>Do I need to provide a wireless network to allow the WT5A to communicate with the laptop? Or will it connect direct with my laptop and other devices, iphone, ipad?
Establish an ad-hoc Wifi network on your laptop, then set the parameters on the WT5A to allow it to join that network. Additional devices like an iPad or iPhone can also join the WiFi network & view the photos, but only one device can be in control.
You can also direct connect with a network cable, but that's not wireless (so neither the iPhone nor iPad could see the pictures) and you'd have no need of a WT5A for that.