Home cable wireless network doesn't show up in available networks

Hi, I've just arrived in a new apartment with an iBook G4. I travel a lot and am able to easily pick up and connect to wireless networks. The apartment I've moved into has Time Warner Cable service, including a cable modem and a Belkin wireless router. The other three roommates all have PCs and connect just fine. I have looked at their computers, and they are connected to "WLAN", an "unsecured" wireless network. Although I am in very close proximity (i.e. 2 feet), I still CANNOT get the network to even show up on my list of available networks. It shows lots of other networks belonging to other apartments in the building, but it won't show the one for this apartment. I have tried all the other names that DO come up and they are not this one. I called TWC and they said I will have to buy an Airport wireless router if I want it to work with my Mac. Is this true? I don't know why the Belkin-based network wouldn't even *show up* in my list! It's not like it shows up and then I can't connect... it's like it's completely invisible. At the moment, the modem/router are unconnected to any other computer; they're just hooked up to the TWC cable. As an intermediate solution, I unplug the ethernet cable that connects the modem to the router, and then plug it into my computer. It works fine with ethernet connection between the modem and my computer, but I can't get my iBook to recognize the Belkin wireless router.

You DO NOT need an Airport Router. That is a tech person that is pretending to know Apple computers.
Your network might be "hidden" so that others (like your neighbors) cannot see it and use it.
I would check the name of the network on your roomates' computers. The when you try to connect use the choose another network option. You will be prompted to type the network name. Type the name exactly as it appears on the other computers (case sensitive).
If it is truly unprotected that should work.
I could also be Mac Address sensitive which is another issue, but try this first.

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