New laptop ??

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by msmelle, Mar 14, 2007.

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  1. msmelle

    msmelle Registered Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Startrek land, Quebec, Canada
    Hi everyone. Just wanted to say for starters that I bought a new laptop this week and returned it cause it had vista on it and it bugged, wouldn't shut down properly 8 times out of 10 and a royal pain in the ....... I had 2 gb ram but it wasn't nearly enough to get that darn thing. Anyway now that my griping is over, I bought a 1 gib with XP Media edition and it works like a charm. So here is my question..

    My desktop is in a room and my laptop usually in the kitchen. I would like to be able to hook them together to transfer lots of files. I bought a crossover cable (yellow cable with two big phone line like looking things). boy that is professional explanation now isn't it....lol) But I think I'm suppose to create a network or something to be able to use it. I haven't a clue how to do that.

    Also, someone said that if I create a network, when I'm working on my laptop, anyone else around the neighborhood will be able to see my stuff if they want or log onto my network and use my braodband....or is it called bandwidtho_O Should I get a router to connect the two computers to the interneto_Oo_O and if this is a wireless connection, I guess someone can log onto my network cause I had the laptop in the kitchen yesterday and I have a wireless connection thingy and it logged onto someone elses internet? I guess that person has a network or router or something. I know next to nothing about that stuff. Now if I can connect to the internet just by clicking connect in my kitchen and connect to someone else's network, doesn't it mean they can connect to mine? even if I have no cables or router or nothing installedo_O Why is thato_O

    How do I prevent someone from connecting to my network if I put the two computers on a network? The guy at Staples said they put in a huge password but didn't want to explain how to do it because they have to charge me $60.00 to do it. I know this other guy who told me today at the coffee shop that he is presently learning how to hack those passwords. Now what's the point in protecting ourselves *costly I might add* if some jerk comes along and hacks right in anyway?. I guess wireless connections aren't very safe. I don't want anyone to be able to hack into my banking cause I do it on the main computer......not the laptop but if they are both connected through a network, can't anyone get ono_O??

    I know this is allot of questions but what I would like to do is one of two things:::

    Connect the two computers together *without* connecting the laptop to the internet so I can transfer large files and documents instead of transferring over on a flash drive,,,,,,,,,,,,,,ORRRRRRRRRRRR

    be able to connect to the internet with the laptop by using my own ISP's bandwidth instead of someone else's and not have anyone else be able to tap into mine either.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated. By the way, my cable is 25 feet long which is a bit more than the distance between the kitchen table and the desktop in the other room.

    Please advise if I've confused you here. hahahaha Thank you all kindly for your replies.


    Thank you kindly for your help :):)
     
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Posts:
    8,698
    Re: New laptop o_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_O?

    Hello,

    Some basic things:

    First, if anyone wants to charge you 60 dollars for explanation how to use your wireless card - you should smash him in the face and return the goods. Don't let the low-tech bullies play an upper hand with you.

    Second, understanding some basic things:

    Your connection can be piggybacked. However, if you are using wireless connection that is not passworded, someone else could use the wireless card to connect to the Internet - as if you were using it yourself. This means less throughput for you. So, you need to password your connection.

    Your connection can also be listened to. With land lines, it is more difficult, because you need a physical connection to the infrastructure. With wireless, this is easier. Both connections can be listened to and packets analyzed if your connection is not encrypted.

    Now, what do you have at home? A router? And you have two computers?

    You can connect the desktop to the router using a cable / wireless - if the desktop has such an network card.
    You can connect the laptop to the router using wireless - if possible with your router - or cable.
    You can connect the two computers with cable - or wireless if both have such cards).
    If you do not have a router, you can connect one or the other to the internet and share the connection with the second computer.

    So please elaborate on this before I give you any advice regarding this setup.

    Either way, you should use a firewall on each PC to control inbound and maybe also outbound network traffic. XP firewall is ok, but you could also try some other.

    Sharing - again I need more info, but here are some points:

    If desktop connects both to internet and laptop simultaneously, you will need two cards in it. The same goes for laptop. Unless one will connect to the internet through the other, in which case the 'client' needs only one card.

    Sharing means creating a private local network for your computers, with a local subset of IP addresses that is not accessible from the internet. Then, create shared folders on both computers.

    This is so far. Ask again if you need help.

    Mrk
     
  3. msmelle

    msmelle Registered Member

    Joined:
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    Posts:
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    Location:
    Startrek land, Quebec, Canada
    Re: New laptop o_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_O?

    Thank you for your help. I'm not sure if I got all of it but here is what I have.

