My 76-year-old mum has recently seen a netbook (ie a mini internet-enabled laptop), decided it's the best thing since sliced bread, she wants one, and how does she go about it?
Far be it from me to dissuade her from this course - it's great that she's such a technophile at her age, but I groaned inwardly at all the implications, especially as she lives at the other side of the country and I very rarely visit there (she prefers to come to us). (I spend a fair amount of time using XP's "Remote Assistance"!)
Currently she accesses the internet via a hard-wired desktop PC on ADSL broadband in the spare bedroom; hence the main use for the proposed netbook is so she can use the internet downstairs sitting in front of the fire keeping my dad company while watching TV, and can then put it away easily when not needed.
So the main issues are:
1. Converting her existing connection to to WiFi 2. Ensuring adequate signal downstairs in the living room.
Regarding (1); I don't know a hell of a lot about her setup as personally I have a cable modem plus router; I know she currently has ADSL which I think she got as a package from her ISP, OneTel (now TalkTalk), so presumably she has a modem between her phone and the PC.
What should I be looking for in terms of new kit? Does she need a wireless router which will sit between the existing modem and the old PC, or should she have a new combined modem/router thingy from TalkTalk or something? Or maybe either? I'm looking for the simplest solution for setting up really.
The second worry - ensuring adequate signal. It's quite a long way from the spare room to the living room, with really old thick walls, so I'm concerned the wifi signal won't reach from a router upstairs. We won't know till we've tried it I suppose, so if that happens what are the options? What are the constraints on where the router has to sit - just near enough to the desktop PC to be connected physically? I know she certainly won't want ethernet cable running through the house. Would this be down to one of those Homeplug network extender things (ie using the house mains as a network) with some form of wireless access point downstairs? There's a standard BT phone in the living room if that makes any difference.
Any advice much appreciated!