Establishing Connectivity to the Internet

All modern computers and laptops are capable of connecting to the internet, as are many other devices, including mobiles, tablets, e-readers, televisions, video games consoles.

There are two ways of getting the internet at home. The most popular way is to have your telephone line (also known as a 'landline') converted to broadband so that it can carry normal phone calls and internet data at the same time.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to connect to the internet

Step 1: Choose an Internet Service Provider (ISP). This could be the company that provides your telephone line or it could be one of the many independent providers. To help you choose, have a look at one of the many comparison websites and ask people you know for their opinion.

Step 2: Having chosen an ISP and signed the contract, you'll have to wait a few days while your line is converted to broadband. During this time, you should receive a letter with your username and password and the hardware you'll need: a small box called a 'router' and its attachments.

Step 3: Once you're told that your broadband is active, you can set up your router. It should have come with three cables:

  • a network cable to connect the router to your computer
  • a power cable
  • a cable that will go between your router and a microfilter (see below)
  • Plug one end of the network cable into the appropriately shaped socket in the router, and the other end in a similarly appropriately shaped socket in your computer

Enable and Disable Automatic Wireless Network Configuration

To enable automatic configuration, ensure the 'Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings' checkbox is checked on the Wireless Networks tab of the Wireless Network Connection properties window. Automatic wireless Internet/Wi-Fi network configuration will be disabled if this checkbox is unchecked. You must be logged on with Windows XP administrative privileges to enable/disable this feature.

Available Networks

The Wireless Networks tab allows you to access the set of 'Available' networks. Available networks represent those active networks currently detected by Windows XP. Some Wi-Fi networks may be active and in range but not appear under Available networks. This occurs when a wireless router or access point has SSID broadcast disabled.

Preferred Network

In the Wireless Networks tab, you can build a set of so-called 'Preferred' networks when automatic wireless configuration is active. This list represents a set of known Wi-Fi routers or access points you wish to automatically connect to in future. You can 'Add' new networks to this list by specifying the network name (SSID) and appropriate security settings of each.