When you have a laptop computer, you have many options for connecting to the Internet. You can connect to the Internet using services such as dial-up and DSL (digital subscriber line) connections. If you desire to be a more mobile user, you can access the Internet using wireless access provided that you have the correct hardware installed on your laptop.
Ensure that you have a dial-up modem installed in your computer. A 56Kbps (kilobit per second) modem is recommended.
Subscribe to dial-up Internet service with an Internet service provider (ISP) of your choice. The average monthly cost for dial-up Internet is about £6. This service can be purchased from many local telephone companies as well as independent Internet providers. After subscribing to a dial-up service you will be assigned a user name and password.
Connect a telephone line from your telephone jack to the telephone port on your laptop. A shorter line is recommended to minimise the distance your data has to travel.
Complete the Internet set-up wizard for your dial-up account. Some ISPs will send you a CD with a customised set-up wizard.
You can also run the wizard by opening the Microsoft Internet Explorer Web browser and clicking on "Tools." Select "Internet Options." Under the "Connection" tab, select the option to set up a "New Connection." The wizard will start. You will be prompted for your user name, password, and an access telephone number. Access phone numbers can be obtained from your ISP.
Open a Web browser to connect to the Internet after the connection wizard has completed.
Check your computer hardware to be sure that you have a 10/100Mbps (megabit per second) network interface card (NIC) installed on your laptop. Most modern laptops come with a network adaptor preinstalled. To check using Microsoft Windows, open the Control Panel and click on "Device Manager." Look under "Network Adapters" to see if a network card is listed.
Subscribe to DSL service from an Internet company of your choice. After signing up for DSL, the company will send you a broadband modem.
Connect the broadband modem to your laptop using the Ethernet and telephone cables provided. Power on your laptop and broadband modem.
Open an Internet browser and begin surfing the Internet.
Check to see if your laptop has a wireless (Wi-Fi) adaptor installed. Many laptops are now made with preinstalled wireless cards. If you are uncertain, check the Windows Device Manager (see above) or contact your laptop's manufacturer.
Turn on the wireless adaptor using the directions provided by your laptop's manufacturer.
Double-click the computer icon in your Microsoft Windows system tray, usually located at the bottom right of the screen. Browse through the list of available wireless networks. If there are no networks available, you can go to a Wi-Fi "hot spot." Many restaurants, coffee shops, and hotels have Wi-Fi hot spots. Some hot spots have a fee and require credit card information to connect while others are free. Once your laptop detects a usable network, select it.
Enter the password required to connect to the wireless network if prompted. If you don't know the password you will not be able to connect. Wait for your computer to confirm the connection.
Open your Internet browser and begin surfing the Internet.