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Damnsel in distress - need help with internet connectivity on old computer!

Discussion in 'Networking' started by suzih, Nov 27, 2011.

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  1. suzih

    suzih Thread Starter

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    Anyone that could help me with this would be much appreciated! I have an old Dell desktop Dimension 3000 (it has to be 8 years old) that I want to put in my daughters room. I know it's old but it will be useful for her for homework. My issue is that the way it connected to the internet was with an Ethernet cable that came from the back of the CPU to a 2wire tower. I still have the 2wire tower plugged in downstairs - there isn't a place for me to plug the 2wire in upstairs in my daughters room. Therefore, I cannot get the computer to connect to the internet from her room....is there any kind of device and/or product that I can buy and connect to a USB port or something that will detect the wi-fi in my house? Uuugghh....sorry not the most tech saavy person on the planet. Please help and thank you!!!
     
  2. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Hi suzih, and welcome to TSG.

    Yes, there are USB WiFi adapters made by several manufacturers. Many are slightly larger than a USB thumb drive. Depending on the the distance that needs to be covered and the materials between the computer and modem/router you may be able to use one with a small built-in antenna or one with a larger attached antenna. Such devices are sometimes referred to as "USB WiFi Dongles". You would need one that supports the specific type of WiFi encryption (you are using encryption, I hope) used by your modem/router and the version of Windows on the computer.

    If you tell us what country you are in, we may be able to suggest and on-line store for you or you could buy one at a local store that that sells computer accessories.
     
  3. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Judging from the number of replies, there seems to be a large decrease in the market capitalization of the damsel business. Maybe chivalry truly is dead (except for cwwozniak). :D
     
  4. suzih

    suzih Thread Starter

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    Ok so chivalry is not dead...at least for two of you guys! Thanks this sounds do-able. Is it wrong that I find "Dongles" hilarious??? Anyhoo, you mentioned I would need to get one that is compatible with my encryption. How do I figure that out? Thank you master - grasshopper awaits any and all replies!
     
  5. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    The term dongle has been around since the 1980's and yes, the name can bring a smile, if not a laugh for most people.

    If you are all ready wirelessly connecting another computer to the 2wire modem/router, you should be able to check the connection properties on that computer to determine the type of encryption being used and connection speed (802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n) You could probably find a suitable adapter that uses both WEP and WPA and covers all three speeds and not have to worry about getting the wrong kind.

    What is the approximate distance between your daughter's computer and the modem/router.? Are they on the same floor and are there any large metal objects (like a refrigerator) or a metal lathe plastered walls between them?
     
  6. suzih

    suzih Thread Starter

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    Thanks again - the 2wire is on the second floor directly beneath her bedroom and there's nothing really inbetween except some old 100 year old plaster walls! If you could recommend something to get - I would appreciate it. Either on-line on retail is good - you guys rock!
     
  7. suzih

    suzih Thread Starter

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    BTW - we have Windows XP on it!
     
  8. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Those old walls (and any plastered ceilings) could be very bad for WiFi. A metal mesh was often used to reinforce the plaster back then. Here is a link to an article in a UK paper, but the information applies in the USA as well.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2010/jan/02/wifi-walls-plaster-lath-wire-blocked

    I am not familiar enough with WiFi Dongles to recommend any particular brand or model. You could try buying a basic one with internal antenna at a store that will let you return it if it does not work that well.
     
  9. Help_M

    Help_M

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    @ Elvandil
    because it was a damn_sel in distress not a damsel in distress. LOL
     
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