Buying Cheap Laptops

download (3)You will have to consider many things before choosing the right laptop. An average person doesn’t comprehend the hi-tech language associated with computers like WiFi connectivity, wireless, Flat Panel TFT and many other features as well. It is impossible for a lay man to cope up with the ever changing computer lingo which makes difficult for them to buy the right machine. As far as the laptops are concerned, it is advisable to avoid impulse buying.

In most of the cases people use to take help from the salesman, store managers and the sales agent. Though, they know about the technology but the quality of the advice which they would give is indirectly proportional to the commission of the salesperson.

You can discuss your needs and requirements with the people whom you trust like your friends and family. And, if you think that your family or friend’s advice is not enough, then look for some few PC magazines and review the latest technology and buying trends. In such magazines you may find out the regular sections of the customer ratings and even the surveys of the various up-coming products.

Before selecting a laptop you need to ask yourself some of the basic questions like:

1. What are the reasons for you to buy a laptop?

2. What is your budget?

3. Where you can buy?

If you are planning to buy it online then you can save significant amount of money but it will take some time for the delivery. If you have made the purchase decision then you should start collecting some basic information on the various models and the features offered by the different brands.

You may find different series and brands of the laptops that are built keeping in mind the needs of the customers. You should find out some basic range of laptops which comes in the affordable price range. One of the basic ways by which you can spot out the basic laptops is the processor speed. Usually, the laptops with the Intel‘s Celeron Processors or AMD’s Duron are the basic ones.

 

Ways to Connect Two Computers to Share Data

I am guessing that you have two computers at home and you are tired of transferring data from one to the other, through external storage devices. You may even be thinking of connecting the two of them together, for ease of using resources like printers or for multiplayer gaming.

Connect Using an Ethernet Cable
One of the simplest ways is the use of an Ethernet cable. For this networking method to work, you need to have a network card installed on both the computers. These cards are placed in the PCI slots of the computer. The card provides an Ethernet port to the computer, which provides a facility to connect it with other computers.

So, to connect two computers together using an Ethernet cable, make sure that both of them have a networking card and if they do not, then buy them and get them installed. Choose a network card which provides high data transfer rate. Buy an Ethernet cable. Plug one end of that cable into the Ethernet port of the first computer and the other end into the port of another computer. Make sure that you connect the cable properly, into the Ethernet port and hear it clicking into place on both sides.

Next, you must switch on the two computers and go to the network settings. I am assuming that you have a Windows operating system installed. In case you have any other operating system, run its equivalent network setup utility program.

Create a network using the ‘set up advanced network’ option, by logging in as the administrator. Make sure that you don’t forget to specify that you are creating this network without a router and directly connecting computers. Name the computer you have logged in as the ‘host’, while the other computer should be named as the ‘guest’ and do the same on the other one.

If you are asked to create a network setup disk, then create one and run it on the other computer to transfer the network settings. Turn file sharing ‘on’, when given a choice. Click on properties of drives or folders and enable their sharing on the network. That should do the trick and enable your two-computer network.

Connection Using a USB Cable
You can connect the two computers by another method, which is by using a USB cable. Here is what you need to do. First, you need to install the driver software for the USB cable. Insert the installation CD in the drive of one computer and finish the installation.

Choose ‘Link Mode’ in the installation process, which enables you to transfer files between the two computers. If you choose the ‘network mode’, it will connect the computer on a network. Repeat the procedure of driver installation on the second PC. Then connect each end of the USB cable, to the USB ports of each computer. With that done, your computers are linked for data transfer.

There are many other ways of connecting two computers together through the use of a router based IPV4 network. You can set up such a network at home and enjoy multiplayer gaming.

Ways to Set-up Wifi

If you are thinking of how to set up Wi-Fi Internet network at home, you need not necessarily call a computer technician. The task may seem confusing, but it is actually not. If you have the right equipment and some simple instructions, you can easily do the task yourself. There are some things that you would need for setting up wireless Internet at home. These things include a desktop or a laptop computer, a DSL modem, a wireless router, two ethernet cables, and internet access.

The first step is to make proper connections between the devices. Switch on the computer and the router. With the ethernet cable that comes in the router pack, connect the internet port situated behind the router to the modem. Take another ethernet cable, and insert its one end in the LAN port on your notebook computer or PC. The other end of this cable should go in the WAN or WLAN port on the router.

The router pack will also include a software CD, which you need to install on your computer system. Follow the installation guidelines as they come on the computer monitor. The next step is to configure the router. This is supposed to be done by typing the router’s IP address in the URL field, and hit ‘Enter’. The appropriate IP address would generally come along with the router. However, if you do not find it, you can enter ‘192.168.1.1’ as the default address for a majority of routers.

You would be required to key in the user ID and the password for your particular router model. This information will also be available in the router manual. But if you cannot find these login credentials, you can visit ‘routerpasswords.com’, enter in your router’s model number, and get the details. Make sure that the wireless connection button on your laptop or desktop computer is switched on.

You now need to configure the Service Set Identifier (SSID), which does the job of recognizing your wireless network. The next step is to set a WEP or WPA password, which you need to use during logging into the wireless Internet network. Also, set up an administrative password that will prevent other users from tampering with the settings of the router. After this is done, click on save settings and ‘Apply’. You will be able to gain access to the wireless network after you restart the computer system. After rebooting the computer; click on the ‘Start’ icon, ‘Connect To’, and then the ‘Show All Connections’. If you have a wireless network set, its name will be included in the list at the top.

