If you’re not familiar with tablets and how they work, you may wonder just what it takes to get one online.  Now if you already have WiFi network up and running at your house, you don’t need anything. Tablets come ready to connect to WiFi.  All you’ll need is the password to your network, the same password you use to log on with your laptop.

fire-tablet-basic

Here’s what has to be in place to make that WiFi connection happen:

A high-speed connection. Sorry folks dial-up won’t do here. You’ll need a high-speed connection delivered through your Internet service provider. This could be DSL, cable or even satellite Internet. This will come with a monthly fee from your Internet service provider.

cable-modem-intro

A router. You will need a router to broadcast a WiFi signal in your home. Now, the router may be included as part of your modem from your ISP or you may need to provide one yourself.

router

Then you’ll be able to set up your WiFi network and log on.

android-network-password

Another option is to purchase a tablet with a 3G or 4G connection. You will likely pay extra for tablets with that capability.

iPad-iPad-mini

If you purchase a tablet with 3G or 4G, you’ll need to find a wireless carrier like Verizon, Sprint, or AT & T that is compatible with your device. Don’t purchase a tablet until you find out if it’s compatible with a carrier in your area. There is also a monthly fee for your data plan.

Another option would be to purchase a mobile hotspot. These devices can come as part of a monthly package from a wireless company or you can get a prepaid version that allows you so much data per month.

verizon-mobile-hotspot

You could also depend on  public WiFi in libraries, restaurants, or other public places to access the Internet. This is the least secure option, as these networks are generally open and you don’t know who else is using them.

One option you do not have with your tablet is a wired connection. They are designed for wireless use.

Also, don’t use your neighbors’ wireless networks without permission, even if they are unsecured. It’s a form of stealing and it’s pretty darn rude.

I hope this helps clear things up.

~ Cynthia