Setting Up Internet - Using Windows 8.1: Return of the Start Button (2014)

Using Windows 8.1: Return of the Start Button (2014)

Chapter 5. Setting Up Internet

There are two main types of Internet connection: ADSL and Cable. ADSL, or digital subscriber line (DSL), enables fast data transmission over copper telephone lines. Cable Internet provides Internet access using coaxial cable. Most cable companies offer this with their television subscriptions.


Nowadays, most computers access the Internet using Wi-Fi (wireless Internet). To use Wi-Fi you'll need to sign up with an Internet service provider (ISP), such as AT&T. Typically the ISP will send you a router, as shown in the following picture.


This usually plugs into your phone line using a filter. This type of connection to the Internet over the phone line is known as ADSL.


Cable Internet

Cable Internet provides Internet access using coaxial cable, which was developed to carry television signals, instead of copper telephone cables, which are used in ADSL. All cable subscribers in a neighborhood connect to a cable company’s central office.


Following is an image of the back of a cable modem. Your computer connects to the modem using the Ethernet port via an Ethernet cable. Your Internet connection from the cable company connects to the cable port.


A lot of companies offer broadband Internet access with their TV packages. They send you a cable modem that provides Wi-Fi access in addition to a "hard-connection" option via the USB port.

Setting Up Wi-Fi on Your Computer

The router or modem has a code on the side that you enter into your computer to access the Internet.

If your modem is hard wired, just plug the Ethernet cable into your laptop; you don’t need to set up the Wi-Fi unless your cable modem has Wi-Fi capability.


The SSID is the name of your network. This will have been preset by your ISP. The Network Key is a password that is used to secure your network so no one else nearby can access your Wi-Fi.

Once your router is set up and plugged in, and your ISP has given you the green light, you can connect your computer to your Wi-Fi.

Activate the Charms Bar and click Settings.


Click the Wi-Fi icon, which is circled in the following screen.


This displays all the SSIDs of nearby Wi-Fi routers. Select the one that matches the SSID on the back of your router, making sure Connect Automatically is selected, then click Connect.


Enter your network key.


If you are having problems, contact your ISP tech support line. The details should be in the package they sent to you.

You are now ready to browse the Internet.