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Terms in this set (38)

Modem: Once you have your computer, you really don't need much additional hardware to connect to the Internet. The primary piece of hardware you need is a modem.

The type of Internet access you choose will determine the type of modem you need. Dial-up access uses a telephone modem, DSL service uses a DSL modem, cable access uses a cable modem, and satellite service uses a satellite adapter. Your ISP may give you a modem—often for a fee—when you sign a contract, which helps ensure that you have the right kind of modem. However, if you would prefer to shop for a better or less expensive modem, you can choose to buy one separately.

Router: A router is a hardware device that allows you to connect several computers and other devices to a single Internet connection, which is known as a home network. Many routers are wireless, allowing you to easily create a wireless network.

You don't necessarily need to buy a router to connect to the Internet. It's possible to connect your computer directly to your modem using an Ethernet cable. Also, many modems now include a built-in router, so you have the option of creating a network without having to buy more hardware.

Most routers also act as a hardware firewall, which helps prevent others from gaining access to your computer through the Internet.

Network card: A network card is a piece of hardware that allows computers to communicate over a computer network. Most newer computers have a network card built into the motherboard, so it probably isn't something you'll need to purchase. The network card will have an Ethernet port, a wireless connection, or both.

If you have a laptop with a wireless connection, you can access the Internet at any place that offers a Wi-Fi connection. Many restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, hotels, and other businesses offer free Wi-Fi. In addition, many cities provide free Wi-Fi in public areas such as parks and downtown areas.
Step 1

After unpacking the computer and peripherals
Unpack the monitor and computer case from the box. Remove any plastic covering or protective tape. Place the monitor and computer case where you want on a desk or work area.

Think about where you want your desk or work area to be located, and where you want your monitor, computer case, and other hardware to be. Be sure to place your computer case in an area that is well ventilated and that has good air flow. This will help to prevent overheating.

Step 2

Locate the monitor cable. There are several types of monitor cables, so the one on your computer may not look like the one in the image at the left. If you're having trouble finding your monitor cable, refer to the instruction manual for your computer. (If you have an all-in-one computer that's built into the monitor, you can skip to Step 4).

Step 3

Connecting the monitor cable to the VGA port
Connect one end of the cable to the monitor port on the back of the computer case and the other end to the monitor. Hand tighten the plastic-covered screws on the monitor cable to secure it.

Step 4

Unpack the keyboard and determine whether it uses a USB (rectangular) connector or a PS/2 (round) connector. If it uses a USB connector, plug it into any of the USB ports on the back of the computer. If it uses a PS/2 connector, plug it into the purple keyboard port on the back of the computer.

Step 5

Plugging the mouse into a USB port
Unpack the mouse and determine whether it uses a USB (rectangular) connector or a PS/2 (round) connector. If it uses a USB connector, plug it into any of the USB ports on the back of the computer. If it uses a PS/2 connector, plug it into the green mouse port on the back of the computer.

Step 6

If you have external speakers or headphones, you can connect them to your computer's audio port (either on the front or the back of the computer case). Many computers have color-coded ports. Speakers or headphones connect to the green port, and a microphone connects to the pink port. The blue port is the line in, which can be used with other types of devices.

Some speakers, headphones, and microphones have USB connectors instead of the usual audio plug. These can be connected to any USB port. In addition, many computers have speakers or microphones built into the monitor.

Step 7

Plugging the power cable into a surge protector
Locate the two power supply cables that came with your computer. Plug the first power supply cable into the back of the computer case, and then into a surge protector. Then, using the other cable, connect the monitor to the surge protector.

Step 8

Plugging the surge protector into a wall outlet
Finally, plug the surge protector into a wall outlet. You may also need to turn on the surge protector if it has a power switch.
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