KNOWHOW guide to buying an external wireless device

KNOWHOW guide to buying an external wireless device

A handy guide to buying and installing an external wireless device

While laptop computers are great for letting you get on with stuff on the go, some of them don’t have inbuilt wireless capacity. This is a short guide to read before you purchase an external wireless device for your laptop. It's very simple to get almost any laptop ready for Wi-Fi and get online. All you need to know is what to look for and how much you should expect to spend.

Most laptops can accept a wireless device that lets them connect to Wi-Fi signals. It will usually connect to the laptop via one of the machine's USB ports and may also be called an adaptor or dongle .

External wireless devices can be bought for less than £10 and are often the size and shape of a USB memory stick.

Devices vary in their system requirements. Note down your laptop details and read the packaging carefully to make sure your system is fully compatible before purchasing one.

Most wireless devices (the hardware) require a driver (the software) to allow installation and connection. The software will usually be included on a CD or DVD , so check this if your laptop doesn’t have a drive to play these discs.

The range of reception may be limited on some models; make sure the one you purchase will be strong enough to detect signals where you’ll be using it.

Just by connecting this little dongle , the whole of the internet will be at your fingertips. The devices can usually be installed in minutes, so you can set one up and be connected before your coffee has a chance to get cold.