I apologize for the length of this post but I needed to give every detail I could think of since I can't sum it up in a technically efficient manner.
I don't think I know enough about networking to even explain my problem accurately so I'll just start at the beginning; I apologize for the lack of details...
I have a Comcast cable modem (it also includes the Voip thing) which is connected to my Linksys router. My desktop, a 3 year old HP, is wired to the router. My laptop, a one year old Toshiba, connects to the network and internet wirelessly. I have never experienced any connecivity issues outside of having to change the IP address on a third, now-non-existent desktop years ago. Up until a few days ago, my network and internet was flawless and strong for both my desktop and my laptop. In addition, if a friend would come over with a laptop, they too could connect wirelessly to my network and the net without issue. Now, about a week ago I brought home a Sony Vaio laptop (totaling my computers to 3). However, I thought better of my purchase and the specs I settled for and decided to return the Vaio and I brought home this Asus laptop (which I LOVE). Now, from the get-go, my Asus would instantly recognize my home network but wouldn't connect all the way to the internet. I couldn't understand why, but I would have to sit here and disconnect and reconnect manually over and over for quite some time before the internet connection "took". I'd get all the way on th net, then I'd lose that little globe icon on my networking icon and it would switch to "local only." This Asus stays firmly connected to my network without issue but I kept losing the internet connection (please bear in mind that all this time, my daughter was using the older Toshiba). Yesterday, I brought home a new Linksys Rangeplus router. Upon installing and setting up a completely new home network with new security key, etc. I turned only the Asus on (not the Toshiba yet) and it not only immediately recognized the network but I connected lightning fast and the internet worked at higher speed than I've ever seen before--I guess the router is faster (the old router was a 5 year old linksys wireless G). In any case, I was thrilled to have strong, fast wireless internet on the new Asus--and the connection NEVER waned. Fast forward a few hours and I go and turn on the Toshiba; the moment the Toshiba starts up I not only can't connect to the internet on that laptop, but I instantly lose my connection on the Asus! Obviously, my network will not allow both laptops to access the net! I can connect to the network, but not the internet. I cannot figure out what the culprit is! Is it the modem? Is it the router? The router is brand new, and because of the easy-set up feature for Linksys, I didn't have to do anything but connect it--the router software did the rest. I can't really see either laptop being the culprit however, I do remember this: Other people have visited my home with their laptops in the past and they, too, were able to connect to my network and the net without problems. The Vaio I originally brought home, in fact, connected just fine, although I must concede that I can't remember if the Toshiba was ever up and running during that time. Here are a few additional, random facts, in case they mean anything: I tried to post a question on Yahoo Answers the other day and it wouldn't let me (first time ocurrence)--it gave me a "999" error and said it was either their fault or due to "unusual network activity" on my end. Once I installed the new router and completely shut down the Toshiba laptop, I was able to post it without any problems. Additionally, when I turned on the Toshiba last night and lost both connections, the Asus remained connected to at least local network while the Toshiba couldn't even connect to it. Then I lost the network connection, as well; so niether laptop could even connect to the home network, nevermind the internet. Can anyone help me? I don't know enough to even understand some of information I am giving so please try to dumb down any answer for me so I can understand what I should do...sorry, but this networking stuff is way beyond my scope of knowledge.
PS: I have firewalls turned off and my modem and router have their cables in the right places--modem has only an "ethernet" port, from which a wire is running to the router's "internet" port. My desktop is wired to the router's "ethernet" port number 1.
EDIT: I just thought of something and I will kick myself if this is the problem: I just now realized that my Toshiba laptop's "name" is Kasia-laptop; without thinking, I also named my new Asus kasia-laptop. Could this be the problem, even though the caps are different?
EDIT #2: I think I just made everything worse! I renamed the Asus laptop. Rebooted. It connected me to my network but this time, I was on "KNET 2 (KNET)" Why do I have that "2" there? Additionally, I rebooted the desktop and that screwed me up more--now, I cannot connect to my network AT ALL from either laptop! I used an unsecured random network from I neighbor, I guess, to get back on here. When I brought up the network list, under KNET (my network), it now says "your network adapter does not match the requirements of this network," or something to that effect. Then there was another KNET network that gave me the option to connect. Yikes! I am just about ready to call someone and pay them to fix this; I think it's over my head. I just really can't afford it so I'm trying to fix it myself.