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BlackadderV | 00:31 Mon 06th Oct 2014 | Computers
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I do not have a router, I access the internet via a mobile PAYG dongle ,which suits me fine. However, the building in which I live has just installed free Wifi. I am most anxious to benenfit from this, but my question is, what device do I need to get to enable me to do this, and are they expensive?

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If your PC/laptop has WIFI, then you dont need anything, if not you will need to buy a WIFI dongle from any PC shop for about £15
If the building you're in has just installed free wifi - look on bottom of your monitor where time etc. are. look at what seems like a stairs, click on that, it'll show you internet connections and you'll see what connections are available to you, they're will be a padlock icon on sites you can't access
Question Author
Thank you. How do I know if my laptop has Wifi?
have you a smart phone? that shows wifi connections much the same as your lappy
Question Author
No smart phone. My phone is so old I have to crank the handle to speak to the operator! The Wifi has been installed on the floor below me so I do not expect to be able to access it from my flat. I just thought that if I removed my PAYG dongle and replaced it with a device then I can access the internet downstairs for free. Ratter's advice seems good; £15 is what I'm paying per month already.
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I'd personally go with methyl, i usually only use free wifi on trains - stik with PAYG dongle
stick^^^
Question Author
Thank you all for your advice. I do not have a contract, merely PAYG as I have said. It's merely the thought of saving £15 per month which appeals to me.
stick with the £15 a month, if you don't have payg, you'll do without for a short while..it's your best bet
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Question Author
Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. I live in a sheltered housing complex run by a national company. I shall now make further enquiries as to the ISP and highlight the concerns which you have raised. I never thought that this could be problematical. Thanks once again.
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Question Author
Thanks again. I am no more an Internet Network Technician than I am a Madame of a brothel. This has arouded my curiosity. I never thought that there could be issues with this. Will investigate further.
If the Wifi installation is intended to benefit all residents of the building, you might/should be able to get the password from the bottom or back of the router. If this is the case, you won't need a new device yourself, just type in the password starting with the moves ducksie mentioned earlier.
You say you're living in sheltered accommodation. I don't know how mobile you are or able to get to the router to see the password. You might have to ask the warden for it or a relative to look.
Question Author
Thank you Clover. I am quite mobile (not dead yet). There seems to be a thingy high up on the lounge wall, but as you suggest, I will pester the landlords till I find a solution. Ther are *** me for every penny they can get as it is so it has given me an incentive to screw them.
If run the by a known individual or entity such as the company who runs the accommodation then that should lessen any risk. Ones in public places can attract criminal types who have the ability to monitor what folk are sending /receiving. All wireless connection has that risk but I believe mobile phone connections have a much more secure link than standard WiFi. I think using public WiFi for general surfing is probably fine. Especially if provided by your landlord. But you may wish to weigh up the risk of entering passwords, and particularly any financial activity such as banking or purchasing by card.
Nobody seems to have answered your question "How do I know if my laptop has wifi?".
Control Panel > Network and sharing > connect to a network.

If you have wifi some networks will show. If none there you don't have built-in wifi and will need to buy a dongle.
Don't all laptops have built in wifi?

It may be just a question of turning it on, and the method of doing this varies greatly.

Tell us the type of laptop.
Question Author
HP Pavilion, Hopkirk.

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