Not only am I a WiFi newbie, I'm also a Windows 7 newbie as well. I learned to use computers on Mac/Apple computers. This just adds to my dilemma and confusion.
OK, here's where I'm at right now.
I have an HP laptop (windows 7) that I've been trying to get to connect to several local WiFi hotspots. I've only been successful at connecting one time. This was at a local BestBuy store and the internet speed was next to non-existent. The sales person stated it was most likely because alot of their in-store items were also connected to the same WiFi and it created a drag on the internet speed.
In an effort to connect to other free WiFi hotspots in my vicinity I built a "Long Range WiFi Antenna." It works like gangbusters regardless of which direction I aim it. All well known and not so well known Free-WiFi-Hotspots.
The problem is that no matter how strong of a signal I'm receiving, I can't connect to the internet via any of these hotspots. I'll get a message on my laptop telling me that it can't connect to the chosen hotspot.
There has to be something that I'm missing here. My "Long Range WiFi" antenna set up is a combination of a C. Crane Super-USB-WiFi-Antenna and an old Dish Network parabolic dish plugged into the USB port on my laptop.
The combined number of both the Private and Free WiFi hotspots in every direction is almost mind boggling; and I can't connect to any one of them.
There would be absolutely no need to even attempt to get into any private WiFi networks. To the North of me are hotspots that include the public library, city utilities and various restaurants. To the South of me is a MacDonalds, a starbucks and other restaurants offering free WiFi.
To the East and West are basically the same plethora of Free WiFi hotspots.
Can one of you WiFi savvy guys tell me what I'm doing wrong or what I'm missing in the way of hardware ?
My knowledge of WiFi is so limited that I'm not sure if I've given you enough information to be able to help me out.
If you need more info please let me know. I'll do the best I can to get that information if it will help me access the Free WiFi I'm surrounded by.
This is driving me insane.
Thanks for your help.