View Full Version : Wireless Internet Help needed.

11-11-2008, 07:47 PM
I know just enough about computers to make me dangerous and I hope some fellow caches can help me.

I am about to get a laptop computer and want to get wireless internet for it. My daughter is also getting a laptop for Christmas. I think I have the computer selected for my budget and I also will probably go with Alltel on my wireless internet since they are already my cell phone provider.

I have DSL at home but we have it along with our home phone package. I am thinking about doing away with the home phone and just using our cell phones. That would then do away with the DSL.

Here is what I need some information on:

We have a desktop computer and soon we will have two laptop computers. While at home would I be able to use a router to share the Alltel wireless internet with all 3 computers?

11-11-2008, 11:02 PM
David, you didn't say who your home carrier was , but if you have AT&T, they offer what is known as a "dry loop" service. It allows you to keep your DSL without having home phone service. Since I used my home service exclusive for internet, I immediately changed over once I became aware of this service. I save about $30 per month and still have the speed of DSL. Run that into a wireless router and all 3 of your computers can connect simultaneously. Other carriers may offer the same type of service. Just another option for you to consider.

11-12-2008, 07:29 AM
We have a desktop computer and soon we will have two laptop computers. While at home would I be able to use a router to share the Alltel wireless internet with all 3 computers?

Yep. A wireless router is what you need. Your incoming DSL line will connect to the modem, the modem will connect to the router, the router will connect to your desktop computer. The laptops will connect to the router wirelessly (is that a word?).


11-12-2008, 09:59 AM
You may want to check to see what the usage limits are on the wireless at&t cards. I have a co-worker who has just switched to a total wireless solution and did away with his dsl and he found out that he is only allotted so much bandwidth a month. He found this because he has a netflix subscription that allows him to stream movies to his pc. Well if you watch enough movies, you use a good chunk of bandwidth. If you download alot of big files you may end up using your limit as well. I think it's well into the 5-6 gigabytes per month range, but I'm not sure.

If all that checks out, then you can easily (I say easily, it never is it seems when your doing it) use all three computers on the same connection. You just have to figure out which computer do you want to be the "always on" computer so as to have a "gateway" to the internet. Using your desktop as the "central connection" may help some by preventing connectivity issues with the wireless card. Now I when you get one a card, usb is plug and play for the desktop and a laptop (so you can have it with you while you cache), but a pcmcia card will need an adapter to work with a desktop computer.

But all that aside, you'll need a wireless router and two laptops that are wireless enabled and a network card in your desktop (probably what your dsl hooks in already). You'll then configure your alltel card on whichever computer you want and once it's set up and working fine on that particular computer, you can go to the networking properties of that card and click a box that is something like "share this connection with other computers on my network". There may be another box that says "allow network computers to connect if disconnected" Between these two settings it should now allow other pc's to share your internet and will allow other pc's to connect if your "always on" computer is not connected at that moment.

I'll be glad to help walk you are talk you through more if need be. I may have oversimplified and I apologize if I did.

Good Luck

I am on a dry loop now which provides for dsl only for around 37 bucks a month.

11-12-2008, 11:15 AM
........I am thinking about doing away with the home phone and just using our cell phones. That would then do away with the DSL........
We have a package through Windstream (alltel) called the "Greenstreek" package. You get DSL but you have to have a landline for it so you get a phone number and they charge you .10 cents a minute to call out and is free for people to call in. We have a phone hooked up but we have the ringer turned off. We don't use the phone, we just have it for emergencies. We use our cell phones for everything. This package is less expensive than the DSL + home phone service.

11-12-2008, 03:48 PM
I currently have my home phone and DSL with Centurytel.

My mobile phone is with Alltel.

I am looking to try to do a couple of things. One is to save money while also have internet access at home and on the go. I currently only have internet access at home and would love to have it when on the go, but I still want to be able to use it at home while not adding a bunch of expense to what I already pay.

My current phone bill runs about $90 per month with the home phone, long distance, and DSL bundle. We really only use the DSL. We use our mobile phones to make all our long distance calls and almost all of our local calls.

I know that I could save money by doing away with my home phone and getting the wireless internet from Alltel, but I want to make sure I can also use it on all three computers even thought they would probably never all be going at the same time.

11-12-2008, 03:56 PM
David, I think you probably have the same provider as I do on this side of the river, Centurytel, if so, I checked on the dry loop that Woodwalker was talking about, and they told me that wasn's available, at least that is what they told me, the wireless cards are too expensive because it is about 60 bucks a month for each card, and you would need a card for each computer, If you have cable available, you could check to see if the cable provider has internet and you could run a wireless router off the cable internet box, then do away with your home phone and just have cell phones, Our daughter in Springdale has internet that way, thru the cable TV and no home phone.
I would go that way, but the cable where I live is really bad and the connection is not very dependable, so, I am stuck with DSL until they come with a "dry loop" option..
What ever broadband you use, cable or DSL you need to buy a router, it should have plugs in the back to hard wire a computer with eithernet cable also provide the wireless, that way all your computers can use your internet at the same time, the new laptops are coming out with N wireless that is much faster that the G, If you get a computer that has N, you can get one of the new "N" routers and the speed is much greater..

11-12-2008, 04:02 PM
OK I guess our posts crossed,, I had checked with Alltel and they told me $60 per month for 1 card, it is unlimited time, would work as long as you have a cell signal, the speed isnt that great around here, it is really fast in the NW ARk area, they told me they would be adding the higher speed throughout the state at a later date,, who knows what "at a later date" is, right now the high speed is in the Little Rock, Ft Smith and Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers area...
I would really like to have it sometime, would be nice to be on the internet and log a cache right as you found it, but $60 more per month, I will just have to wait.

