Understanding Computers/laptops/tablets and internet


I have a desktop pc that has DSL and connects to the phone jack, but I'm Totally ignorant about laptops and tablets. I see tablets sold for like $50, but what about the cost of connecting it to the internet; doesn't it still require an ISP? But what really baffles me is how people connect to the internet wherever they are. I know some public places have Wifi, but if I were to get a laptop and go to someone's house who doesn't have a computer, would I still be able to connect to the internet? And even if they had a PC like I do, that's connected either by DSL or cable, could someone just walk into their house with a laptop and be able to use the internet, or would they have to do something?  Thanks

Hello Lee,
Thanks for asking this question.

First of all, you need a modem for laptop or tablet to be accessible to Internet.  Modem needs to be connected to phone jack(DSL).  From the modem, laptop or tablet can have access to Internet.  Access key (like 10 digit numbers) is normally required to make a connection between Modem and Laptop/table, so that WIRElesss access to Internet will be possible.  I mean here "WIREless".

<< WIREED >>
Also, in the modem, the cable can be connected to Desktop or laptop, which in this case is called 'WIREed'.  

<< Laptop or tablet >>
Nowadays, any laptop or tablet has wireless configuration, so that it can have access to Internet via Wireless connection.  Wireless access (e.g. MacDonald) can be either public or private, and public is free to access. You go to MacDonald with laptop (or tablet) which has already WIRELESS capability, and you turn on Laptop and it starts to try to access to Internet via Wireless connection.  You can try this connection at your friend's house or restaurant, and if Wireless is private/protected, then Laptop will ask you to enter ACCESS KEY which is normally provided by restaurant or your friend.

<< Now Your Home >>
As I mentioned earlier, you need a Modem (it is small box with size of Bible).  You can buy this from any computer store. Or, your ISP (Internet Service Provider such as AT&T or Comcast, etc) can provide you with the modem box with some fee (or maybe free).  So, please call your ISP and ask if they can mail it to you free of charge or monthly installment.  I think you can negotiate if you are willing to stay with the program. Modem box will come with Access Key number.

Desktop era has gone, and current laptop is as powerful or more powerful.  Today, I saw some laptop Ads such as DELL or anything else which is with huge discount during Thanksgiving Black Friday.  You can buy almost for only $200+ for laptop.  Please check it out.

I hope this information helps you and I hope you will find the best option for you.

Understanding Computers

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I can answer questions regarding general computers, data base, software, system design, Mainframe, SAP system, and word processing packages and programming.
I am also an avid golfer, and welcome to Simple Golf Swing and Secrets!
iPAD Video Lesson is available now for great training. Please check this site. iPAD Video Lesson Site!

Natural Vision Care, Eye Exercise!

Have a great day!


I have been working in Computer Information Systems area for past 20 years. My expertise includes programming, system design, data base design, and end user computing and ERP/SAP implementation. Currently I am actively involved in SAP System Design and Implementation.
...SAP Training Place!

...Ultimate SAP Training System - Computer Based Training!
...my Learn SAP - Knowledge is Power for IT Pros!
...SAP Book review from Amazon!

...Learn how to earn income online via Affiliate Internet Marketing (AIM), Check below!
=>Click this!
=>Click this for fun AIM!


To Learn SAP:
How to grasp High Level and Fundamental Understandings of SAP system?

SAP Training Place!
VLOOKUP is a simple and powerful tool in EXCEL.
How to merge Excel files using VLOOKUP?
Make an International Phone Call
my Learn SAP - Knowledge is Power for IT Pros!
my Learn Golf - Simple and Straight!

I have completed Master degree in Computer Information Systems.

Past/Present Clients
TOSHIBA PC - Smart Choice!

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.