Understanding Computers/No ethernet driver


Dan, you've helped me in the past with my acer wireless laptop(Windows 7) I hope you can again.
I know this is a technical question so if I'm in the wrong area at allexperts please tell me which location I should go to, thanks.

My service provider is Comcast & I've been accessing their wifi hotspot signal for months now. I normally can get online with no problem & get a good strong signal. However last week I couldn't get online. Of course I complained but they kept telling me I needed to use a modem,(but a family member whom I trust always said I shouldn't need one since the acer is wifi enabled.) but since I'm a student taking online courses & need to be online all the time I gave in & did get a modem & gave Comcast the numbers for the modem. However after many attempts I still couldn't get online.

So then I was transferred to a tech specialist who was testing my service. He wanted me to uninstall my Ethernet controller in the device manager. I asked if that for him will I be able to re-install it? He said yes. However upon trying to reinstall the error message said "Windows was unable to install ethernet controller". I was advised to get a router.

The tech said he was not allowed to tell me how to reinstall it  as it was complicated & transferred me to another place(support.com) which wanted $80 to tell me how!!!!!! Of course I said no, figuring someone on allexperts would be able to assist me to find the disk to reinstall the Ethernet. That said, after 24 hrs & trying multiple times to get service using just the modem & it not working I finally had the automated Comcast system "reboot" my modem & Yes I got online service! Wow is right!

So now my 2 questions are: 1- do I really need a router with my wireless laptop & 2- how do I get my ethernet controller to be reinstalled on my laptop or do I even need to since I now can get online? My laptop does not have an opening for a disk. thanks for any help you can give me Dan.

Hello Christine,
Thanks for asking this question.
1. Recent and current modem does not need Router because most of them has router function built in.
It may be the case 5 or 6 years ago that we need both modem and router.  In this case modem was needed to have internet access wire-eD to Desktop pc, and router was needed for wireless access to internet.

2. I don't think you need ethernet controller.  Acer wireless laptop is wifi-enabled and should be able to access to internet in wireless mode. Eventhough you do not have DISK driver, nowadays you can download any software via Internet, and running driver.

You may see there would be differences between current modems in terms of Speed, such as 5M or 15 M download capability, but I don't think you need a router.  I had Att/DSL and now have att/uverse, and in both cases I don't need a router, at all.

If you have access problem again, rebooting modem is one way, and running "trouble shooting" Networking problem (right click on many bars showing Internet access)can help also.

Thanks, and best of luck for your taking online class.  

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