11-12-2008, 04:34 PM
I have 3G (from AT&T) on my phone. It works ok for internet when you are on the go and have no other option, but I certainly wouldn't want to use it for my primary connection.


11-13-2008, 08:58 AM
To keep this going.

60 bucks a month for each card, and you would need a card for each computer

This is not the case, you can share the connection from the "cellular" card to your home wireless/wired connection.

My works gives us an alltel aircard for when we are on call to help make it more convenient when were out with family on weekends to work on important issues. The aircard works alright for what it is, but the speed is limited. I think it mainly connects around 112kb/s which is twice as fast as dial up. I do get better and worse days. I can do normal stuff with it okay like e-mail, ebay, geocaching, etc, but when it has to run something with more overhead like a secure, encrypted connection to work it gets fairly slow.

It can be done the way your thinking, but you'll just have to weigh the cost and benefits. On one hand it will be slower than dsl, but on the other you can take it with you.

Another option to think about is, how close do you live to a neighbor? If they plan on keeping their phone service for a while, just pay for their dsl and "beam" it to your house with wifi. That is what I'm going to do with my inlaws that don't live too far from me.

11-13-2008, 12:45 PM
This may not be available in your area, but we just got a really cool service from AT&T. It's called U-verse. It's like cable internet, but it comes from the phone company. We get 200 tv channels, high speed fiber optic internet, and unlimited local & long distance on our home phone for $119 a month. There was no equipment to buy and no contract to sign. The cable comes into the house & goes to a wireless router called a gateway which they provided. Everything runs from that gateway. It includes a DVR and we pay $5/month for a second DVR hookup. They even threw in a USB wireless receiver that plugs into our desktop computer because our computer is not located next to where they wanted to put the gateway. We bought a laptop, and with a little help from Geezer_Veazey we got a wireless network set up. Now if we want internet access on the go, we will still have to rely on hotspots, but I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there. We had a little bit of trouble with the service freezing up at first, but they've been back out a couple of times to do some trouble shooting and everything seems to be working great now. You might want to check & see if it's available where you live. I think it's a pretty good deal.

11-13-2008, 03:30 PM
jclaudi, interesting,, what other apparatus to you have to get to let the alltel air card go wireless to other computers in your home?? Would be interested in that maybe??
The people at alltel just told me that it would work on just one computer at a time??

11-14-2008, 09:58 AM
On a XP machine go to Start > Control Panel (classic view) > Network Connections > right click your LAN or High speed connection and choose properties > Then chose the Advanced tab at the top >

here you will see the firewall settings and the "Internet connection Sharing" settings. You can check the two boxes and other computers on your network can use this computers internet (through a wired or wireless network). You can click the learn more about link to read up on it some.

Basically you connect to the internet like normal with your air card, do the above setting change to allow other network users to connect through this computers internet connection, and then try using the internet on another computer. You may have to change the default gateway for the router to be the computer your currently on. That setting is different with every router on the market though and will have to addressed when you set it up.

The next I have the air card from work, I'll go through all the trouble and give it a try.

11-14-2008, 05:32 PM
OK, cool, thanks for that info, never knew that could be done, but then again I do good to turn one of these things on
Glad to know that...


11-16-2008, 08:57 PM
Have I ever said how much I love geocaching? It's not just the hunt for those hidden containers that makes me love it so much, its the PEOPLE. Thanks to everyone for their input and after being contacted by a cacher who has now sold me their router after letting me see if I could get it to work and it did.

I was able to connect to the internet with it with a new laptop we bought and almost forgot about our Wii that is now connected to the internet too.

I think I am going to continue to use my DSL while using my desktop as the gateway while being able to connect with our laptops while at home and then just look for hotspots while traveling.

Thanks again to the wonderful world of geocaching!

Paris, Arkansas

11-17-2008, 05:41 PM
Glad you got things going and we didn't confuse the issue too much
I know sometimes that happens, I have asked some questions before over on a shooting board in the past and I got so many different answers, I didn't know which way to go..

You will love that wireless for sure, we do.

After seeing stickerdudes iphone this weekend, sure makes my mouth water for one of those.....
I guess I could start picking up more aluminum cans to buy one 8)

11-18-2008, 09:22 AM
Well, to help your search for hotspots, and since you already have a gps, download a program called netstumbler. It was originally created for wardriving (people who drive around neighborhoods looking for free wifi). Netstumbler will record the strength, lot & lat, and if it's an open or encrypted connection while you drive. I've used it a few times on my treks from home to work and you'll be amazed at all the wifi you'll pass along the way.

Glad you got er going without much trouble. Now the question is, is your wireless network secure?

11-18-2008, 09:39 AM
I assume by you asking if my wireless is secure I guess you mean does it take a password to connect and the answer is yes.

The router is a Netgear N wireless router. When I was doing the setup it would get to a part where it said it would "Restart the Network". Each and every time I tried it there would be a message that said it could not find a connection. I then would click on a web browser and no internet. I would restart my computer and would again have internet.

I could not get to the step to do the security in setup so I was looking at the documentation on the CD and found the MAC address and entered it and WOOT I was into the router and changed the password.

I then pulled out my daughters Christmas present (don't tell) and it showed the network and when I clicked to connect it asked for a password.