Can someone please explain to me how Wifi works? I see at most of the accommodaiton we are staying at in Europe they offer wifi, but I have no idea how to access it. Do I just power up my laptop and log in to their network? Or do I need to set something up before I go? Sorry, I have just never travelled with my laptop before so this is all very foreign to me! Thanks!
As long as you laptop has wifi and it's turned on. If there is a signal in range the laptop will detect it automatically. Sometimes you will have a logon screen which you can logon and pay if needed.
Some places state.... "Wi-fi available here." Others state.... "Free Wi'fi available here". They both have Wi-fi, but as you can see, there's a difference.
How old is your laptop? if it's very old you probably won't have wifi.
To get online, click the little image of a computer in the bottom right of your screen and then select "connect to a wireless network". It may require a pasword, so just ask the hotel or restaurant for that and you should be good to go.
You basically need an adaptor that can hook up your machine with the web. This is integrated in most modern laptops, but you can buy an external one for hardly any money at all. These devices are usually plug and play, so you shouldn't have any trouble using them.
Be aware that you expose yourself by using a wireless internet connection, and that free wifi places are popular targets for less savory folk to access your computer illegally. It's wise to
- use the highest possible level of encryption (then again, this is not unbreakable, and also happens to be the source of most connection problems)
- be extremely cautious in using online banking (depending on what added safety your bank is offering)
- have an up-to-date firewall, virus scanner and malware suite running
- backup any documents you don't want to loose prior to travelling
Depending on where you go, I personally wouldn't bother with taking my laptop. Using internet cafés in my experience is less hassle.
[ Edit: Edited on 26-May-2009, at 00:37 by bentivogli ]