Wednesday, January 21, 2004


In the month or two I have had the new laptop, I have connected to the internet using a USB DSL modem, I have connected to Perry de Havilland's wired LAN using the ethernet port, and I have connected to a variety of wireless LANs. What I have not done is use the computer's dialup modem even once. And thank goodness for that.

Just as an observation, because I bought an ADSL wireless router the USB ADSL modem that I bought last year is now sitting in a box in the corner. As well as sitting in a box in the corner, I think I would describe it as obsolete, or at least a technical dead end. The trouble with a USB modem is that it cannot be connected directly to a router, and so it isn't really practical if you later want to go wireless or share the internet connection between more than one computer. (Yes, I know it can be done, but it isn't worth the trouble). An ADSL modem that has an RJ-45 (ethernet) port - or better still a built in router - is much more flexible later. Anything that you want to add later can be added. As a bonus, an ethernet modem or router is also easier to set up, as it does not require you to install driver software.

The one exception to all this is when you have a computer without an ethernet port. However, many routers (eg mine) have a USB port, making it possible to connect one computer without an ethernet port. Even if this is not so, it is normally easy to add an ethernet port (via a PCI or PCMCIA card) even it it doesn't have one already.

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