laptop wifi question

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by Schweisshund, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. Schweisshund

    Schweisshund Well-Known Member

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    Is there a wifi usb stick that I can buy at walmart or bestbuy that will allow me to have internet access anywhere? Something I can pay upfront for?

    Sorry if this is a new question.
     
  2. mygunstoo

    mygunstoo Active Member

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    Check with the cellular carriers. They offer an USB type device that connects to cell towers pretty much like a smart phone.

    Or use your smart phone as a hot spot and connect your laptop to it.
     

  3. rmodel65

    rmodel65 Yukon Cornelius

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    i think straight talk offers a separate hot spot you can buy and get date for
     
  4. Schweisshund

    Schweisshund Well-Known Member

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    My data plan does not include a wifi hotspot - how do I go about getting the "WiFi Wireless Adapter With Antenna USB LAN Card for internet access."?

    Do they sell this at best buy or walmart?

    I am an OTR truck driver, having internet on the road means a lot to me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
  5. mygunstoo

    mygunstoo Active Member

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    Unless you laptop is very old, it should have the wifi interface already installed. Your smart phone should also have the option to create a hotspot for wifi in the settings menu.

    Just out of curiosity, what laptop do you have?
     
  6. Schweisshund

    Schweisshund Well-Known Member

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    I have a Dell with windows 10 installed Intel core i5-2520m CPU @ 2.50 GHz it has the built in wifi antennae, the problem is having wifi availability while on the road. My iPhone does not have the mobile hotspot option in my settings menu
     
  7. mygunstoo

    mygunstoo Active Member

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    If your iPhone does not have a personal hot spot under settings then what rmodel65 suggests is the way to go.

    But before you do that I would double check.
     
  8. Craftsman

    Craftsman Well-Known Member

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    Let's get terms correct. Otherwise y'all are discussing the telecom equivalent of "the shoulder thingy that goes up". Wi-Fi is defined by the IEEE 802.3 standard set. I say set because it keeps getting extended and expanded over time. 802.3 goes way, way back to co-ax hardwired Ethernet and handles the most modern local wired and short range wireless communications.

    It does NOT cover wireless communication via your mobile provider. That is a totally different set of standards, none of which are even remotely related. 2G, 3G, 4G, etc. are "G"enerational changes. Too complex to explain here; sort of the level of difference between the Wright Flyer, a Douglas DC3, and a F-35 Fighter.

    You are looking for a 4G adapter for your laptop in a USB form factor. Most wireless providers will give you one of these if you sign up for a fixed duration contract. That should tell you where the money is made. I strongly suggest getting a trial version and testing it out before committing for a long duration. Beware the contract. Getting out, even if service sucks where you need it most, is very hard.
     
  9. Schweisshund

    Schweisshund Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.

    I have been looking into getting a satellite for my truck too - the cheapest one I have seen costs about 1k to install and I have to pay a monthly subscription. I really do not see the benefit in that when there are so many wifi hotspots I can check in to.

    Here's the thing ... most major truck stops have wifi, but you have to pay for their wifi. Not a huge deal, if it was just uniform, but it is not. Each truck stop has their own "branded" wifi, and each one requires a paid subscription. Even the "free" wifi of a subway, wendy's, mcdonalds, etc. that are set up inside of these truck stops, the signal is somehow geo-fenced, so you cannot even really use the free wifi without the truck stop's wifi interupting every 5 seconds - even if you "forget' their wifi, it still interrupts.

    I want my own standalone wifi usb stick thingie whatchamacallit, and if I have to pay a monthly subscription, that's fine. It's better than paying for 4 or 5 different subscriptions.
     
  10. mygunstoo

    mygunstoo Active Member

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    What kind of iPhone do you have?
     
  11. Schweisshund

    Schweisshund Well-Known Member

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    It's an iphone5 still under contract. Sprint.
     
  12. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    Sorry that this is off topic, but where can I get one of those "shoulder thingy's that go up"? Everyone talks about them, but no one says where to buy them. :)
     
  13. maggie

    maggie New Member

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    Some folks on ODT have a thread about something called 4G Community, been looking in to it myself
     
  14. phantoms

    phantoms Senior Mumbler

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    If your phone is capable and your provider allows it, "tethering" is an option. Some older phones allowed tethering without the provider knowing it. I had a HTC HD2 that did this. It used the phones data without alerting the provider that there was something tethered to the phone. Most modern phones alert the provider though.
     
  15. GM404

    GM404 Well-Known Member

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    Something that might work for you is available from Freedom Pop. Basically, it's a cellular type device that acts as a hotspot that transmits the Wi-Fi signal you would use on your laptop. I used it several years ago to access the internet at work for websites that weren't allowed on my "official" work station. Basically, I had a personal laptop and used a Freedom Pop hotspot to connect. If you don't use a ton of data, it's a very reasonably priced plan. Most months for me it was free, but that was several years ago and I didn't use it to stream anything other than occasional music.

    https://www.freedompop.com/wireless-internet
     
  16. AtlPhilip

    AtlPhilip Proud GCO member.

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    Back to definitions.

    WiFi has a VERY short range (~100m) and is provided by the location you are at. Some are free, others not. If the location you are at charges, you must pay to access their network. The gateway is their equipment, and there is no adapter that will bypass this. When you leave the parking lot, you will lose WiFi signal from all providers.

    Cellular data is provided by cell provider towers and covers large parts of the country. It is a subscription service and requires an adapter from a specific service. You can get a USB adapter, a standalone device, or an added feature to your smart phone. I use the latter.

    Your carrier modifies the phone OS to cause that behavior. If you buy a phone directly from the provider it will not be encumbered in this way. There are some apps that will directly tether and bypass the built in functionality. Also, if your data plan is large enough (mine is VZW 15GB) tethering is no cost.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017