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Using a router with Dial-Up???

by MayorMac / September 22, 2009 1:20 PM PDT

My folks have a desktop DELL computer with internal phone modem on a dial-up internet connection over their home phone line. They just purchased a ACER laptop with a wireless card (which came standard on the laptop). The laptop has no modem. They want to connect the laptop to the internet also, and there lies the reason for this post.

Can they buy a router that will plug into their phone line? I was hoping they could then run a phone line from the router to the old DELL desktop, and then connect to the internet via the modem over their DELL phone modem. Once the connection was made via the DELL/modem/router, I was then hoping that with the right router they could then connect their ACER wireless laptop to the internet wirelessly through that router.

Is there another way to connect the wireless laptop to the internet in a house that uses dial-up? They have no broadband available to them where they live.

(The local stores around here sell NetGear routers... if anyone knows a model number for a Netgear router that would work, that would be helpful. They're not looking for anything expensive.)

Thanks! Mac

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I think the best way...
by ahtoi / September 22, 2009 5:24 PM PDT

would be to get a external phone modem for the laptop.

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Re: I think the best way....
by MayorMac / September 27, 2009 4:34 AM PDT

After seeing your post, I looked on the net for an external modem. I see they have USB modems that are relatively inexpensive. Don't know much about them. Do they have the same functionality as an onboard phone modem card?

I saw there was a TRENDnet 56K USB Data/Fax/TAM Modem (V.92, Kflex56) on (

It's a unit that simply plugs into a USB port on the computer (laptop in this case), and from what they are saying... there is software that comes with the TRENDnet unit. Would my folks be able to plug this in to a USB port on their new laptop, and dial-up to their ISP just like they do with their desktop (which has an onboard phone modem)? Keep in mind, the new Acer laptop does not have an internal phone modem or phone jack... but it does have USB ports (and a wireless card).


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Another way.
by Kees Bakker / September 22, 2009 5:47 PM PDT

Using an external modem for the laptop certainly is a good idea, but it has one major disadvantage: the Internet connection can't be used by the desktop and the laptop simultaneously. It's either the one, or the other.

The alternative is doing it the way it was done 10 years ago. Activate ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) on the desktop, and connect the desktop and the laptop either via a direct cable connection or a router (can be wireless).
The obvious disadvantage of that is that the desktop has to be on and connected to the Internet before it can be used on the laptop. But if both are switched on, both can use the laptop simultaneously.

Don't expect fast service, however, sharing a dial-up line with two PC's!


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Re: Another Way
by MayorMac / September 27, 2009 4:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Another way.

Actually, from what they are telling me, they only plan to use one machine at any one time. So the additional slowing os the connectivity shouldn't be an issue. Only one machine will be used at any one time.

As far as connecting the two together, the two machnines will be some distance apart in their house, so hard wire is not an option. The desktop has a phone modem but no wireless card, and the new laptop has a wireless card but no phone modem.

So I'm assuming you would set the router near the old DELL desktop, and connect the router to the DELL desktop via a phone cord (not sure if their DELL has an Ethernet port or not). The router would be connected to a nearby phone wall jack. And the laptop would connect to the router wirelessly.

So.... they would have to dial-in on the DELL desktop, and then just leave that run. They could then connect to the internet wirelessly by communicating with the router with the Acer laptop. Correct me if I'm wrong in the above assumption.

Do you know of a inexpensive wireless router that would connect to a wall phone outlet with phone cord, and then also connect to the desktop with a phone cord? In other words... without use of an ethernet cable? Or is there a phone line to Ethernet adapter or 'bridge' that one could get for a router that did not have a phone line receptacle (ex. if the router would only accept ethernet cable)?

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It has been a long time since my dialup days,
by ahtoi / September 27, 2009 6:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Another Way

I completely forgotten how the connection are done; but if my recollection are correct, I don't think you can use a router (at least not the way we use them now..with broadband). But I could be wrong on this though. I did remember using a hub though.

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