How to Connect to the Internet – A Beginner’s Guide

Many people struggle with connecting their devices to the internet, even though it may seem like a simple task. But if you’re someone who isn’t familiar with the type of internet connection you have at home and need a bit of guidance, you’ve come to the right place! Staying connected in today’s time is beyond important. Given the need for a good internet connection in the world today, knowing how to connect to the internet is now considered a life skill.

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You don’t need a computer science degree to connect your device to the internet. All you need is a fundamental understanding of the type of internet service and hardware you need at home. Luckily, this article has it all!

By the end of this write-up, you’re going to know more about the type of internet connections available and how to connect to the internet at home and on the go in simple steps! So without further ado, let’s get started!

Type of Internet Connections at Home

Internet shopping is all about knowing the type of internet connection, speed, and price you want. But what most people don’t know is that the type of internet connection you choose depends on the type of service offered by the internet service providers in your area. Some of the common types of internet connections offered by ISPs usually are:

1) DSL

A DSL connection uses a phone line to connect to the internet; however, you don’t necessarily require a landline for a DSL connection to work. Since it depends on a phone line connection, users are bound to enjoy a high-speed internet connection at all times, even during phone calls. Phone lines are spread out across the country, making DSL a widely available option.

However, there are faster internet connections available that don’t depreciate due to longer distances.

2) Cable

Cable is a popular internet connection type that uses cable lines to deliver high-speed internet to users. It relies on coaxial cables, the same ones that provide cable TV access to your house, which is why you’ll notice that many internet service providers bundle cable internet and TV service together. It’s faster than a DSL connection, and you don’t need cable TV to access it.

3) Satellite

Satellite internet is widely available and is found almost everywhere globally since it uses satellites orbiting the earth. However, being widely available doesn’t make it a popular option among internet users.

Satellite internet users struggle with poor connectivity and frequent dropouts since the connection is easily interrupted by external factors like weather, obstacles, and downtime. It’s also slower than cable and DSL connections.

4) Fiber

Fiber optic internet is the fastest broadband connection type available to us. It can deliver speeds up to 1000 Mbps with low latency. Fiber optic internet providers like AT&T, Earthlink, MetroNet, and These providers employ incredible fiber-optic cable technology to deliver high bandwidth speeds as fast as the speed of light. However, a fiber-optic connection is not widely available everywhere and is generally a bit more expensive than other options.

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Now that you have a good idea of the types of internet services available connecting to the internet is easier than ever. The internet connection you have determines the equipment you need. Let’s check out the hardware you need to connect to the internet easily.

Equipment Needed to Connect to the Internet

  • Router

A router is an important device that connects your PCs and other devices to the Wi-Fi network. To connect to the internet at home, you firstly need a home network. A router, along with a modem, creates a home network. However, a router is not necessarily needed to connect to the computer. You can directly connect your PC via an Ethernet as well, but we’ll get to that later in this article.

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  • Modem

The modem is a primary piece of internet equipment that translates analog signals sent via coaxial cables, phone lines, or other cables into digital information on the computer and back again. The type of internet connection you have ultimately decided the type of modem you need. For instance, a DSL connection uses a DSL modem, a satellite connection uses a satellite adapter and a cable connection uses a cable modem.

Internet service providers charge you a monthly fee for leasing modems, routers, or gateways — a modem-router combo. However, a few like Spectrum included modem in your internet plan for free. Plus, depending on your ISP, you may buy your own internet equipment to save some bucks.

Now that you’re familiar with the equipment typically required to connect to the internet, let’s check out how to do so.

How to connect to the Internet at home?

Before connecting your device to the internet, make sure you understand how your smartphones and devices work and your router/modem is plugged in and switched on.

Connecting Wireless Devices

  1. Ensure the Wi-Fi on your device is powered on.
  2. Your wireless devices like smartphones, laptops, PCs, tablets, gaming systems, iPods, etc., should have the Wi-Fi switched on to connect to the internet seamlessly.
  3. Go to the device’s settings.
  4. Visit your device’s settings and find the network settings. Click on the Wi-Fi icon on your laptop or PC’s toolbar, which will show the connections available nearby.
  5. Find your Wi-Fi network.
  6. In your network settings, you will find several connections available. Find your broadband network or hotspot by the name you’ve set as default. Select the network and enter the password. If you’re connecting to a public network, ask the person responsible for the network for it. However, open public networks don’t require a password to connect.
  7. Wait for the device to connect.
  8. It takes a few seconds for the network to connect to your device. If the connection times out, more than often, it’s because the device is far from the network. In this case, move closer to the Wi-Fi network and reconnect.
  9. Test the connection.

Once the device shows that it’s connected to the network, test the connection by opening the web browser and waiting for it to load. Note that some web pages take time to load.

Connecting Via an Ethernet Cable

  1. Find an Ethernet cable.
  2. Devices like PCs, laptops, and non-wireless gaming systems can connect to the internet directly with the help of an Ethernet cable. If you can’t connect these devices wirelessly, get an Ethernet cable and necessary adapters to do the job.
  3. Plug one end of the Ethernet cable into the Wi-Fi source
  4. Your Wi-Fi source, most of the time, will be a router, so connect one end of the Ethernet to the router. Plug one end of the cable into the Ethernet port typically located at the back of the router.
  5. If your device doesn’t support an Ethernet connection, this is where the adapter will help you. Connect the adapter and then plug in the Ethernet cord.
  6. Navigate the device’s settings.
  7. Once the Ethernet cable is connected to the router and your device, wait for it to recognize the Ethernet. Turn off the wireless connection to make sure the device recognizes the Ethernet connection.
  8. Test out the settings.
  9. To test out the connection and ensure it’s up and running, open up your web browser and wait for the page to load.

Wrapping It Up

Hopefully, this article was useful in offering prior knowledge needed to connect to the internet easily! By simply knowing the type of connection you have, the equipment needed, and the basic steps, you can now browse, stream, and game online as your heart desires!

Stefan Richard is one of the folks who can't have a life without technology, especially Microsoft products. He has more than 12+ experience in Information technology. He worked as IT trainer, network/system administrator and IT Infrastructure manager. Stefan is the co-founder of HecticGeek.

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