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Old 04-12-2010, 03:14 PM   #1
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Default Simple computer question....please help

Ok, so I'm pretty computer illiterate and I have a quick question. I get my Internet through Comcast, and they supplied me with a modem, for which they charge me to rent. I was wondering if I could buy my own to avoid the rental fee. Also, my son likes to play his ps3 online, but to do this we have to disconnect the computer everytime he wants to play. So I'm assuming I need a wireless router? What's the difference between a wireless router and a wireless modem.

We are looking into a laptop also, so I would like the capability to be on my desktop, the laptop, and the ps3 at the same time, all while avoiding a rental fee from Comcast (not that we will be on all three at the same time often, I just want the capability to do so)...so what do I need to purchase to make this possible?

I have an iMac...not sure if that makes a difference in any of this

any help/advice would be appreciated
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Simple computer question....please help

Buy a Motorola cable modem or whatever is on sale. Make sure it is a cable modem and not for DSL. Then you need a D-Link router. Make sure you purchase a separate modem and router because the combo units are not as reliable.

A modem should be around $50 and an "N" wireless router is about the same.
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Simple computer question....please help

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Originally Posted by AllD View Post
Buy a Motorola cable modem or whatever is on sale. Make sure it is a cable modem and not for DSL. Then you need a D-Link router. Make sure you purchase a separate modem and router because the combo units are not as reliable.

A modem should be around $50 and an "N" wireless router is about the same.


Definitely Motorola cable modem... all I've ever used. I've worked with Linksys, Netgear, and D-Link wireless routers. I've used Netgear in all of my personal installations and always had success.

Don't forget to set security on your wireless. I still see unsecured networks out there when I browse for a new SSID.

My g/f and her mom have a macs from work and hooked it up to their wireless connections without issue.
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Simple computer question....please help

Oh, so I need a modem and a router....so whatever is on sale for both should
be good?
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Simple computer question....please help

Ok, so I guess I'll go with motorola....and security?? I guess that's so noone else can link in and use my Internet (like my neighbors)
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Simple computer question....please help

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Originally Posted by hindes204 View Post
Ok, so I'm pretty computer illiterate and I have a quick question. I get my Internet through Comcast, and they supplied me with a modem, for which they charge me to rent. I was wondering if I could buy my own to avoid the rental fee. Also, my son likes to play his ps3 online, but to do this we have to disconnect the computer everytime he wants to play. So I'm assuming I need a wireless router? What's the difference between a wireless router and a wireless modem.

We are looking into a laptop also, so I would like the capability to be on my desktop, the laptop, and the ps3 at the same time, all while avoiding a rental fee from Comcast (not that we will be on all three at the same time often, I just want the capability to do so)...so what do I need to purchase to make this possible?

I have an iMac...not sure if that makes a difference in any of this

any help/advice would be appreciated
The modem gives you your Internet connection. The router basically splits that connection - wirelessly, or not - to anyone who has the passcode (normally a series of numbers and letters on the back or bottom of the router case). The wireless router will almost certainly have ethernet ports (wired connections) which should be plug-n-play... you just plug into the jack and you're connected; no password, no nothing. So long as your neighbors don't have access to the text on the router casing, nor the ability to physically plug into your ethernet ports (look like slightly bigger phone jacks) your connection will be as rock solid secure as can be expected.

The busier your router, the slower your connection, as you may have guessed, although with the speed of today's cable connections, I doubt you'll notice much.

As far as iMac... Macs try to do everything for you, and 99% of the time that's great. Every now and again you'll need to tweak something like an Internet connection, and it will be very frustrating trying to turn off whatever automated functions the Mac is perpetually attempting.

The above has been my experience, anyhow. Take it with a grain of salt.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: Simple computer question....please help

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Ok, so I guess I'll go with motorola....and security?? I guess that's so noone else can link in and use my Internet (like my neighbors)
Yeah...even in my small lil neighborhood (where I have a "small" yard of 9 acres) there are a couple of wireless connections available that aren't password protected. No security = any number of problems to include things like viruses and such. I don't like people having access to my stuff. :P
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: Simple computer question....please help

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Originally Posted by AllD View Post
Buy a Motorola cable modem or whatever is on sale. Make sure it is a cable modem and not for DSL. Then you need a D-Link router. Make sure you purchase a separate modem and router because the combo units are not as reliable.

A modem should be around $50 and an "N" wireless router is about the same.
i'm not sure a ps3 will run off an N router... i think they might only run off of a B/G connection..

you can get a cable modem at walmart for like 65 bucks...suprisingly i bought my cheaper from the cable company for 60 ..

modems...
http://www.walmart.com/browse/Comput...&path=0%3A3944

routers...
http://www.walmart.com/browse/Comput...&catNavId=3951
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Simple computer question....please help

You also have another option when it comes to a router. I have both a wireless router AND a Powerline Network.

Powerline networks are nice and simple. You put a special plug into a wall socket, then one wherever you want to get the signal.

You get wired speeds, without having to run wires everywhere.

it is a tad bit more expensive right now... but it also enables you to hook up DirecTV to your system, Desktops that don't have wireless, etc. etc.
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Simple computer question....please help

Gaming is always better over a wired connection because it is faster than wireless. That being said he should have no issue gaming over wireless, I do it all the time for PS3. The one question you need to ask comcast before you purchase anything is will they allow you to buy your own modem and provision it for use? I would imagine Comcast will let you but I know my parents cable/internet provider does not allow this. It's a critical question to ask.
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