I was recently given a laptop for convenience during my pregnancy and to finish up college. It is a fairly new laptop but im unsure of all of its capabilities & even the model. I think it is a HP Pavillion dv1000, if that even helps. It has Windows XP, but this is about all I know about it. It is quite sleek and modern (up-to-date), but my real concern is internet access--I have no idea where or what to start with. I have DSL access at home, but how can I use it via laptop in another room, or in the bed, or is that even possible? I also have access at my university, but what cords/cables/cards do I need? Basically I'm totally in the dark about accessing the internet & if anybody could PLEASE help me, I would appreciate it---if you know of a link with basic info or if you could give me a quick run-down, that would give this college-student, mother-to-be a huge relief!! I'm computer-literate, I just don't know what is needed or where to start, but I can catch on quick so your time will not be wasted. Thanks in advance for any advice!!
Your laptop should have built-in wireless networking, so you need a wireless router for home. Most colleges should also have wireless available. You need to find the wireless network utility, search for wireless networks and then connect.
I have the router above, and I can use my laptop within about 1/2 block radius of it. Anywhere inside your house shouldn't be an issue. Mine had tutorials and a wizard to make the setup a piece of cake. It also allows you to secure your connection so that your computer is the only wireless device that can use it (more important in urban areas).
Theoretically, wireless isn't as fast but I haven't seen a significant difference. Be warned, though, you probably won't go back to a desktop once you try it!!!
When you have everything set up, make sure your close the router when you first try to connect your laptop from the wifi signal. I had my wifes new Vista laptop upstairs trying to connect for the first time and it wouldn't. Then I took it downstairs close to the router and it went thru on the first try from there.