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Trouble connecting to the Internet with satellite modem

My poor little old 79 year old mother is having trouble connecting to the internet. She has two computers, an old HP and a Sony Vaio PCG7L1L. She is able to connect with the HP but not the Sony, however the HP is old and slow so she would much rather use the Sony. Her satellite service is Wild Blue and her modem is a Viasat SM2100. She is not getting error messages, just "cannot connect to the internet". Does anybody have any suggestions how to troubleshoot this? Just a note, my mother is okay with computers but she lives 4 hours away in a rural area. I will be relaying any suggestions to her by phone so the simpler the better. Thank you.
2 Solutions
John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
What would be the feasibility of putting a router behind the modem? Connect the router to the internet via the modem and then either machine should work.

If no joy there, check the Internet Explorer settings: Tools -> Internet Options -> Connections -> Lan Settings -> and uncheck everything there. ... T
I agree with the first suggestion. Get an inexpensive wireless router like a Linksys WRT54G (or D-Link DI-624, et al), and connect the modem's output to the router's WAN/Internet port.

If the modem has the user/password credentials stored in it (or if the connection is validated by activated hardware), you should be able to just leave the router on the default ''Automatic Configuration - DHCP'' in its basic setup.
Even if in a rural area, for wireless security she should choose WPA2.

The HP she can connect to the router with a cat5 cable; the Vaio should have an Intel wireless card in it.

For extra security she could put the router's wallwart on a switchable power strip and just switch it right off when not using the internet connection (saves power too, not drawing 23watts when switched off).

Tell her how on the phone??? Get the modem and a couple cat5e cables (6' and 10'), and take the 4 hour trip and do it for her.  If I lived anywhere nearby I would volunteer to do it for her myself.  ;-)

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