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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi and thanks for helping me. I've got an XP computer connected to the internet thru an Actiontec 701-wg and I want to hook my old Windows 98 computer up to the internet also. It would be nice to be able to have the computers be able to access each other's files. I think the directions I've read are saying that the old computer can be hooked up to the Actiontec via USB. The old computer has two USB ports but not an ethernet. My humble questions are:

1. If I hook up the old computer to the Actiontec by USB, will the computers be able to access each other?

2. I have a phone jack in the room the old computer is in. Can I just buy another Actiontec and plug it into the phone jack in that room or do I have to buy a long USB cable and run it all the way into the room that the current Actiontec is located in?

3. The computers are 36 feet apart. Is this feasible?

3. Is there such a thing as a converter to plug into the old computer's USB port and turn it into an ethernet plugin?

I appreciate your patience with an old school teacher. :normal:
 

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If you want my opinion, go buy a cheap network card for your Windows 98 computer. Lot less headaches that way. USB support in Windows 98 still wasn't that great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Network Card, Yes

A network card will do what for me? I have opened the case and installed a new modem into my computer and extra RAM into my computer but I am not familiar with network cards. Am I too much of a newbie to be in this forum?

I'm sure my new computer has a network card. How do they connect to each other? USB?

What "headaches" are you talking about? Long USB cables?

Thank you so much for your patience.
 

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A network card will do what for me? I have opened the case and installed a new modem into my computer and extra RAM into my computer but I am not familiar with network cards. Am I too much of a newbie to be in this forum?

I'm sure my new computer has a network card. How do they connect to each other? USB?

What "headaches" are you talking about? Long USB cables?

Thank you so much for your patience.
A network card is simple to install. If both computers are connected to the Actiontec by ethernet, they will be able to see each other and you can transfer files and so forth. The "headaches" Squashman was talking about was working with USB in Windows 98. He is right about it not being all that great. Beings that it is a Windows 98 computer, it is probably USB 1.1, so using ethernet would be faster anyways. Yes it is feasible, you just need 40 or 50 feet of ethernet cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This conversation is going great for me! : ) If I understand correctly, you're saying that if I install a network card in my old computer I will then be able to connect an ethernet wire to it? If so, then:

1. Next, I connect a long ethernet wire from my old computer to the Actiontec modem or the new computer?

2. Is a long ethernet wire expensive?

3. What about my thought about just buying a second modem and plugging it into the phone jack of the room where my old computer is? Can two modems live in a house? : )

Thank you for your kind assistance.
 

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This conversation is going great for me! : ) If I understand correctly, you're saying that if I install a network card in my old computer I will then be able to connect an ethernet wire to it? If so, then:

1. Next, I connect a long ethernet wire from my old computer to the Actiontec modem or the new computer?

2. Is a long ethernet wire expensive?

3. What about my thought about just buying a second modem and plugging it into the phone jack of the room where my old computer is? Can two modems live in a house? : )

Thank you for your kind assistance.
Your Actiontech has a couple of network (ethernet) jacks right? Is your newer computer hooked up through ethernet, or USB?

1. Yes, you want to connect an ethernet cord from your old computer into your Actiontech (providing it has multiple jacks).

2. Ethernet cord (also called CAT 5 cable) is inexpensive, especially for your needs. I would say a 50 foot cord would do you good. In fact here is a place you can buy it from online:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16812117604

3. A second of modem would work, but then you would have to pay extra to your ISP for one, more than a network card for your old computer would be. Plus, you would NOT be able to transfer files between both computers like you wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My Actiontec has one ethernet jack and I'm using it for my XP computer. It also has one USB jack. Are there adapters to turn one ethernet jack into multiple?

Newegg, yes. That's where I'll buy what I'll need. I remember visiting that site some time ago and getting a great deal on a power supply. Thanks.

I'd have to pay Qwest extra to have two modems? I thought that the two modems would just connect to the same *place*. I wish I had more time to research this stuff, because it really interests me.

When I connect my older computer to the modem via ethernet or USB, will the two computers be able to access each other's files?

Thanks SO MUCH for your guidance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Rereading what you said, CowboyJMB, I see now that you're saying that if I connect my old computer to the Actiontec modem I'll be able to have both computers talk to each other, but if I buy another modem and use a phone jack for the old computer they won't be able to talk to one another?

Using the Actiontec allows the computers to talk to each other?

Being a complete neophyte, I have to ask, if I hook the two computers up to each other directly, can't they both access the internet???

We have a three year old that LOVES nickjr.com and pbskids.org and we let him play online while his two year old little brother is napping. That would be a great time for mom or dad to check email, so we had this brilliant idea to fire up the old 1996 computer which has never failed us.

