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Most of the newer routers use a newer type of encryption (WPA or WPA2) which is not supported by older 802.11b hardware.
Either set the Linksys router to use WEP encryption, or get a newer 802.11g card for the old laptop which can use WPA or WPA2 encryption.
Older versions of Windows XP also need to be upgraded to Service Pack 3 or apply this patch: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=662bb74d-e7c1-48d6-95ee-1459234f4483&displaylang=en
U have to configure the router.Then & then your internet will work.You can see the instruction set given with the linksys router or instruction set cd.Follow the steps,which will ask you ip,user name,password etc. information.Fill the right information save & reboot it must work.
The Linksys router can be communicated with by going to Start>Run>type 'http://192.168.1.1' and when the logon screen appears use 'linksys' for username and 'admin' for the password. There you can reset defaults, view status, configure all router functions, et al, including restore defaults. Pressing the little reset button has reset levels that vary with the amount of time it is pressed -basically discharging a capacitive charge. Remember that cable modems use DHCP whereas DSL uses PPPoE. ~Steve
You could use any brand wireless router with your broadband service for a wifi signal for your laptop or any wireless internet to any device that is compatible for it. You first need to make sure your laptop has built in wireless or if it needs an adapter(ex. Wireless notebook adapter, USB Adapter). and if its built in then all you would need to buy is a wireless router(Linksys has a really nice and user friendly setup. Model:WRT54G).