    I have a HP Pavillion A-122n or something like that. The laptop is a Toshiba Satellite. It already has a wireless connection built in from what I can see because I was at the local coffee shop the other day and was able to connect directly to a local real estate company nearby. I guess there's isn't secure. haha

    The thing I possess presently is a long crossover cable that I can put from laptop to pc. I believe my desktop computer has wireless connection that can be enabled or disabled. I dhink it is disabled for the time being because I only have my isp connection and the ethernet card installed in my connections. It's called FireWire something or other.

    Ii do not have a router or any other cards.

    Laptop: XP Media Edition
    1 gb ram, 110 gb hd
    1.73 MHz

    Desktop XP Home
    1 gb ram, 250 gb hd
    1.78 MHz

    I have Sympatico as my ISP in Canada and have high speed telephone connection through a modem.

    I'm not sure if I'm answering all of your questions but feel free to ask again if I've left something out. And thank you kindly for your help. PS. I have windows firewall on both active. I've tried other firewalls but they are so invasive. Do you have any suggestions on a good firewall that is not too demanding?

    Melle :)
     
  4. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
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    2,969
    Location:
    Portland, OR (USA)
    Re: New laptop o_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_O?

    Attached below is a very basic diagram of what you would most likely want to do.

    Getting a wireless router, such as a Linksys WRT54G series (I like the WRT54Gx4), would ultimately be easiest. The desktop computer is connected to the router by a cable, and the laptop would connect wirelessly.

    Wireless routers have 3 common ways to encrypt the connection between the router and the laptop: WEP, WPA, and WPA2.
    - If you have no encryption at all, anyone and everyone will be able to connect to your network at will.
    - WEP, which is the oldest of the three, is easily cracked. The average person probably wouldn't, but "war drivers" and the neighborhood rebel geek looking to cause trouble might.
    - WPA and WPA2 are not yet crackable. That doesn't mean that they won't be in the future, but you could use WPA or WPA2 and expect to not have any troubles.

    These are important, because you would want to make sure that the router you get supports at least WPA, if not WPA2. There are still quite a few cheapy routers that only support WEP, so you would want to look closely at the fine print on the box for that.

    When you get the router, you would follow the included instructions to set it up. Generally this means plugging it all in and running a setup CD. Sometimes these setup CDs will help you encrypt the connection, sometimes not. I'm sure you could get help here or elsewhere (whether another forum or a tutorial) on setting it up. The exact steps would depend on the router you get, it would be best to do some Googling after you get the router (and before you enable the wireless). There are also some software packages out there to help you with this (McAfee makes one, but there are others), but I would ultimately say it's best to configure the router yourself. Once you have instructions, it's not too terribly hard.

    One thing you would want to do is to disable "ad hoc connections" (that's where other computers wirelessly connect directly to your laptop). That is something you can do now, and it would prevent your laptop from connecting to anything other than a router. There are also a few wireless security programs out there that will run on your laptop and prevent it's wireless connection from being abused. You can find a few in the "resources" link in my signature (some are free, some are not).

    Yes, you COULD do a direct connection with a crossover cable, but the above would be the easiest in the long run, and after you get it all set you wouldn't have to do anything more. You could wander around the entire house using the local network as well as the internet from the laptop via the wireless connection. With WPA or WPA2 encryption, you would not need to worry about unauthorized people accessing your network. As the (wireless) technology evolves you would want to keep up for security's sake, but that's no different than anything else. If you wanted to, you could also leave an unused network cable plugged into the router, and plug the other end into the laptop when you're within reach and disable the wireless on your notebook during that time. Most notebooks have a button/switch somewhere on the outside to turn the wireless on and off.

    Once it's all set up, you could either share files directly across the network using the built-in file sharing functionality in Windows, or you could use a third party synchronizing program. A good free one is FolderShare - which will synchronize selected folders on any systems you wish from anywhere, including over the internet. It also allows you remote access to the files on your computer from a web browser (it does so securely), and also lets you share files with other people, in a way that they can download without being able to mess with your files in any way (so for instance you could share a folder of your music or picture files with friends). There are other sync programs out there as well.

    Yes, you do want a firewall on all PCs. If you don't want to deal with prompts, the Windows Firewall is indeed acceptable. If you want something more robust and you don't mind using a firewall that prompts you to allow applications to use the internet, then there are firewalls like ZoneAlarm, Look'n'Stop, and others. Some are easier to use than others. Some are free while others are not.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2007
  5. msmelle

    msmelle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Posts:
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    Location:
    Startrek land, Quebec, Canada
    Re: New laptop o_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_O?

    Thank you so much both of you for your help. I will save these posts and reread carefully and follow directions. :):) Melle
     
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