Does anyone else out there have any good website suggestions for us to let our wonderkids "play" online with?

Thanks to all the helpful people! It's five degrees above zero here and we're loving it. Lentil Souperbowl ala Newcastle Brown Ales. : )
 

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Squashman, how do I know what network card should I buy? I'm going with newegg, and I see they have pros and cons from buyers but it's quite confusing. Should I just go with a mid-price card and hope for the best? It's strange that I can't just go buy a card that I know will work first time. Would you just email me privately and tell me which card to buy? . I'm just trying to use a second computer to access the internet for email and blogging. No gaming or vids. Thanks!
 

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I'm sorry Cheechat, I actually thought that your modem was also a router, as this seems to be the trend with a lot of ISP's. You are saying though that there is only one ethernet jack, which means that it is only a modem, and not a modem/router combo. This actually puts a slightly different spin on things.

I know things might a little complicating right now, so I will try and break it down.

Your modem can only handle one computer connected to it at one time. If you tried to connect one computer with ethernet, and one computer with USB, it would not work. To be simple, lets just say that modem can only give out only one IP address to one computer (that is your computer's identity on the internet). To share that IP address (and internet connection), you will need a broadband ROUTER.

This router will share the internet with both computers, AS WELL AS SHARING RESOURCES.

As for which router, D-Link is pretty decent stuff:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833127091

Linksys is also good, but it is a tad more expensive.

Now as for WHICH Network card... Just in case Squashman didn't already email you, I looked and I think this card would do:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833156107

It has drivers for Windows 98, which that is important when looking for a card in this situation.

Does anyone else out there have any good website suggestions for us to let our wonderkids "play" online with?
I am sorry I don't have any suggestions for websites. Back when I was about that age we used Prodigy, and I played this Sesame Street game they used to have. That and my mom downloaded educational shareware. I didn't use the world wide web until I was 10, and by then I kind of outgrew those kind of sites. lol talking like that makes me feel old. :p
 

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The actiontec 701-wg is a gateway (combination modem/wireless router). To be sure that you have the right model number, check the modem. if it has an antenna on it, it's a gateway.

That being the case, buy a wireless adapter for the newer (XP) computer (pci wireless adapters have a better track record than usb) and an ethernet card (the six dollar one is fine) for the old computer. Connect the old computer directly to the gateway by ethernet cable and the newer computer wirelessly. Both computers will be able the use the internet simultaneously and you will be able to set up a network between the two computers (for file/printer sharing) as well. If you shop for it, a wireless pci adapter might be cheaper than a fifty foot ethernet cable, it will look alot better than running a wire and will be safer for the kids (no trip hazards). The last wireless pci adapter I bought was $ 15.00 - U.S. Robotics, works great


Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Does wireless transfer data as fast as ethernet? I'm guessing that there is no such thing as a plug-in that converts one ethernet jack into two? : )
Can my old computer handle wireless, since it is 233 mhz and has only 144 RAM? BTW, I'd be running the wire overhead, but yes, it wouldn't look very professional. : ) Is the 701-wg a broadband modem? Maybe I should buy a new modem that has multiple ethernet jacks?
 

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The 701-wg is a combination broadband modem and a wireless router, also known as a gateway. Wireless signals will go through walls, just like cordless phone signals.

Technically, ethernet is faster, but it is very unlikely you'll see any difference.

You might be able to go wireless with the old computer but it must be using win98se, not win98. Even if you have win98se, using the xp wirelessly may prove to be simpler as some earlier implementations of USB and the Pci bus (1.0, 1.1) don't work well with wireless adapters

Don't know why you would want to convert a nic card to two unless you are out of pci slots. I would think there would be an issue with mac addresses as each device has a unique address and you would be passing another address through another address. I could be wrong
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I mean changing the modem ethernet jack into two jacks.

The old computer is 98se.

Now I'm thinking about moving the modem into the room with the old computer. Then I could use just a short ethernet wire. And my XP way out in the livingroom can go wireless.

Just amazing that we can download files, email, right through the air!

New thought - when I download email on one computer, how does the other computer know I did it? Will we have two sets of email in the house?

Thanks for your help! I'm going to attempt going wireless this weekend, I think. Seems a bit daunting but I'm game.
 

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if you are going to make one wireless then you don't need a modem with two lan ports. as for the email, each computer will handle email seperately. if you wanted a second copy on the second computer, there is a setting to leave copy of messages on server. if you select that you can download to both computers if you choose to. Otherwise, if you don't select it, the computer will remove the messages from the server when they are downloaded.

Going wireless isn't difficult. the most important thing is to reboot the modem and the router when you make changes to the devices and that you leave them unplugged for a minute. Also, routers can be rather slow in saving settings
 
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