Your Ultimate Internet Connection Guide

What Internet Connection Options Are Available?

Linksys router such as this offers cabled and wireless connections to the Internet

Most of us own computers that are connected to the Internet via a telephone line, either with a DSL connection or a fiber optic cable. However there are more and more ways to get online, such as satellite Internet, mobile phones and 3G modems and even wireless Internet in city centers and malls.

Making the right choice of Internet connection can benefit both your computer and your wallet, but your selection really needs to match your own expectations of the quality of your connection, the speed and the bandwidth.

Of course, you may have already chosen your Internet connection type, and be looking for a way of improving the speeds you are currently receiving. There are several ways of improving your broadband speed, from using an Ethernet cable instead of wireless networking to tweaking your router.

General Home Network Troubleshooting

Problems with home Internet connections can usually be resolved, but like many things the fix depends on the severity of the problem. For instance, troubleshooting a “network cable unplugged” error might sound simple enough (you might think that simply buying a new Ethernet cable would suffice) but you might not have thought the problem could be a hardware failure – faulty Ethernet cards can result in the same error message.

One thing that should always be encouraged is having a backup Internet connection. This might be using a 3G dongle, using a local unsecured wireless network or even just connecting a mobile phone to your computer to use it as a 3G modem.

Go Online with Windows

While getting online should be easy, it rarely is for users of some platforms. Windows 7 users with particular hardware configurations might have issues configuring their systems, for instance, although troubleshooting these types of problem is usually a case of running some small repair tools from the Microsoft website.

Windows Vista and XP users might also encounter problems connecting their computers to the web, although Vista users can take advantage of a few useful tips for improving their Internet speeds.

Major connectivity issues might be related to hardware, and in Windows there are plenty of ways in which this can be diagnosed. Less obvious problems, meanwhile, could be caused by something else entirely; many problems that are experienced by users trying to connect to the web with Internet Explorer are in fact the result of malware such as worms or viruses.

Connecting Games Consoles

It isn’t just computers that can be connected to the Internet. Games consoles require Internet access to provide online gaming and opportunities to download additional in-game content and levels.

Whether you have a Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, there is a method for getting online that will benefit you. One word of note – while Wi-Fi might seem like a flexible advantage it isn’t really suitable for online gaming unless you’re in the same room as the router. As such, make it a wired connection for your games console, and enjoy the online services as they are meant to be experienced!

Get Your Mac or Linux Computer Online

Internet connections for all computers are largely managed in the same way, but if you don’t own a Windows computer or game console chances are that you are using a Mac or a Linux computer.

While Macs are geared towards using wireless networks they have Ethernet connectors and can even be used with external dial-up modems if necessary. A Mac can even be configured to share an Internet connection, something that could prove useful for anyone looking for a solution to the question of a backup connection!

Similarly, Linux users should find that they are able to connect to the web without much trouble; any issues doing so can be easily resolved.

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