Although getting an Internet connection at your home is convenient, you don't have to be constrained to the house to get online. Wi-Fi hotspots are public places where many people can access the Internet on laptop computers via a public Wi-Fi network. Hotspots can be found in many locations including parks, libraries, coffee shops and even McDonald's..
- Skill level:
Power on your computer and open the wireless connection utility. This utility is in the system tray, which is on the right side of your start bar, near where your computer displays the time. This icon looks like a little computer. Open it by clicking on it twice. A new window will pop up with a list of wireless networks you can join. If you are using a Mac, open the Apple menu, and then select "System Preferences" and then choose "Network" to display a list of Wi-Fi networks you can join.
Find the wireless hot spot you are trying to use on the list and then highlight it. If it has a little lock icon next to it, then you will need to enter a security code. Speak to a network administrator (probably an employee) about getting the security code (if you are at a coffee shop, you may need to purchase something before you can join the network).
Press the connect button. A status window will pop up. Once the status window says "connected" you have officially joined the hot spot. Double click on your browser of choice and you will be able to surf the web with ease.
Tips and warnings
- If there are a lot of people using the network, it will probably be slow, and you may get booted off from time to time. If this happens, just wait a few minutes, and then try again.
- Using public Wi-Fi hotspots is not a secure way to connect to the Internet so refrain from doing online banking or reading sensitive e-mails while using a hot spot connection.
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