A wireless Internet gateway is the term used to describe the hardware components used to allow people to access the Internet via a wireless connection. This type of connection is growing in popularity, as it provides the greatest amount of freedom to users and represents a potential revenue stream to a range of different businesses. There are two aspects to connecting to the Internet via a wireless Internet gateway: hardware in the user's computer and network hardware for the service provider.
In order to access the Internet via a wireless connection, the computer you are using must have a wireless card. Laptops manufactured after 2007 usually come with a wireless card installed. If the card is not installed, it can be purchased from any computer or electronics store.
The card is inserted into a wide slot located on the side of the laptop and often has an antenna. To use the service, the card must be activated or turned on. Look in the network or wireless connections section of your computer operating system to turn this function on. Any wireless networks active in the area will appear on the screen.
To actually connect to the wireless Internet gateway, you may need to enter a user name and password. This type of security is very common, and is used to control access or provide connection to the Internet via a fee for service model. Once the connection is established and the user name and password accepted, you are now connected to the Internet via a wireless connection. Each user is free to browse the Internet the same way he would if the connection was a physical line.
The firm or organization providing the wireless Internet gateway must invest in a wireless Internet router and a connection to an Internet service provider (ISP). Typically, when you subscribe to an ISP, it provides you with a cable connection and router. The router is connected to a computer and configured to connect to the ISP. Adding a wireless router allows a user to connect to the router without a cable, and from there, access the Internet. Multiple users can connect to the router address and then access the Internet.
Many cafes, bakeries, libraries, and stores are providing wireless access to the Internet as a service to their customers. Some firms charge a nominal fee for each hour of use, while others have a policy that users must purchase something from the store. The actual cost to the business is quite low, and it represents a way to attract new customers or generate a new revenue stream.