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I have very recently switched my Internet provider from Telus to Shaw and have learned (am very tech challenged so could be wrong here) I must now purchase a router if I want a wireless connection for my laptop. From what I can gather, this was something Telus included with their modem. As mentioned, I'm not too computer savvy and am hoping someone might be able to confirm and/or expand on this and advise me of anything I should know when buying a router. My funds are low after moving and just purchasing a new laptop, so am definately on a budget. An email from Shaw regarding this also mentions a wireless network adaptor. I do not know what this is or if is something I need to aquire in addition to a router? Have no idea if this is relevant, but I have a Toshiba Satellite L450 and Shaw high speed in internet. I would be very grateful for any help with this! Thanks in advance!
 

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Your laptop more than likely has a wireless card so you do not neet a wireless network adapter

any wireless router should work.

I have a cheap DLInk router and I had no major problems with it.
The cheapest is like 40 bucks at FS.

What is your budget as you can expect to spend over a hundred bucks for a good one.
 

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While some may be better than others, any WiFi router should work. Try the usual suspects, such as NCIX, TigerDirect, Future Shop etc. Assuming your notebook computer has a wireless NIC, check to see what it can do (802.11b, g, n etc.) to find the most suitable router.
 

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AND Most Importantly....

regardless of which one you get, CHANGE the default password and apply at least some form of wireless security.
WPA or WPA2 over the easily crackable WEP.

If this puzzles you, get the store or a tech savvy friend to help you.
It's an absolute must to protect you from all sorts of bad things from drive by hackers breaking into your laptop to neighbors stealing your internet connection and surfing to kiddie porn sites on your account.

If this scares you, it should.
DO IT NOW!
 

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^^^^
And don't use an easy to break password, such as a pet's name etc. You can get 63 random character passwords from www.grc.com. Click on Services > Perfect Passwords. I use the alpha-numeric only ones, as some devices choke on punctuation characters.

Here's an example of the passwords that site generates:
xEqij2Acs7z9pOe5ffMsg2n6IiZcGfFdZLZ2Oak1L3GVK4obD0X46aWDPF5hyex

Every time the page is loaded, it generates new passwords.
 

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Somehow im guessing that a non-techie is going to want a 63 random character password. I suggest a silly phrase like "TheSpoonIsPurple" or "TheFatManIsLosingHisHair"
 

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If you're looking for a fairly decent and inexpensive solution, grab a D-Link DIR-615. Both of my daughters are running those in their homes and they seem to work pretty well and support the latest "N" wireless mode as well as the older "B" and "G" modes. It also comes with a CD to help automate the setup and the router has a quick setup for encrypted wireless with a single button press.

You should be able to grab one in your area for around $60 bucks (that's all I paid each for them but you have to shop around between all the usual suspects to find that price). Range also seems to be pretty decent on them as well for wireless.

If you do setup the wireless yourself, make sure the encryption is set for WPA or preferably WPA2, not WEP as WEP has been cracked years ago as previously mentioned. Passphrase is up to you but ANY password that is a combination of alphanumeric and random caps should be ok and easier to remember. Substituting numbers for letters helps to remember as well. Example: aUt0mat1C

And Moose57 was correct, make sure you change the default access password in the router and good idea to also change the SSID (this is the name the router broadcasts over the air) to something that doesn't personally identify you or the brand of your router. Most of them come with a default SSID that identifies the manufacturer. As he mentioned, grab a techy friend to help you set this up if you're not sure or use the install CD. You only have to do this once and your done.

Cheers!

James
 

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What they said. Any of the major brand names will do a decent job. That includes Linksys, Trendnet, Asus, Cisco and D-Link. Wireless-N are the fastest but will go no faster than the card in the laptop. For internet use, a wireless-G model is fast enough (faster than most internet connections) and might save money.

Prices vary widely and there are often great deals to be had so shop around as much as possible. I've seen routers for as little as $10 after discounts and rebates. I just found an 'ASUS RT-N13U Wireless N Router' for $35 (after rebates) which is a heck of a good deal. This model includes a print server for attaching a printer to the network.
 

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^^^^
And for internet access, no faster than your internet connection. Even "b" is fast enough for many.
 

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Most high-speed Internet connections are faster than 802.11b (don't go by maximum "claimed" speed - 802.11b won't come close to 11mbps in actual use, not to mention I don't think manufacturers are making any 802.11b-only products anymore).
 

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^^^^
I'm on cable and get 10 Mb down & 1 up. However, many on ADSL do not get that, as the bandwidth depends on loop length and quality. For them b, would be plenty. However, g has been common for many years and provides more bandwidth than most people can get. I believe Rogers now has something around 30 Mb down and I doubt there are many ADSL subs that can get anywhere near that. So, the bottom line, for most users, is g is fine. For the average user, n won't get them any better internet access. I wouldn't recommend b, as any gear that supports only that likely won't support WPA encryption. If you move a lot of big files around your local network, then n would have an advantage.

BTW, many (~30) years ago, I used to work on part of the Air Canada reservation system, where the lan ran at 8 Mb/s on the high speed loop and 2 Mb on the low speed. They pushed a lot of data through that network. This was in the pre-ethernet days and the lan used time slots (Time Division Multiplexing), instead of packets.
 

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x.25 and ARCNET? (archaic Net) 3270 or 5250?

I've had DSL running at a solid 15M and for those in areas where IPTV is offered, it quite possible 25 to 30 M service is available.

It comes down to budget vs speed.
10/100 G for the budget and Gig-E Dual Band N for speed.

I run a pair of Gig-E N class and even Gig-E on the backbone can be a bottleneck for my home lan needs.
 

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^^^^
No, it wasn't x.25 etc. Arcnet was a packet based system, just like ethernet. This lan goes back to the '60s with the low speed loop the one originally used. As I mentioned, it was a time division multiplex system, where a frame circulated around the loop. A device that wanted to transmit was assigned a time slot and when that slot came around, it transmitted one whole byte of data. The receiver would then listen to that time slot. This is similar in principle to the way the old T1 phone system worked, where each channel transmitted a single byte in each frame.
 
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