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Windows 10 Tips and Tricks: Connecting to Networks and the Internet

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This chapter from Windows 10 Tips and Tricks shows you how to connect your computer to a wired network or to a wireless network, how to connect to network folders, and how to deal with network problems. You also learn how to connect your computer to a virtual private network, or VPN, in order to establish a secure connection to a server across the Internet, and how to share your computer’s Internet connection with others.
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To get the most out of your computer, you’ll want to connect it to the Internet. Normally, the easiest way to do this is to connect it to a local area network that is connected to the Internet. For example, a typical home broadband connection includes a switch or router to which you can connect your computers and other devices (such as smartphones or tablets) so that they can access the Internet and also share files, printers, and other devices with each other locally. Similarly, your workplace likely has a network that enables the computers and devices to connect to servers, printers, and other shared resources, and to access the Internet.

This chapter shows you how to connect your computer to a wired network or to a wireless network, how to connect to network folders, and how to deal with network problems. You also learn how to connect your computer to a virtual private network, or VPN, in order to establish a secure connection to a server across the Internet, and how to share your computer’s Internet connection with others.

Connecting to a Wired Network

To connect to a wired network, plug one end of an Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port on your computer and the other end into an Ethernet port on a switch, router, or hub.

For many networks, making the physical connection is all you need to do, because Windows tries to configure the connection automatically when it detects the cable. If the network uses DHCP (see the nearby sidebar), Windows can apply suitable settings, and your computer can start using the network.

Windows doesn’t display any fly-out or dialog box when it connects successfully to a network, so you’ll probably want to check that the connection is working. Usually, the easiest way is to open a web browser, such as Microsoft Edge; if it displays your home page, all is well; but if it displays an error, you will need to configure the connection.

See the section “Configuring IP Settings Manually,” later in this chapter, for instructions on configuring a wired connection manually.

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