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khromas

USA
103 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2004 :  10:41:11  Show Profile
Buying a new laptop and considering having wireless technology installed as part and parcel.

Would appreciate feedback on WiFi and Centrino, or any other systems available from actual users and not a salesman!

Primarily, distances the server will still work from, costs, speed, anything else important.

Thanks!

Kevin Hromas

KileAnderson

USA
875 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2004 :  11:07:16  Show Profile
Kevin, in order for WiFi to work, (802.11g/b) you have to be in a hotspot. That's a place close enough to the wireless access point for you to pick up the signal. Starbucks is installing them in alot of their locations. I hear Barnes and Noble is doing it as well and you will find it in many hotels and libraries. I've found that if you know a hotel has it installed you can park in their parking lot and pick up the signal. I have it on my computer and I have an 802.11b access point in my home. I can be in any room of the house with my laptop and get online with no problem. I can also sit out in the driveway and use it but once you get about 100 feet away it is no longer available. I have a program called Network Stumbler and it scans for access points as I drive around. Many people have these access points in their houses and even though they have a firewall so you can't access their computer you can still use their connection to get online. In many urban areas there are groups of techno geeks who put up encrypted markers infront of their apartments to let other geeks know that there is an open WiFi point in the area.

If you are looking for something that will get you online anywhere at anytime, WiFi and centrino aren't going to help much. I have lots of luck with my Verizon cell phone. I have a cable that connects to it and my computer and I can use it just like a regular dial up modem, and it's pretty fast but not broadband fast. As far as WiFi goes though, I would never own a laptop without it. As technology marches on there will be more and more places you can use it. I hope this info can be of some help to you.
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khromas

USA
103 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2004 :  11:16:40  Show Profile
Thanks, Kile.
I have heard that KOA Campgrounds are starting to install hotspots also. Since my next step is to get a trailer to tow along on a storm, it is obvious that DSL or Broadband would not be available for high speed connection.
Does the wireless technology have the speed and data transfer capabilty we need with all the vendors going paperless?

Thanks!

Kevin Hromas
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katadj

USA
315 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2004 :  11:58:55  Show Profile
Kevin,

The WI_FI world has opened up considerably since mine was installed in my vehicle over a year ago.

Initially, when traveling on the east coast I would average 1 “hit” with Net-Stumbler per traveled mile. Two weeks ago, the average jumped to 6 hits per mile, a HUGE increase in the home networks using wireless systems.

As Kile stated, we also have a WAP (Wireless Access Point) installed on the home server network and can access the net from most room.

Using a combo 802-11b-g card we can get some decent broadband speeds, up to 100 mbs, but with the 802-11b it usually runs from 2 to 11.

If you want to access from the vehicle with a greater range, install an antenna with at least an 8 DB gain on the roof and couple this into an amplifier, then to the laptop. This is the setup that is in my truck and it works very well.

It seems that this technology is one of the fasted growing communication setups we have found. Chuck Deaton and I have been playing with this for almost 18 months and have found it to be very beneficial. The drawback is the initial costs, which many opt to not incur. But, being a tool freak, this was one that was a must for me.
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