Bluetooth, USB and Wi-Fi for laptops

Networking a laptop 
Wired ethernet networks 

Most laptops include a socket for connecting to a wired (Ethernet) network. This is referred to as a 10/100/1000 LAN RJ45 socket. The fastest ethernet connection is known as gig ethernet and transfers data at 1000Mbps.

Wireless network connectivity (Wi-Fi)

Most current laptops include built-in wireless connectivity.
This means that you can connect them to your existing home wireless network or go online at a wireless hotspot while out and about.
The best laptops will boast the latest and fastest wireless 802.11n protocol, though you’ll find that many models still use the older 802.11g protocol.
Your wireless cable or ADSL router will also need to be capable of using the 802.11n protocol for you to take advantage of higher speeds.

Laptop sockets

USB and Firewire

Check that your chosen laptop has enough USB and Firewire ports for connecting peripherals such as digital cameras, camcorders, printers, external keyboards, mice and hard drives. Faster USB 3.0 ports will work with USB 2.0 devices, although you won't get the faster speed.


If you want your laptop to communicate wirelessly with Bluetooth devices, such as mobile phones or wireless mice, then ensure that it has Bluetooth built-in. The alternative is to buy a separate USB Bluetooth ‘dongle’.

Expresscard slots

Expresscard slots enable a variety of accessories to be plugged into a laptop. These include external hard and solid-state drives, wireless network (Wi-Fi) cards and TV tuner cards.

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