Computer Basics: Connecting to the Internet

There are a lot of reasons to set up a home
internet connection. For example, you’ll have access to email, news, shopping, TV shows,
and much more. And once you have a working internet connection, you can create a wireless
home network, which will let your whole family connect their computers, smartphones, and
other internet-ready devices. There are different types of internet connections
that you can have. Dial-up connects to your phone line. It’s usually much slower than
other types of internet connections, but in some areas it may be the only option available.
Generally, DSL and Cable are better options. DSL plugs into your phone line, and cable
uses your cable TV connection. These are both known as broadband internet connections because
they offer much faster speeds than dial-up. This makes it easier to watch videos, play
games, or browse the web. 3G and 4G are types of wireless internet connections
often used by smartphones, but you can also get these types of connections for your home.
Depending on where you live, 3G or 4G may be a good broadband alternative to DSL and
Cable. No matter what kind of internet service you
choose, you’ll need to purchase it from an Internet Service Provider, or ISP. Chances
are, you can buy internet service from your phone or cable company, or you may want to
shop around for a better price. Your ISP will guide you through the entire
process of connecting to the internet. They’ll usually need to send a technician to your
home to turn on your connection. Your ISP may also give you a modem and set it up for
you. But if you prefer, you can buy a modem from a computer store and use the included
instructions to set it up yourself. These instructions will vary, but the basic idea
is that you’ll connect the modem to your phone jack or cable TV connection, and then connect
your computer to the modem using an Ethernet cable. Once you have everything set up,
you can open your web browser and begin using the internet.
If you want to connect several devices to the internet, or if you just want the freedom
to use your laptop without cables, you can create a wireless home network, also known
as a Wi-Fi network. To do this, you’ll need a wireless router, which takes the internet
connection from your modem and broadcasts it throughout your home. Your modem may already
have a wireless router built-in, so you may not need to buy one.
To set up your wireless connection, follow the instructions included with your router.
You’ll need to choose a network name, also known as an SSID. Also, for security, you
should turn on WPA or WPA2 encryption, and make sure you choose a strong password.
After you’ve set up your wireless network, go into each device’s Wi-Fi or Network settings,
select your network name, and type your password. If any of your devices aren’t wireless ready,
you can simply plug them into your router with an Ethernet cable, or you can purchase
a wireless card. Setting up an internet connection and Wi-Fi
network takes a little bit of work, but once you get it set up, your family will be able
to use the internet without being limited to one computer.


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