questionscan you recommend a wireless router for a novice?

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i've used a linksys WRT54G for about 6 years now and have never had any issues.

" if we purchase a wireless printer do we need a wireless router"
-- not necessarily. if the printer also has an ethernet port, you could always connect to a non-wireless router through that.

"Do all wireless routers provide connections for ipod/ kindle type devices"
-- yes. (assuming the devices all have wifi)

"or do I need one that will create a 'hot spot' to connect to these devices"
-- no. (assuming the devices all have wifi)

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@carl669: So if I buy a wireless printer so I need a router at all?

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@jimmyd103: "So if I buy a wireless printer so I need a router at all?"

it depends. to keeps things simple, especially if multiple devices are going to print to the printer, i'd use a wireless router. the other option is to set up an ad-hoc network between devices (http://bit.ly/bKjcFH).

based on what you wrote above, i'd get the wireless router. it'll make life simpler once it's all set up. if your wireless printer is an HP, there's a quick start tutorial here: http://h71036.www7.hp.com/hho/cache/603643-0-0-225-121.html

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Whatever you do DON'T buy the D-Link DGL 4500. Gaming router my @$$! couldn't even stay connected to Live.

I have a Cisco wireless N model and it works great. I'll check the model # at lunch.

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I assume that you are setting it up for them also.
When setting it up, color code or label your wires (yes, even the power) so they can easily identify the appropriate cord easily. Makes it a ton easier for your soon-to-be tech support nightmare for when you are not there in person. Also make a huge arrow on top, with a permanent marker to the reset button.

Hope you don't have to many nightmares.

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If you go with a wireless router, and it can be placed where the printer will be (or vice versa, the printer can be where the router is) you don't necessarily need to get a printer with wireless. Virtually all consumer Wifi routers have a few switch ports on the back into which you could plug the printer's ethernet port. On that note, make sure your printer has a network port.

The most recent Linksys routers have been fairly robust (as wireless routers go) and should be pretty simple to set up. If things aren't working for them, it won't take long to train them to reboot the wireless router and reboot the laptop and resolve most issues.

As the official family tech support guy of our clan, I bid you good luck.

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Medialink routers are very well known for their simplicity and ease of use.

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@carl669: Can't agree more! I've used this for years, and you can get them pretty cheap.

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If they have a desktop that is always on, you can usually use a non-wireless printer connected to the desktop vis USB and "share" it on the network for wireless devices that way. You just need to make sure you share it and the laptop is part of the same workgroup. Again, it'll only work if the desktop is on, but that might allow you to get a cheaper printer. It's best if the operating systems (desktop vs laptop) are all the same because it can get complicated with multiple drivers and sharing across different versions of Windows, but it's still doable. Wireless printer is better though.

Make sure their existing modem isn't already a router. Some ISP will give you a modem with the wireless built-in. The easy way to tell is if also serves as a router is if it has an antenna on it or multiple ports on the back. If you're not sure, look up the model # to see if it has that capability. You may just need to enter the modem setup and turn wifi on.

Also, set a password for the wifi!

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Ended up picking up a Cisco - Valet Wireless Hotspot (Wireless N Router)Model Number: M10-4A, from Walmart for $27. Still on the lookout for a wireless printer.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Cisco-Valet-Wireless-Hotspot-Wireless-N-Router/14005985