You DO need a router to get your signal from your modem to the antenna in your laptop.
I just hooked all my gear to cable yesterday and got my Wii right on.
Hook the cable modem to your cable coax and run an Ethernet cable from the modem to your wireless router. Plug both in and they'll turn on and start sending out a wireless signal.
Now open IE or Firefox and see if your computer is connecting to the Internet. Try loading a webpage.
If you can't connect, take the Ethernet cord out of the back of the router and plug it directly into your computer. This should definitely get you online.
When I did this, it automatically went to setup for the network.
I re-plugged the router to the Ethernet cord and my computer picked up my signal right away. I haven't gotten into the settings for my router to secure it yet cuz that's when it kicks me off. I'm going to change the channel to 1 and it should still work and the Wii is supposed to work on 1 & 11 best. Mine is set to ch. 6 because I have a super g router and the Wii is ok.
I turned on the Wii, click the bottom left hand icon on the tv, go to Internet settings. Pick an empty connection slot, then tell it to search for the signal. It should find your wireless signal and you're on.
I have a netgear wgt624 super g router. ( I think those are the right letters....)
I didn't have any problems getting online with my laptop or the Wii but I'm afraid that when I go to secure my network, I'm going to have problems.
Like I said above, I've read about that happening when trying to secure the network and trying different channels on the router settings will eventually set it right.