Posted 24 June 2005 - 03:45 PM
I'm not particular about the make generally. The soho broadband router and wireless router market is very competitive and I'm always seeing stuff by companies I've never heard of. I'd buy whatever was cheapest quite frankly but given a handful at roughly the same price point I'd go ahead and go with something I had heard of. Netgear, Linksys are a couple off the top of my head.
The thing you will want to bear in mind before shopping is what specific type of wireless networking your laptop is capable of. Wireless mode is generally designated 802.11 but it will most likely be 802.11b or 802.11g and you may see it as 802.11bg meaning it is capable of both. So if your laptop is only capable of B mode and you want to save some quid go with a B-rated router. And this will also work if your laptop is BG capable, you'll just be forced into the slower B mode. Conversely, if your laptop is a B and you get a G router then the laptop will work in B but when you're ready to upgrade to the G standard on your next laptop you'll be ready for it.
No need to worry about the router, it should work right out of the box for the (wired) PCs you have. But most routers will come with a setup guide which will walk you through any necessary and unnecessary configurations for wireless security and the like. This will typically be done through your internet browser by directing it to the IP address of the router. At a minimum I'd recommend putting a password on the router administrator account and encrypting the wireless signal. Piece of cake, mate.