Basic Computing Using Windows/Appendices/Connecting to the Internet

The Internet is an integral part of Windows. There are many ways of connecting to the Internet.

  1. Using a dial-up connection:-To create a new dial-up connection to the Internet (that is, not a high-speed broadband connection) navigate to one of the three places above (if it is the last one click on ‘Show all connections’). Then there will be either an icon that says ‘Make New Connection’ or an item on the left-hand side labeled ‘Create a new connection’. Open the one that your computer has and follow the instructions. If it is called ‘Create a new connection’ you can also create a high-speed connection in there. This system is outdated , with most computers not having an RJ-45(telephone jack) connector anymore. Dial-ups are also very slow.
  2. Using Ethernet:- Mostly , you can simply connect the cable and then connect to the Internet. If that does not work , make sure that the latest drivers are installed and that the connection is not disabled. Ethernet is often faster than Wi-Fi , where CAT5E can get up to 1 Gbit/s (125 MB/s) while the latest Wi-Fi 802.11 ac can get up to about 600 Mbit/s (75 MB/s) and the more common 802.11 n can get up to about 130 Mbit/s (16.25 MB/s) to 300 Mbit/s (47.5 MB/s). The common types of Ethernet are:-
    1. CAT3 , offers up to about 10 Mbit/s (1.25 MB/s)
    2. CAT5 , offers up to about 100 Mbit/s (12.5 MB/s)
    3. CAT5E , offers up to about 1 Gbit/s (125 MB/s)

Note that they are both backwards and forward comparable(both socket and cable) but you'll not get the benefit of the newer standard.

  1. Wi-Fi:- Wi-Fi(Wireless Fidelity) is a very popular method of connecting to the internet both at home through a router , and outside at popular malls and cafes. First you need to make sure that the network you want to connect is within range. Then click the wireless icon(or open the Charms and click Network) on the taskbar and click Connect to Network. If you see no networks , make sure that Wi-Fi is not disabled. You can go to Network Connections in Windows XP + or open the Charms bar in Windows 8+ , click Network and ensure that Wi-Fi is enabled and Airplane mode is disabled. Click then network , and enter the password if you're prompted. Sometimes , you cannot find your preferred network. In this case , if you know the name , you can click Hidden Network in the list of networks and enter its name. Sometimes , you do not have to enter the password. Instead , you can click on a button and then it'll connect. This feature is called Wireless Protected Setup(WPS) and while it can be easy, it is not recommended as it is not that secure. The common types of Wi-Fi are
    1. 802.11 b , offers up to about 11 Mbit/s (1.375 MB/s)
    2. 802.11 g , offers up to about 54 Mbit/s (6.75 MB/s)
    3. 802.11 n , offers up to about 130 Mbit/s (16.25 MB/s) in 20Mhz frequency and about 300 Mbps (47.5 Mbps) in 40 Mhz frequency.
    4. 802.11 a , offers up to about 54 Mbit/s (6.75 MB/s). Uses a different frequency type(5Ghz) and has shorter range.
    5. 802.11 ac , offers up to about 600 Mbit/s (75 MB/s)

Note that they can reduce their speeds dynamically (eg - from 11 Mbit/s to 5 Mbit/s) if there is not enough range.