Laptops are popular because of their being handy. A number of technologies have been developed to accommodate this feature. One of these is the use of wireless connections. These transmit pieces of data via signals, instead of using data cables. Some wireless networks can span large areas comparable to those of Local Access Networks (LAN).
- Wireless router (if needed)
- wireless Internet modem
- payment for Wi-Fi access (if needed)
- Internet Service Provider (ISP) subscription
To be able to access the Internet on the wireless laptop, there needs to be an accessible wireless network connection. Some computers can be configured so that they can automatically detect and connect to an available wireless connection. In some cases, users may need to manually search for available networks.
Check if there is a wireless network button on the interface of the laptop. It is often included in a panel of small buttons placed above or below the keyboard. Other buttons in the panel may include functions for automatically searching the system, opening an email account, and launching a Web browser. The icon for the wireless network button is often shaped like a satellite. Users can click on this button to check for wireless networks in the area.
The wireless computer can also manually check for available wireless networks. This can be done by going to the Network Connections window and clicking on the ‘Wireless Network Connection’ icon. Windows users may also use the ‘Connect to’ link included in the ‘Start’ Menu. Select this link and choose ‘Wireless Network Connection’.
The ‘Wireless Network Connection’ window will open with a list of available networks. If there is none, try clicking on the ‘Refresh network list’ link located at the left side. If there are no wireless networks available, users can either set one up or go to an area that offers one for free.
Some establishments offer free wireless Internet connections to patrons. These can include malls, coffee shops, and others. Users can go to these locations and connect to their wireless network. Go again to the ‘Wireless Network Connection’ window, select their available network and connect to it. If the desired network cannot be found, and refreshing the list doesn’t work, ask the establishment’s employees for assistance.
Other establishments will offer a wireless Internet connection in exchange of a purchase or fee. Users may need to inform a cashier or waiter that they want to use the wireless network. The cashier may then give them a username and password to log on to the network. Go back to the ‘Wireless Network Connection’ window and select the desired connection. Log in using the data given and connect to the network.
A wireless network can also be created for the home or office. A subscription to an ISP is needed. Simply connect the ISP cable to a wireless router and set up the network using the instructions from the router manufacturer. Make sure to change the device’s default password for added protection. A firewall also needs to be installed on the router and the laptop to prevent malware infections and hacker interference. Go back to the ‘Wireless Network Connection’, select your network and connect.
Some ISPs offer straight wireless connections for laptop computers. These commonly come in the form of a device plugged into the laptop, often via the USB port. These allow users to connect directly to a larger wireless network generated by the ISP itself. Users can subscribe to the service, connect, and install the device. The computer can then be configured to use it as the default Internet connection.