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Desktop configuration for wireless use in house

by Big Steve / March 16, 2009 2:53 PM PDT

At present I have one Dell Dimension 3100 desktop PC and a Dell Vostro 1510 laptop. I have DSL service with AT&T. I need to buy another desktop PC to replace an old WIN 95 machine but I'd like to use the DSL signal on the new desktop which I'll have set up in another part of the house. I have a Linksys wireless "g" router, my laptop has a wireless "g" card. Dell's Vostro desktop line offers only one wireless card as an option, a wireless "N" card.

Can I just pass on configuring the new Dell desktop with a wireless "N" card and instead purchase some kind of after market plug in external adapter and plug it into a USB port on the new desktop which would allow me to have access to the DSL signal in the house? If I need to configure the new desktop with Dell's "N" card will the "N" card work with my Linksys wireless "g" router which I have now or not? I don't want to have to buy a new router just for wireless "N".

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Two things . . .
by Coryphaeus / March 16, 2009 4:21 PM PDT

Wireless adapters are backward compatible.

Do not use a USB NIC, use an internal PCI wireless NIC.

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Re: Two things . . .
by Big Steve / March 16, 2009 7:00 PM PDT
In reply to: Two things . . .

So if I understand you correctly you're saying configure the new Dell desktop to include an internal wireless "N" card? Would I be able to pick up the DSL signal on the new Dell desktop with it's internal wireless "N" card if my router in the house is a Linksys wireless "g" model? I was talking to a guy with AT&T yesterday about my DSL service and he said I could use a plug in adapter to receive the wireless signal but you say no? Thanks for your post.

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Re: cards.
by Kees Bakker / March 16, 2009 7:08 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Two things . . .

N-cards can communicate with G-routers. So if one comes with your new Dell desktop, you'll be fine.

Kees

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Re: cards.
by Big Steve / March 16, 2009 7:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: cards.

So my Linksys WRT54G wireless "g" router which I've had for almost 3 years will work fine if my new Dell Vostro desktop PC comes configured with an internal "N" card. Thanks for the post.

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(NT) Yes, it will. Best of luck with your new Dell!
by Kees Bakker / March 16, 2009 7:33 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: cards.
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(NT) Yes, it will. Best of luck with your new Dell!
by Big Steve / March 16, 2009 8:22 PM PDT

Thanks. If I had another question about configuration, such as should I have just one drive bay or two, a DVD ROM and a DVD burner would I need to start a new thread? Also which processor type to choose? Dual core or core duo 2? Windows Vista Basic vs Windows Vista Premium? All I'll be doing on the new PC is word processing, web surfing and email. At one time Dell had a pretty good community forum but they've made changes to it and there's not much action over there. Another website, Desktop Review.com doesn't receive much action either unlike it's other site, Notebook Review.com which gets lots of action.

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Re: Dell
by Kees Bakker / March 17, 2009 6:50 PM PDT

For most people having only a burner is enough. A reader AND a burner only makes sense when you do a lot of copying DVD's. And you don't say that's one of the things you want to do.

For the processor types: it really doesn't matter much. The core 2 duo is dual core also.

For the version of Vista: both are very different from Windows 95. The main difference, I think, is Aero, which offers transparent windows on the desktop and the media center functionality. See http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/compare-editions/default.aspx for more details. The choice is up to you.

Did you already notice Cnet has a Dell forum also? It's totally new: just started a few days ago. The answers come from Dell employees. http://forums.cnet.com/5204-13974_102-0.html?forumID=152 is the link.

Kees

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Re: Dell
by Big Steve / March 18, 2009 4:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Dell

I did notice the Dell forum which is a great addition to this site and I have already posted a question there and got a response back from a Dell guy. About that wireless question, if I want to be able to take advantage of the DSL signal in the house on any new desktop should I consider going with Dell's wireless "N" card for the desktop? It's a $79.00 option on Dell's Small Business website if you configure one of their Vostro desktops. I just posted that question on your Dell forum and hopefully I'll get an answer. Finally does anyone still configure new desktops with 56k modems which is another option or are 56k modems pretty much history? If I configured a modem and the wireless "N" card that option is more than $100.00 USD. Thanks for your post.

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Desktop config, by big steve
by nofret / March 19, 2009 5:12 AM PDT

Hey Steve. Since wireless n is backward compatible, use an external wireless adapter. (802.11n). I use one with my linksys N band router. It works great. Some say a built in wireless card is better. Better how? Plus you can use your external unit on any pc. I have two networks in use. The router box from my dsl provider has wireless as well. You should check if your dsl box has wireless.
I could give you a detailed scematic of my setup, or go to;
http://firewallguide.com/wireless.htm
Everything wireless is there.

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Re: Desktop config, by big steve
by Big Steve / March 19, 2009 5:22 AM PDT

I'm listening although the majority who have replied to my question have recommended an internal PCI? card. As I mentioned before Dell offers an "N" card for some of their Vostro desktop models for $79.00. My DSL modem from AT&T is a Westell Model C90. What brand and model number of adapter do you use? Thanks for your post.

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