We have two DSL modems on two separate lines, one of which supports wireless DSL and is used with my laptop. The other modem doesn’t support wireless and is used by my wife’s desktop. Is there any reason I can’t swap the two modems? That is, I want to use the wireless-supporting modem with my wife’s desktop, and use her older nonwireless one with my laptop. This would be a prelude to eventually giving up the second DSL line and having the one wireless DSL modem support both of our computers.
Are they both for the same provider?
Do you have static IP addresses?
If the answers are “yes” and “no” respectively, then you should be able to swap them. If you’re not sure, you could at least try to swap them. The worse  that would happen is the DSLAM/router which provides you DSL signal would fail to recognize the modem, and you don’t connect.
 Barring worse case senario theater, that is.
Give up the more expensive / slower DSL line, and plug the other DSL modem into a wireless router. This will give you wireless for the laptop and wired for the desktop.
I’ve not seen a DSL modem that directly does wireless - does it also do security? Most wireless broadband routers have security functions. (firewall, port forwarding, etc., not to mention WEP / WPA wireless security) A rather popular one of these is the Linksys WRT54G - it’s often available for $50 or so.
I have one - the Westell 327W. Verizon DSL gives them out. It has just about all the security features (both wireless and firewall-related) of your average low-end wireless router, and four Ethernet ports to boot.
I’m assuming the modem I got later does support wireless access–it’s got a “Wireless” LED indicator, and a little antenna looking sort of thingy that presumably goes with it. I do know that I need additional equipment for my laptop to make it work with the wireless modem.
Maus, what do you mean by “static IP addresses”?
Some ISPs will assign an IP address that will belong to you, and you alone. It’s programmed into your modem or router, and the DSLAM will be looking for that IP address. This is very rarely used for home application, since it severly limits the pool of availible IP addresses an ISP may have. I guess you could say this is one of those “if you have to ask” situations.
It’s more likely that you have an assignable IP address. This means you get a different IP address whenever you sign on. Since not all of an ISP’s customers will be logged on at the same time, they can save money by requesting fewer IP addresses.
I’m sure there’re people who could better explain it. I just install the lines.