Finding a wifi hotspot

Before you can find a wifi hotspots used to ensure your computer or laptop has the right wireless gear. Most new laptops and desktops come with wireless transmitters built-in. If you laptop does not have a wireless adapter you can buy one plugs into the PC card or the USB port. Wireless adapters that plug into the USB port commonly known as USB dongles.

Once you have installed a wireless adapter and the drivers that that allow it, to operate you should automatically be able to discover wifi networks. This means, that when you switch your computer on and a wifi or wireless network is available, your computer will inform you can ask you if you would like to connect to an available wireless network.

Some public wifi networks are free – these can often be found in libraries, hotels and public buildings. Often however, you will need to pay to access a wifi network. In places such as airports and cafes you will need to ask the staff how to connect to the wifi network. They should give you a log on password on exchange for some money. Wifi connections are normally charged by the minute but, some operators allow you to pay a one-off daily fee and then you can be connected all day on their network.

With mobile broadband you do not need to find a wifi network. Instead, you can connect to the Internet by your mobile dongle or mobile card. And access the mobile Internet from anywhere you can receive a mobile reception. Mobile broadband providers offer packages where you can pay-as-you-go or access the Internet at any time for the price of a regular contract (from £10).