PC Card = Wireless Card? (Totally lost...)

  • sonnyrizo
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  • sonnyrizo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

My brother found a 3Com Fast Ethernet 10/100 Base-TX PC Card at his workplace, with no manuals or anything. Recently, I bought a Dell Inspiron 1200 with no wireless card, and I am trying to figure out if this PC card he found is of any use to me.

I was thinking of buying a wireless card (I don't know the proper industry name) so I could use my notebook wirelessly just as he does. I'd like to know if this PC card can help me accomplish this.

To be honest, I don't know the difference between NIC (Network Interface Cards) and wireless cards. I popped this PC card into my notebook, and XP detected it. However, I dont know where to go from there.

I am guessing I have to do more than simply putting the card in....installing drivers, changing settings, etc.

If this PC card will do the job for me, I won't have to buy a wireless card.

My brother has a Dell Inspiron 1150 and it came with a wireless card. Therefore, he didn't have to install anything to use the Internet wirelessly.
  • sonnyrizo
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  • sonnyrizo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

By the way, I already did a search on Google and Ozzu. I couldn't find anything relevant to what I am looking for.

I did some research and I found that the card I have is also referred to as an "ethernet card," PC card, "NIC," and a buss-something card.

I was doing some more research and I found something completely different also being referred to as an Ethernet card. So, which one is it...which one is the Ethernet card? The one I have or the one pictured here:

Image

Mine looks exactly like this one except for the writing 10/100 Base-2:

Image
  • Xel02
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  • Xel02
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Post 3+ Months Ago

PC Cards are a special type of hardware made for Laptops. PC Cards come with different types of functionality.

The PC Card you have is a PC Card that functions as a Network Interface Card (NIC). The other ethernet card you found is also a NIC but is used in normal desktop computers.

Regardless both of them will NOT allow you to connect wirelessly. To do so you for your laptop you need to buy a Wireless PC Card. For example:
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=485115&Sku=D700-2148
Note. I chose Tigerdirect because it was the first thing I could think of.

Once the Wireless Card is installed you'll also need to find a some sort of 'hotspot' an area with wireless internet. To connect around the house you'll need to setup a Wireless router.

They typically look like this:
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=589855&Sku=D700-2206%20P

The wireless router needs to be connected to a normal wired internet connection. So if you have cable or aDSL, you would somehow connect them together. This usually depends on how your home is already configured.

Once thats done usually it's just a matter of installing the Wireless PC Card in the laptop and configuring it to connect to your own wireless router.

It may seem like a big hassle but today's wirless technology is quite simple to setup, and all of the major brands come with pretty good instructions.

For more info on wireless networking:
http://www.tutorial-reports.com/wireless/
  • sonnyrizo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks a lot for your much appreciated response. I appreciate how you went directly to the answer and also provided further information to go on.

I already have a router and Internet connection set up. Everything's is working perfectly find and ready to be used except for my notebook lacking a wireless card.

Again, thanks.

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