Wireless Internet for your Desktop Computer, Only $5

August 2, 2006 | 7 Comments

Summary: Most people know that Notebooks and Laptops can connect to the Internet without wires. A cheap PCI adapter can allow your Desktop computer to access the Internet through your wireless router just like a laptop notebook computer.

So, you’ve gotten over the hurdle of having one Internet connected computer in your home, and now that your family can’t live without it, they’re often fighting over who gets to use it. So maybe it’s time for a second or third Internet connected computer in your home.

Maybe you have a work laptop or notebook computer you bring home from work and you wish you had a “Wi Fi” Hotspot so you didn’t have to go to Starbucks or Panera bread to check your email.

Don’t be frightened. This will be easier than you think ;)

A “router” is a box that allows you to share your single Internet connection with more than one computer. A wireless router allows you to share a single Internet connection with more than one computer, including computers that can connect without wires, like laptops, notebooks, and PDA’s. Wireless routers are used to create what is sometimes called a Wireless Internet Wi-Fi hotspot.

It’s easy to tell a regular router from a wireless router because wireless routers generally have two prominant antennas that are used to send and receive the Internet signal to your laptop or wireless computer. You may have noticed that you can buy cheap wireless routers for as little as $10 after rebate.

Many people don’t know that you can buy a simple adapter that will allow you to allow your desktop computer to connect wirelessly to the Internet just like a laptop computer can.   A wireless adapter for your desktop computer looks like this:
pci-wifi.jpg

So, how difficult is it to install a PCI card? Generally, it’s more difficult to get the cover off your desktop computer box than it is to install the card. The card will come with instructions and software to install, but in general, you’ll power down your computer and unplug it from the wall. Then you find an open slot that has exposure to the back of your computer. They’re very easy to spot. You’ll remove a Philips screw that holds a cover on the slot, then firmly press the card into the slot and replace the screw. Replace the cover, start the computer, and install the software.

These WI-FI network adapter cards are often $25 or more, but the one at the link below is FREE after rebate, with only a $5 ground shipping charge. You must purchase by 8/15 to be eligible for the rebate:

Click here for a WiFi Internet adapter for your desktop Computer

Of course, putting a card in your computer isn’t as easy as connecting a cable, but there are a few reasons you may want to take this wireless approach for your desktop computer:

  • You’ve decided that you want to move your desktop computer to another room where the cable modem isn’t. This card, with a wireless router, makes the move easier.
  • You may want to buy a second computer for your family, but you want to put it in another room so your kids don’t kill each other. Using this wireless card is much easier than hiding 50′ of cable.
  • At $5, this PCI Wireless adapter is less expensive than a 25′ network cable.

Please write if you have any questions about Technology or gadgets.

Chuck Eglinton

7 people are talking about “Wireless Internet for your Desktop Computer, Only $5

  1. Ok, just rereading some of the comments. I have 3 old cell phones (they don’t take them in on trade) so I could use one of them to connect to the tower across the valley (I can see it blinking red and white). I have unlimited incoming messages and 500 outgoing minutes, free after 7:00p.m. and Sat/Sun and since I do a lot of emails after 7):00 the connection theoretically should be free…right.

    My laptop is already wireless. I have Bluetooth on my new Sprint phone (have to check maybe I can get it on the old one too), but
    I guess I need to have a signal on the old ones, right?

  2. If I purchased the adapter for a desktop to receive the Wi-Fi, Would any WIFI card work in the adapter? (Such as one purchased from Best Buy)? I have dial up service, because DSL is not available in the area in which we live. Since we live in the country. Would this work for us. Considering that we live in the country?

    Chuck: WiFi adapters are generally used to transmit and receive the Internet from non-dial up sources, such as cable modems and DSL modems. However, the “WiFlyer” is a device that let you use a wireless wi-fi computer with a dial-up Internet connection. I couldn’t find any companies selling new WiFlyer devices, but search on eBay for “WiFlyer” and you’ll find used ones at affordable prices.

  3. i am moving to a veterans in grand island, ne, my income will be limited. telepone time serice the installation of phone service, all across the country, which i don’t need, run about %65.00 (with taxes), a price i choose not to pay as phone service is not a requirement. can you please advise what you product(s) could do to help me save money from my soon to be meager funds. thank you your comments.

    Chuck: There are a variety of solutions depending on what you have available.

    If you have Internet in your room, look at MagicJack or Skype

    If you have *shared public* Internet, you still may be able to use MagicJack – if you are allowed to install software on the public computer

    If you have WiFi available, look at WiFi Skype phones from Belkin and SMS

    If you don’t have Internet available, you may want to consider a “pay as you go” cell phone.

    Good luck.

  4. This is similar to the question posted previously. I live in the country and there is no internet service available. The only option is dial up. Currently I run the internet through my cell phone onto my laptop but it is so slow. Is there anything I can do to speed it up? I don’t think it is my signal because I am getting 5 bars but when I am just surfing the net on my cell phone it is a lot faster than when I hook it up to my laptop and run it through my my computer. I hope that makes sense.
    Thanks
    Jen

    Chuck: Hi Jen. In the US we have several Cellular companies from which to choose. Some here have faster cellular data networks than others. If you also have various cellular providers, you can investigate which of them has the fastest data service and choosing them will likely increase your data speed when you tether your computer to your cell phone.

  5. Hi Chuck,

    Again, my question is similar to others but maybe even more basic because I’m really unsophisticated when it comes to computer knowledge. I just moved to the boondocks where dialup is what we have now and satellite is the only other option (expensive). I’d like to use my cellphone but don’t have a clue where to start. I have unlimited calling after 7:00 so the expense is minimal. Where would I get the necessary hardware/software to accomplish this?

    My Thanks..

    Chuck: When you tether your computer to your cell phone, your cell phone carrier will be measuring the data you’re downloading in Kilobytes – you’re no longer using “cell phone minutes.” Unfortunately, since about 2008, nearly all cell providers cap the amount of Internet traffic you can use to about 5GB per month or so. The easiest way for you to start is for you to contact your cell company and ask them how you can use your computer with your cell service. They’ll describe the available data plans and explain various connection options.

  6. I moved to the country they cant get dsl out this far. How do i get service other than dial up. for my desktop and laptop

    Chuck Eglinton’s reply: I’m assuming you can’t get cable out in the country, either. You can subscribe to “satellite” Internet just about anywhere in north America; even the most rural areas. Check out Hughesnet at this link: http://www.hughesnet.com/

  7. Hello, I live in the country and can only get dial-up internet, I have a home pc and a laptop , I bought a wireless router , how can I connect both my computers to the router so i can network them and use my laptop wirelessly to connect the the internet? What can I do?

    Chuck Eglinton’s answer: Unfortunately, typical wireless routers work only with high speed Internet connections through a cable modem or a DSL modem. Typical wireless routers can not work with dial-up Internet. However, a device called “WiFlyer” which is a WiFi router with a built-in V.92 modem. You can read more about them and find them for sale at eBay:

    Click here to see WiFlyer at eBay

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