Desktop WiFi

Can a desktop computer be somehow…made to operate on Wi-Fi rather than a landline?

Yes. You can get PCI cards with WiFi capabilities.

If you don’t want to bother opening up your desktop case, there are also WiFi USB dongles.

By WiFi do you mean via the cellphone system as used by a smartphone or tablet or do you mean just wireless to your router/modem and then on the landline?

This is often a good idea, as it moves the wifi device up away from the metal case of the PC, and above the furniture… You can more easily move the wifi dongle so that the wifi’s path is straight through a metal frame or thick (eg stone?) wall, as the wall may block radio waves that take an oblique path through it.

You bet. I use a usb wifi adapter on one of my PCs occasionally.

Google “usb wifi adapter” and you’ll find a buttload of them for sale.

Got one. Seems to work great with my Verizon MIFI Jetpack. I’ve only used it a few times though.

Just plugged the dongle/Arial into my desktop usb port, did a quick software load (from a CD that came with it) and good to go.

It was $25 or so from Amazon. Manufacturer is Glam Hobby. Dumb name, seems to be working well though.

I live in an apartment over someone’s house. They let me use their WiFi. The router is downstairs, not in my apt. I am connected to the Wi-Fi on my cell right now. Can my desktop access the Wi-Fi just as easily?

I just put a Net Gear wireless adapter on an older Dell Desk top, $40 at best buy. Installed software with the provided disk, works great took about 5 mins.

In a previous post I asked whether a desktop computer can access the internet through WiFi rather than broadband, etc, and know now that it can with a usb adapter. Here’s another question: How does that work? My computer is hooked up and running. The screen into the cpu and the cpu into the wall. I don’t have my router up and going, so it’s basically not internet compatible. My landlord, who lives downstairs, has his own computer that IS hooked to broadband and does have WiFi. With this adapter…do I just plug it in and go off his Wi-Fi the way I can from my cell or is there something else I need to do?

If you know the SSID and password, you just connect to his WiFi like you do with any other device.

The SSID is the “name” of the WiFi, correct? I have that and the password, I’m connected on my cell. So all I have to do is plug in the adapter and access it?

Would your landlord object to you using his wifi?

No. He gave me permission.

Great. beowulff’s advice is spot on, and it’s really easy.

Note that under Windows, configuring the WiFi adapter may be a bit of an adventure.
In theory, it should just be plug-and-play, but in practice you may need to install drivers and configure your network connection.

I merged two threads on the same topic. Jrubas, I think you can just ask your questions about WiFi here.

General Questions Moderator

What would that entail? I have Windows and fully expect to have to download some type of software (a lot of the things I’ve seen say a disc comes with the adapter). I’m not too tech savvy but I can reasonably figure something out if I know what to look for.

The device you get should come with a CD/DVD with the drivers on it.
If they’ve done a good job, there should be an installer which will do everything for you.

I’m a Mac guy, and I’m aghast at what Windows users have to go through sometimes.

Sigh. Just my luck. Anyway, thanks for all the help. I really appreciate it. Wish me luck.