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  • Need help picking out wireless router!!!

    I'm in need of a wireless router and don't know anything about them!! I want to hook up an older Dell computer in my shop and be able to get online. My main computer is in the house which is about a 120 feet straight shot from the shop. I also want to be able to connect my new Kindle Fire to it. I have know idea where to even start with this. The only thing I know is I need an N whatever the heck that is!! Can anyone help with some suggestions?? Thanks so much!!
    Cathy in NE

    "While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." - Anonymous

  • #2
    We got ours from the cable/internet company (Comcast). That way if there is any problem of any sort, we can call them and they have to fix/replace it. If it's yours - then you're on your own if something goes kerflooy - plus you'll have to prove it's their fault, not YOUR routers.
    Janette
    www.square-designs.com

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    • #3
      Cathy - I'm definitely not an expert, but I use a DLink 655 that works for an old HP PC that I keep in my workshop, and works for the Nooks that my wife and I use. Not sure about signal strength and distance. And I've been told that wifi signals don't go well through metal, so if your workshop is in a building with metal siding that might be a problem. Plus if your Dell is a desktop rather than a laptop, you probably will have to add a wifi card to it - most older desktops didn't include them. Do you have a real computer store / support person nearby - might be worth it to ask someone like that. Good luck,

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      • #4
        Hi, Cathy.....for casual applications such as using a wireless laptop for everyday surfing, or using a mobile device like a Kindle or iPad, I would not spend a ton of money on one. I would say aim for the $50 range.

        I own a Linksys, and have been very happy with it for years.

        Here is one similar to mine, for about $49.

        Amazon.com: Linksys E1200 Wireless-N Router: Electronics

        For Chrsitmas, I bought my dad a Belkin.

        Amazon.com: Belkin N450 Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router (Latest Generation): Electronics

        I got it just a little cheaper on sale at Best Buy at the time. He is really happy with it as well, and says that things download on his Kindle very quickly with it. Belkin also sells a cheaper model (the N150, I think) which would also likely have everything you need.
        Shawn Ferguson

        Come visit at The Ferguson Puzzle Company !

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        • #5
          I agree with Terry as well, Cathy, about the card.

          Another option, however, would be "hard wiring" the router to your PC if it is not wireless (simply running an ethernet cable from the PC to the router).....you would still be able to use other wireless devices such as a printer or your Fire, even if your PC is hard wired.

          Of course, if your Dell is REALLY old, you might need to install an ethernet card as well. Look on the back of your machine and see if there is an ethernet port....it will look like a phone jack, and will probably be marked ethernet.

          EDIT: Sorry Cathy, i missed the part about the computer being in your shop, outside your house. You're definitely going to want to make your machine wierless, if it is not already.
          Last edited by Scrolling Days; 04-07-2012, 06:35 PM.
          Shawn Ferguson

          Come visit at The Ferguson Puzzle Company !

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          • #6
            Terry, Hhhhmmmm, the computer in my office is new, within 6 months old so it should be wifi ready. The older Dell, I'm not so sure. The house and shop have vinyl siding on it so I think I'm ok there.

            Shawn, Do you think something like the Linksys would reach out to my shop??? I wish I knew more about this!! I do plan on calling my internet provider tomorrow and asking them for any advice. I'm not so sure they sell routers and such. It's a small town provider, but it's worth a try!!!

            Thanks so much for everyone's input!!
            Cathy in NE

            "While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." - Anonymous

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            • #7
              I don't think the distance would be a problem at all, Cathy......My router is in my home office, and I can easily sit on a bench swing at the very back of my yard, about 100 feet away, and use my laptop or my iPad without any difficulty.

              If you live in a small town, without easy access to electronics, don't be afraid to give a place like Amazon a try.....you may not pay tax, and shipping is (usually) free on orders over $25....plus things really arrive pretty quickly. If there is a problem with your product, their return process is very easy as well.
              Shawn Ferguson

              Come visit at The Ferguson Puzzle Company !

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              • #8
                Cathy

                Are you using desktop or laptop computer in the shop? If it is a desktop look on the back and see if there is an antennae that looks like it is screwed on or take a picture of the back of the computer and I can tell you if it is wireless or not. They do make USB adapters now so you could go that route if it is not wireless already.

                Routers are typically 3 types B,G and N. The newest being N which means it has the greatest distance it will broadcast and a much faster upload and download speed, but to notice the speed the computers should have N cards. N is backward compatible with B and G but it will only reach the maximum speed of the B or G card which is usually around 54Mbps, N cards can be 150 or 300Mbps depending on the card.

                Since the computer is in the shop I would definitely look for the N router because you want the longer range.

                Here is the one I use
                I have only had one problem with it on one computer and that was my Dell laptop. My laptop is only 3 months old but Dell used an Intel wireless adapter that is suppose to be N but it does not work with the N router because the Intel card does not have the correct security settings to work with the router.
                Tim

                In God we trust, all others must pay cash!

                I don't want no bargains, they always cost me more money.

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