How to Connect to the Internet Using a Laptop Computer

Written by c. taylor
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How to Connect to the Internet Using a Laptop Computer
Laptops allow you to connect to the Internet anywhere that offers Wi-Fi. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Laptop computers can connect to the Internet via an Ethernet cable or a wireless link. Most modern laptops offer both options via an integrated Ethernet port and wireless adaptor. In the unlikely event that you do not have either of these options, you can use a USB adaptor to add Internet support. Windows automatically recognises and installs the necessary drivers for such devices, so installation is painless.

Skill level:


    Wired Connection

  1. 1

    Power on your Windows laptop.

  2. 2

    Plug one end of an Ethernet cable into your modem's Ethernet port or into one of the numbered ports on your router.

  3. 3

    Plug the other end into the Ethernet port on your laptop. Windows will automatically connect to the Internet when it detects the connection.

    If you do not have an Ethernet port, plug a USB Ethernet adaptor into an available USB port, and Windows automatically installs the necessary drivers for the adaptor, enabling the Ethernet port.

    Wireless Connection

  1. 1

    Click the wireless network icon in your Windows system tray. This icon looks like five progressively larger vertical bars.

    If you do not see this icon, click the "Start" button, type "connect to the Internet," click "Connect to the Internet" in the search results and click "Wireless" in the window that pops up. This will expand the network list from the system tray. If "Wireless" is not a connection option, your computer does not have wireless capability. However, you can easily add it by inserting a USB wireless adaptor and having Windows automatically install the necessary drivers.

  2. 2

    Click the network to which you want to connect and click "Connect."

  3. 3

    Enter the security key in the pop-up window and click "OK" to connect.

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