New to Wireless Networking and having difficult time understanding it

Well, I just recently got my first laptop and my first smart phone so I have never really setup a wireless network before. I do understand the basics. There is access point and devices connect to it, but there are few other questions / concerns I have.
My laptop came with intel WiMax and Wifi but both can't be used at the same time. I see that Clear, Comcast, AT&T and few other ISP's offer WiMAX connectivity (provide access point?) but since my Toshiba Laptop has WiMAX already, do I need to get the USB gadgets those ISP's offer? Also I see there are some other gadgets that allow to connect up to 5 devices. It is a wireless box that connects to ISP access point and then WiFi to my devices. So it seems to me these are just two options, first is USB gadget that will only work for the device USB is connected to and second is up to 5 devices gadget. Do the stand alone gadget get WiMAX from ISP and then gives me WiFi or can it give me WiMAX so I can utilize my laptops build in WiMAX, Can I call an ISP and tell em I have WiMAX laptop and have it connected without any gadgets. I have cable internet at home. I am seeing that there are WiMAX routers, but again I do not understand if they will create WiMAX hot spot (access point) for my laptop? Or WiMAX router means it will take WiMAX from ISP and give me WiFi only. Is the stand alone gadget same thing as WiMAX router?
Now for my phone. I just got my first smart phone and already regret it is not 4G but 3G but it seems I can't use facebook app or youtube app if I am not connected to WiFi spot. Is my phone broken or it only does these apps when in WiFI. My new phone is LG Thrive P506. I have looked at the specs and manul and user guide but it just explains what each button does but I should be able to at least surf the net with 3G that it has.
Summary. Basically since I have cable internet at home and I want to surf my laptop at the park. I am wondering if I can create my own WiMAX hot spot / access point and if not what other options do I have?
First time in my life I have seen the Clear setup at my neighbours. He has 4G modem with LAN out to a wireless router that sends WiFi, the modem doesnt do WiFi but ethernet wire only.
Seems to me I can't create my own WiMAX / 4G hotspots.
Also seems I have to get the USB gadget for my laptop if I want to take it to the park?
For my phone, the only option is WiFi access point created at home or the ones avaliable at cafes.
So I can't have my smartphone and laptop connect wirelessy to each other as neither of them are access points. I mean I can do ad-hoc but it only going to confuse me more. I was trying to look at some kind of schemat or picture how all wireless works but could not find anything interesting.
My Last Point. It seems that wireless connection has many limitations. Having my own WiMAX or 4G access point running off my cable is not avaliable at this moment, nor getting 4G phone and wifi it to laptop so laptop has internet or vice versa, getting laptop connected to WiMAX and then wifi to my phone. I mean my laptop you cant turn both WiFi and WiMAX on. Its either on or the other one. So if its either one. I can't bring laptop to park with WiMAX and then WiFi my smartphone to laptot.
Then again I have read somewhere I could create a hotspot for the whole neighbourhood but it won't be wiMAX but wifi.

Thank You
3 answers Last reply
More about wireless networking difficult time understanding
  1. Wow, now that's a mouthful, LOL :D

    To be honest if you want Wi-Fi any place outside of your house you have two options.
    #1 would be to buy one of those wireless access points. The type you described as being able to connect 5 devices.
    #2 would be to use any free Wi-Fi hotspots in the area from say a restaurant or cafe or something.

    I really would stay away from the whole WiMax thing only because you really do not need a proprietary system that only the laptop can use. You want regular old Wi-Fi that any device can use.

    As for home, since you already have service all you need is a wireless router. Then you should have no problem getting internet access with the phone or the laptop. Just make sure you set up the wireless security on the router, and also enter all of your security connection information into anything you want to connect to the internet. This way your neighbors will not be using your wi-fi and slowing down your internet.

    As far as the apps on the phone, no, it is not broken. Any app that is something on the internet will usually require you to be connected to a Wi-Fi signal to access it.
  2. Sorry for mouth full but when I do research and still do not understand, I panic.
    But my goal is to have laptop and my smart phone have wireless internet access at the park without paying for two separate accounts. I mean my phone gets 3g but my Laptop does not. I was kind of hoping I would have wimAX on laptop and then wifi from laptop to smart phone, but I guess it is not possible (unless its adhoc).
    So my other option is the 5 devices gadget but then again the device must be connected to power source so I can't really take it to a park (lol unless i run it off the car).
    Is there a service provider that will allow me more than 1 device (laptop and smart phone) by having just one plan/account and without having the wireless router/modem? My smart phone gets internet but how can i share it with my laptop. bluetooth?
    It just sucks that my laptop cant be an access point while being connected to ISP thru wimax.
  3. Hopefully someone can come up with a better solution for you. But the only way i know would require you to have some sort of mobile wireless hot spot. The phone and laptop would be able to use that anywhere they are.
    As far as a home PC, well if you wanted to you could buy a wireless card or router and then that could also pick up from the access point when you have it at home. But of course those are not real cheap and they are a pay service just like your home internet. But if you tested it for say a month and you are fine with how well the home PC does with the wireless signal you could always just cut off the home service and go strictly with just the hot spot. Almost every phone company out there has their own version of this. Problem is you would not be able to cut off the mobile hot spot due to the phone companies contracts (normally 2 years just like a phone plan)

    They do not need to be plugged in all the time, like your cell phone they run on a small battery (usually you can get about 5 hours between charging). Big downside is that like a phone plan they are not cheap and usually require a contract. For instance the one from AT&T costs $269.99, then they have you sign a 2 year contract and drop off $200 making it just 69.99 to buy. And you of course would have to ask how much the internet plan itself is on a monthly basis. But i have seen many people that get these 4G mobile hot spots and use them for all of their internet needs dropping their home service instead. But that will be a choice you would have to look into and consider.
    The equipment you would need is the hot spot, the wireless plan from the phone company, and a wireless card, gaming adapter, or router for the home PC which would not have built in wi-fi like the phone and laptop.

    All things considered it is not a huge initial investment if you can use it for all of your internet needs. But for cost savings you would have to drop the home internet plan you have now. The upside is that you would then have your own personal internet access anywhere you go.
Ask a new question

Read More

Configuration Laptops Internet Service Providers Wimax Wireless Networking