Accessing Wireless with a desktop?

Wireless is still new me so excuse me if this sounds elementary.

I'd like to be able to access wifi with my desktop computer. My laptop is able to access wifi with it's built in wifi card, but I'd like to get something so I can do the same with my desktop. (My apartment building offers free wifi to its tenants, and I'd like to access the wifi network not only with my laptop, but my desktop computer as well.) Do I need a wifi card for my desktop? Do they even make ones that are compitable with desktop computers? I've searched and couldn't find info on this subject.

Also, I'd like to create a mini-wireless network between my desktop and laptop using the free wifi. Do I need an additional hardware device to achieve this, or can I run the Network wizard as normal to achieve this?

thanks in advance!

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Mr. Nice,

You have several options for your desktop. You can get a USB-based wireless card, and stick it in an open USB port. I'd recommend this over getting a PCI wireless card.

Next. Be VERY careful as to what you share between your two computers on a community network like that. Anything you pass between the two devices may be able to be intercepted by others.


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Yes, there are PCI wireless cards for desktops. One of my desktops is using a Linksys.

To make your laptop and desktop talk (transfer files) to each other through the router, you just need to know the IP address of the desktop and laptop and you'll need some kind of peer-to-peer software unless you're running servers. But you'll also have to configure your firewalls for this type of access - of course, this will create security issues.

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I am very interested in this USB Wireless card option. I did some searching and was wondering if a USB Wireless card is the same thing as a USB Wireless Adapter? From reading the specs on the wireless adapter, it seems as though the adapter is used for a desktop that already has a Internet connection, it it transmits that connection wirelessly to WIFI enabled devices, like laptops. But the specs say nothing about using the adapter to connect to the Internet when the desktop computer doesn't have a connection.

Can you help me?

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The wireless adapter is the same as a wireless card. It plugs into the USB port on the front/back of your computer, and transmits your data to an access point or wireless router.

It's quite possibly the easiest install possible.

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