On the iPhone?

If you own an Apple iPhone and want to use Wi-Fi internet on it, you would need to do some settings. The first step is to go to the home screen and select the ‘Settings’ option. On the settings page, choose the Wi-Fi option. After doing so, it would take you to a page where you need to turn it on. You may select from the available networks in the list or choose another network.

If you want to choose another network, select the ‘Other Network’ option. When on the ‘Other Network’ page, a keypad will be displayed at the bottom of the screen, which you have to use to enter in the name of the wireless network that you want to join. If you want to assign a password to the new wireless network, you need to select ‘Security’ from the ‘Other Network’ page, and then ‘WPA2 Enterprise’. Tap on the ‘Accept’ button that comes thereafter. You can now put in the username and password on the ‘Other Network’ page. After all the configuration is done and all is set, on the upper left hand corner of the home screen, you will be able to see a Wi-Fi network signal indicator.

On the BlackBerry

The setup process in a BlackBerry mobile phone is somewhat similar to that in an iPhone. If you have a Wi-Fi compatible BlackBerry, select the ‘Manage Connections’ icon on the home screen. Then select the ‘Set Up Wi-Fi Network’ option, and click next. You would have two options, like ‘Scan for Networks’ or ‘Manually Add Network’. For an easy configuration, it is better to choose ‘Scan for Networks’. Choose from any of the available networks found, and enter security credentials if needed. After you select the ‘Connect’ option, the setup will be complete, and you will be able to use the selected wireless network.

On the Smartphone

Setting up a Wi-Fi on your smartphone (or connecting your smartphone to your already existing connection) is very simple. It gives you access to the internet without using your data plan. Remember to have the name of the network and the password. Then, switch on the Wi-Fi on your smartphone. From the wireless connection settings of your phone, search for the network name of the connection. After this, enter the password to connect to the network.

How to Make Private Wifi Antenna

download (2)Commercial Wi-Fi receptors cost you a bomb. There are alternate ways to make a Wi-Fi antenna at home that will not only increase the range of your network, but will also be very inexpensive. An antenna is nothing but a directional waveguide device that converts electrical power to radio signals, and vice-versa. Hence, pretty much any material that is capable, or can be made capable, of this function can be used as a Wi-Fi antenna.
A ‘cantenna’ is a directional wavelength reception device for long-range Wi-Fi. Ideally, a cantenna’s periphery is not strong enough to receive signals all by itself. Hence, cantennas are mostly used to extend a wireless network’s range or to improve reception over a distorted signal path. A cantenna can also amplify signals from 5 – 22 dB. While a ‘Pringles’ can is widely used for such setups, it is important to note that these cans are narrow in diameter and inappropriate for 2.4Ghz. Hence, for such a project, always use a can about 3.5 to 4 inches in diameter and approximately 6 or more inches in length.
Building a Homemade Wi-Fi Antenna using a Can
Materials and Tools
~ Can (about 3.5 inches in diameter)
~ Solder paste
~ 1.5 to 2 inches length thin copper wire strand
~ N-female chassis mount connector
~ Pigtail cable
~ Duct tape
~ Tripod stand
~ Drill machine
~ Soldering iron

  • Drill a hole in the can about a couple of inches from its base. Widen the hole according to the connector’s diameter.
  • The connector should just fit in; the hole should not be too small to get the connector in, nor too big so the connector falls off.
  • Set the adapter in the hole firmly.
  • Make sure it is set like how it is displayed in this image.
  • To the connector’s inside end (inside the can), solder a copper wire strand.
  • Be very careful when you solder the copper wire strand. This is how it must look like.
  • Plug in a pigtail cable into the connector outside the can.
  • Connect the other end of the pigtail cable to the Wi-Fi device/card. This will work only if you have a compatible Wi-Fi adapter. Hence, before proceeding, check the connector and adapter compatibility.
  • Mount the can on the tripod using duct tape, facing the Wi-Fi adapter. Once mounted and steadfastly in place, rotate the cantenna on its axis slightly, and adjust its tilt to work out the position in which it receives the strongest signal. This antenna has linear polarization, i.e., its rotation affects signal strength, positively or negatively. The tilt, though, is required in only very rare cases, and should be done carefully and only if necessary.
  • Once you shift the cantenna’s position to gain optimum signal strength, you can use your homemade Wi-Fi antenna!

Building a Homemade Wi-Fi Antenna using a Strainer
Materials
~ Strainer
~ USB Wi-Fi adapter
~ USB extension cable (at least 15 feet in length)
~ Duct tape
~ Wooden stick
~ Tripod stand

  • Using the USB extension cable, connect the Wi-Fi adapter to your computer. The cable’s female connector goes in your computer and the Wi-Fi adapter is inserted in the cable’s male port. If you haven’t found an extension cable long enough to position the antenna where you need, connect multiple cables together.
  • Using duct tape, attach the USB adapter to the handle of the strainer. If the strainer does not have a handle, attach a wooden stick to it using duct tape, and tape your adapter to the wooden stick.
  • Make sure your dongle is at a point where you receive signals at maximum strength. Temporarily place the dongle on the handle of the strainer and shift its place around the handle to find the hot spot.
  • Aim the strainer towards the Wi-Fi transmitter in a straight line and straddle a little to the left or right depending on where you are getting the best signals. Once you have figured out the exact spot which generates best strength of the Wi-Fi signal, mount the strainer on a tripod stand and get ready to use your strainer Wi-Fi antenna!