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Do I need an ISP?

by captahag2 / November 28, 2005 12:05 AM PST

Forgive me for what surely is a foolish question...
I just got a new laptop that has built in wireless capability. And I live down the street from a cafe with free wi-fi. Can I just pop in and use the internet? Do I need an ISP? Are there free ISPs?

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by linkit / November 28, 2005 1:00 AM PST
In reply to: Do I need an ISP?

No, you do not need an ISP to use free wi-fi.

There are no free ISP's of which I am aware. The cafe down the street pays for the Internet service that is used by their ''hotspot.'' The hotspot often has instructions on how to connect.

Some hotspots are free; some charge.

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more wireless
by captahag2 / November 28, 2005 1:12 AM PST
In reply to: hotspots

What about at my mom's house? If she has a wireless router set up, can I just jump online?

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most likely, yes
by linkit / November 28, 2005 4:11 AM PST
In reply to: more wireless

A router connects multiple computers together to form a network of computers (all the computers in your mom's house). The router, in turn, will connect your mom's network to another network, such as the the Internet (the Internet is just another network--just really big).

The wireless network adapter on your computer must be compatible with the wirless router. The three popular standards are wirless-a, wireless-b, and wirless-g. A new notebook computer usually has a wireless-b/g adapter (wireless-g is backwards compatible with wireless-b).

Your mom's router may have some security enabled, such as password protection (WEP, WPA, et al.) and/or mac filtering. In that case you need to know the password. You may also have to add your wireless network adapter's MAC address to the MAC filtering table in the router's administration page. All of this being done with the owner's permission, of course.

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Yes you can
by Eddiefromalienwarecomps / November 28, 2005 1:37 PM PST
In reply to: more wireless

Yes once the router is set up you can use the internet off your mothers router. But be aware though, you should always create a password for your router. I say this because other people that have wirless capabilites on their laptop or desktop can acess the internet on your moms router. So basically you are giving them free high speed internet. So say you want to use your moms router, you will need a password to get in. From that point on after the password has been saved on your laptop, etc. you can get the internetknowing your router is secured..

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need help
by captahag2 / November 28, 2005 11:54 PM PST
In reply to: Yes you can

So, I tried getting online at my mom's house. My computer said I was picking up a good wireless/LAN signal. But when I clicked internet explorer it wouldn't connect. I think it wants me to sign up for an ISP.

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It's nof free
by linkit / November 29, 2005 4:03 AM PST
In reply to: need help

Just because the computer picks up a wireless signal from a router, it doesn't mean that you have ''connected'' to a the router.

You need to:
1) make a connection to the router (either wireless or wired)
2) have the router connected to a modem with paid Internet service

You or your mother needs to subscribe to some sort of broadband Internet service (Cable, DSL, cellular, satellite, FiOS, etc). The ISP will provide you with a broadband modem for their type of service, or you can purchase your own modem compatible with the Internet service that you purchase. At that point, you can connect any computer directly to the modem to access the Internet. I do, however, strongly recommend using a router for added firewall security.

Internet ----- broadband modem ----- one computer

Internet ----- broadband modem ----- router ----- many computers

Some ISP's will provide one device that is a combination broadband modem-router.
Internet ----- broadband modem-router ----- computers

The router is used to connect more than one computer to form a local network that, in turn, is connected to the Internet. It is an easy way of sharing Internet service among more than one computer.

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a little more assistance
by captahag2 / November 30, 2005 1:16 AM PST
In reply to: It's nof free

Thanks for all the help. My mom is connected to verizon dsl. So, can i find a way to use her verizon info to get online in the house? maybe just download the verizon software that she probably received?

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I might be able to help
by sket / January 15, 2006 6:22 AM PST

I searched the CNET forums for HOTSPOTs and came across this discussion (even tho it didn't solve MY problem...). First, your mom should make sure she has allocated enough IP client addresses for you to connect to her router (thru the router's setup page). If she's used any security measures (like WEP encryption keys), you'll have to know those. Next, on your XP, click on MY NETWORK PLACES, and then SETUP A HOME OR SMALL OFFICE NETWORK. The WIZARD that follows then does ALL the work for you!!! (you might have to enter the encryption keys as mentioned before). Your computer does NOT need any additional software (i.e. it doesn't even know it's using VERIZON to connect to the Internet). Hope this helps (at least it worked for me!)

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