February 27th, 2010, 02:24 PM #1
Wireless Internet access
I'm looking to ditch the desktop and go laptop .....
1) What's the difference between WiFi & BlueTooth?
1a) Why would I want one or the other?
1b) Can they happily co-exist on the same laptop or are they mutually exclusive?
1c) Are these equally available as remote hotspots? (Starbucks, libraries, airports, etc., What other hotspots are available besides these?)
2) If I get a wireless modem from my cable company -- and I live in a MUD (multi-unit-dwelling; i.e., apartment or condo) -- what s/w or h/w do I need to keep my neighbors from piggy-backing on my internet connection and stealing my bandwidth?
February 27th, 2010, 04:31 PM #2
WiFi has higher bandwidth capability and longer range, good for laptop data connectivity. bluetooth is much shorter range, good for accessories that don't need to be too far away (headsets, ps3 controllers, etc). there are also differences in security, as well.
wifi is what you want for a laptop/network connection.
new laptops typically have both now. you can use the bluetooth to connect to your phone or your headset.
hotspots are wifi based. I don't know of any that are bluetooth based. it wouldn't make much sense.
my guess is that your wireless modem/router will have either WEP (old security) or WAP (newer security). you can set a password so only you can get on your network.
March 1st, 2010, 11:13 AM #3
nosoupforyou pretty much nailed it down as far as the services go.
Starbuck's uses WiFi, as do most hot spots. I have AT&T wifi, which I pay $19.95/month, and that allows me to use the starbucks connection, as well as any other AT&T wifi spots.
Most hotels have wireless internet access that you can get when you stay. Just ask the desk clerk what the password or user id is (Usually your room number and their zip code, or 12345). You do not need anything except the wireless card in your laptop for those.
If you want to keep your desktop, and use the laptop also, you can get a wireless router for your home. Just switch out the current router you have, replace it with a wireless one, and you should be able to get online from your laptop anywhere in the house. As for people piggybacking, you have options of having a secured network (Need username / PW), or unsecured. You would just follow whaterver instructions when setting up your wireless network at home.
Hope this helps...Good luck
March 2nd, 2010, 12:50 PM #4
How does your "AT&T wifi" differ from the use of aircards (thin, credit-card-size modem+antenna that slids into an ExpressCard slot in your laptop)? Last time I looked, most cell carriers charged ~$80/month for that kind of service.
Originally Posted by KernCoKingFan
What kinds of institutions/structures (besides Starbucks) host these "other AT&T wifi" spots?
March 3rd, 2010, 01:02 PM #5
Aircards are direct satellite links to the internet, like if you were to use a cell phone as a modem. It can be used anywhere a cellular signal is available, and is not dependent on having another internet connection and router.
Wifi is a link to a wireless modem at a location, where you use that modem to connect to the internet. AT&T wifi, I believe, is paid at locations where its available unless you have some type of AT&T internet service, but I'm not too sure about that. One way or another, in this method is like hooking an ethernet cable from the router to you computer, except wirelessly. If you're not somewhere where you can connect to the router (out of range of your "ethernet cable") you get no internet.
Places where AT&T provides a wifi connection:
AT&T Wi-Fi Locations
Other businesses/locations may offer other types of wifi from different internet service providers at differing costs (some are free).