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Windows XP - Setting Your Internet Connection

written by: Felix•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 6/12/2010

Which type of internet connection you select is a matter of choice. Businesses often use wired connections to prevent bandwidth loss and control the network, while home users may choose a wireless connection. This article will tell how to set both types, the differences, and the pros and cons.

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    Since Microsoft created Windows XP, setting up an internet connection is a much easier and more straightforward process compared to setting an internet connection in the previous versions of Windows. XP uses plug-and-use system of network capabilities—for some cases, there are also drivers needed to be installed. There are two ways of setting an internet connection in Windows XP: wired or wireless.

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    Wired Connection

    Setting up a wired connection in Windows XP requires a few tools. First, make sure that you have these two things available:

    1. A modem (internal/external)

    2. Internet Service Provider/ISP

    If you have these, try connecting the modem to the CPU. Windows XP should detect and install all the necessary drivers. If Windows XP does not detect the modem, check the modem packaging for a CD to install the necessary drivers to your computer. Finish this step, and try connecting the modem again. Windows should detect the modem.

    After you have made sure that the modem is working properly, then you can plug your network cable into your modem. The network cable looks like a telephone cable, but slightly bigger. The ISP you registered with should have readied you a network cable to plug on your computer. Plug your network cable on your modem, and the other end on your CPU. Restart the computer. Windows should now detect that an internet connection is present.

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    Wireless Connection

    You can also set up an internet connection using a wireless connection. The advantage you might want to consider of using a wireless connection is that it needs virtually no cable, and that most wireless connections support more than one direct connection. (Some do not, depending on the system that the ISP uses.)

    To use a wireless connection, the two things required are a network adapter for your PC and a wireless router. Wireless routers are affordable and easy to configure. The most prominent brands used are Belkin and Linksys.

    First, you will need to install the network adapter to your PC, and then install all drivers. Then, connect the network cable from your modem directly to the main port of the wireless router. (Usually, the main port is marked with different color or text. If there are not any, just plug it anywhere.) The wireless router will detect your modem’s internet connection and automatically create a wireless network.

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    Which One?

    Selecting which one to use might be a problem, because each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages:

    For wired connection:


    + Relatively cheaper than wireless router

    + Efficient if used on a big network (usually are used on an office network)

    + Faster internet connection than wireless network


    - Needs a lot of cable, which makes it somewhat more expensive.

    - Harder to connect on a big network, need to have a systematical wiring system

    For wireless connection:


    + Highly efficient. No need for a wiring system.

    + Ability to choose many security systems to use.

    + Home-network friendly.


    - Somewhat expensive.

    - Wireless security systems are generally easy to break and hackable.

    - Possible internet connection slowdown depending on the signal received.