I have a home PC with a cable modem and Comcast Internet. I want to replace my PC with a laptop and have Internet service at home and away from home in cafes, etc.
I haven't selected the laptop yet but I know it will need a wireless card. Beyond that, I'm unclear what additional hardware is needed. This should be easy to find out but I don't think I have the whole picture.
Can someone answer this or direct me to a written guide? Any help appreciated.
I would assume any new laptop would have some sort of built in wifi adapter but double check and if it's not offered than you'll need to get them to add it or purchase a pcmcia or usb wifi card. The most widely used wireless networking equipment is 802.11b and 802.11g, make sure your card supports these. There is also 802.11a and n but these shouldn't really be important to you unless you have special purposes.
At home you will need to purchase a wireless router to connect to your cable modem. I recommend any of the buffalo b/g routers or the WRT54G/L. You need to connect a cat5e cable from the ethernet port of your modem to the WAN port of your router. The routers mentioned have both wireless and wired network ports, so if you have any desktops, printers, network storage they can be plugged all while the laptop is running wireless. Don't forget to setup the security (WPA-PSK) and change the SSID of the wireless so that people can't use your wireless for evil things.
I'm to tired to look up any good starter websites, (heck I'm only up doing temp test on my new computer with various fan/air flow configurations with the machine both idle and at 90% usage on cpu, gpu, hd and ram tests.) but maybe someone else will. However this should give you a good idea of the things you need to get started.. Any other questions just come back and ask.