Tech Tips for Tweeners: Wireless to Go


One of the primary purposes of Newsome.Org is to introduce and explain computer-related programs and features to other in-betweeners like me- people who are the parents of the youngsters to whom computers and the internet are as integral as the telephone and the children of our parents who have no intention of ever embracing computers.

These days almost everyone has a work laptop and those of you who don’t soon will. Wireless network connections for connecting to a home or office network and the internet are becoming commonplace in offices and in hotels. In fact, the Days Inn in Cheraw, SC has something the very upscale Barton Creek Resort and Spa doesn’t have- free, high speed wireless internet!

In any case, wireless networking has gone mainstream and most newish laptops have wireless network capability. This is helpful for home networks- we have a secured wireless network at our house that allows me and our guests to use our laptops anywhere in the house. Wireless networks in offices allow visitors to connect to the internet in conference rooms. Wireless networks in hotels allow you to use your laptop from the easy chair, bed, etc. The problem is that many hotels, even nice ones, don’t yet have wireless networks. Rather, they have a cable-connected network, usually via a little box on the desk. This works fine until you want to move to the easy chair on the other side of the room- beyond the reach of the network cable.


Well, thanks to Linksys there’s a cheap and easy solution to this problem. I bought a Linksys WTR54GS Travel Router from Newegg for $79.99. I took it on its first business trip last week, and it was invaluable. Here’s how simple it was to use.

I plugged it into the electrical outlet in my hotel room (the built in plug is retractable for easy storage). I plugged the hotel room network cable into the router (the router comes with its own network cable just in case the hotel room or other location doesn’t supply one). I turned on the router. Immediately I had a fast, stable network connection. Simple as that. I didn’t even need to use the installation CD that came with the router.

Granted, my instant network was unsecured, but it’s easy to set up a secured network and you only have to do it once. After that, a secured network is equally instant.

The router is small and comes with a handy carrying case for the router and the supplied network cable. All in all, this is a must have for the frequent traveler.

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