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Wi-Fi connectivity makes a laptop even more useful to its owner. Most people use their computers as gateways to the internet, so it can be frustrating if they can't go online because they can't find an ethernet cable. Consumers can buy wireless cards for laptops so their devices can connect with a signal from anywhere.
These cards need to be installed to a computer's motherboard to use a wireless signal. Many of the available models come with tutorials and instruction guides, so even shoppers who aren't tech-savvy can easily install their new purchase.
Laptop wireless cards act as internal receivers, allowing a computer to connect to the internet over the air without an ethernet cord. Users who are on the go need this added convenience so their devices can be fully functional anywhere there's a wireless signal. For example, college students can install a card so their laptops work in class and in the library - not just in their dorm rooms or apartments.
A laptop must be within a certain proximity to a Wi-Fi router to receive the signal, as the card itself does not generate web connectivity. Fortunately, many establishments, ranging from coffee shops to public libraries, provide wireless web access, so everyone can find a place to go online.
For users who want to add an ethernet connection to their notebook, there are cards with jacks for cords. Manufacturers have begun producing slim laptops that remove ethernet ports to reduce the devices' overall weight. Much like a wireless card, these units are installed internally but have an external attachment intended for a wired connection.
You should make sure the wireless card you're thinking about purchasing matches your computer's hardware specifications. Access points must have driver support to function properly, so be sure to check what your system is capable of supporting.