laptop running Vista. I plan to take it on a trip and I want the WiFi to work at the airport and hotel. I did the OS install (clean install) so if there was any software installed from the laptop manufacturer its gone now. I believe I have seen WiFi software (like Verizon or AT&T) on the internet for downlaod but I do not have an internet account for WiFi/cellular (other than my home DSL with Bellsouth.


So, do I need to install something? I guess i need to setup my Bellsouth interent/e-mail account on the laptop - now that I think about it.


I have never tested/used the WiFi on this laptop (and I don't have a place close by to see if it works). i just don't want to get to the airport and then discover I need to install something.


Thanks.
 

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As long as your WiFi card's driver is installed you need nothing else. I'd recommend against installing anything else.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj /forum/post/20869504


As long as your WiFi card's driver is installed you need nothing else. I'd recommend against installing anything else.

+1, you may want to install the latest driver for your wifi.
 

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Vista comes with it's own wifi connection utility. It will be available IF you have the driver for the wifi card loaded. And most likely, you are using the driver which also came with Vista as well.


I suggest you go into the control panel and network connections to verify you have the wireless network driver/connection applet available before you go. You should see a couple network options...one will be your Ethernet hard wired interface, you may have one for another hardware interface depending on the options your laptop came with. But look for the wireless one.


How do you normally access email? Through a client like Outlook or some combo account login/web interface?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by FronzDan /forum/post/20869576


Vista comes with it's own wifi connection utility. It will be available IF you have the driver for the wifi card loaded. And most likely, you are using the driver which also came with Vista as well.


I suggest you go into the control panel and network connections to verify you have the wireless network driver/connection applet available before you go. You should see a couple network options...one will be your Ethernet hard wired interface, you may have one for another hardware interface depending on the options your laptop came with. But look for the wireless one.


How do you normally access email? Through a client like Outlook or some combo account login/web interface?

When I switch on the WiFi (slider switch on front of case) the task bar icon says "no Wifi available" or something like that (meaning I don't have WiFi available in my home). The yellow light near the switch blinks every so often. I'm pretty sure the WiFi feature works, I just never used it before.


There is a Wireless device driver in Device Manager. Everything looks good.


I access my e-mail (and internet) on my desktop computer through the Outlook program (but I can also access it through the Bellsouth internet site)and Internet Explorer. This laptop was not really used for anything (just a used computer I got my hands on) so I decided to upgrade the OS and get it ready for this trip. I figured it would be nice to websurf at the airport and maybe even rip a DVD or two to it for viewing on the plane.


Thanks again.
 

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You might check on your laptop manufacturer's support website to see if they have a wifi utility for your laptop.


Sometimes the wifi utility that comes with a laptop or a wireless adapter is much better than Windows, and some times it's much worse. There's no way to know without trying it.


But you should be able to do it with just windows.


I would definitely try it before I started travelling. If you don't have wifi at home, go to a friends house or a Starbucks or something.


Oh, and have a credit card, because at most airports wifi access isn't free (although if you belong to a Red Carpet Club or other airport lounge club, they'll have free wifi or wired or both). Do you have a smartphone that can "tether", i.e., act as a wireless hotspot? It will be cheaper than airport wifi (and if you have a 4G phone, it will be faster too).


Lastly, that software you saw from Verizon or AT&T is probably their software for their proprietary wireless broadband (i.e., cell network access), not for wifi.


One last thing, check with Bell South. Some carriers provide free access to their paid wifi hotspots in places like airports for DSL or other wired customers. Verizon does that for its customers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 /forum/post/20869676


You might check on your laptop manufacturer's support website to see if they have a wifi utility for your laptop.


Sometimes the wifi utility that comes with a laptop or a wireless adapter is much better than Windows, and some times it's much worse. There's no way to know without trying it.


But you should be able to do it with just windows.


I would definitely try it before I started travelling. If you don't have wifi at home, go to a friends house or a Starbucks or something.


Oh, and have a credit card, because at most airports wifi access isn't free (although if you belong to a Red Carpet Club or other airport lounge club, they'll have free wifi or wired or both). Do you have a smartphone that can "tether", i.e., act as a wireless hotspot? It will be cheaper than airport wifi (and if you have a 4G phone, it will be faster too).


Lastly, that software you saw from Verizon or AT&T is probably their software for their proprietary wireless broadband (i.e., cell network access), not for wifi.


One last thing, check with Bell South. Some carriers provide free access to their paid wifi hotspots in places like airports for DSL or other wired customers. Verizon does that for its customers.

All good advice. Than you.

Regarding checking the manufucature for WiFi software - I don't know who made this thing. There are no lables. I bought it used (garage sale). Under Control Panel > System it said the manufacture was CGC (Cheap Guys Computer with a phone number for repairs). Now that I reformated/installed new OS that info is gone anyways. The internals are standard componets though, Vista found everything and installed all the drivers. Everything seems to be working fine.
 

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You could try walking outside with your laptop... If you right click on your wireless icon in the system tray, you should be able to "view available networks". I'm guessing if you are outside, you should see a neighbor's wifi...
 
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