Internet & Home Networking FAQs

The following frequently asked questions (FAQs) have been collected from HP Support Experts to answer the most common network connection and troubleshooting questions.

What is a Network?

A network is simply two or more computers or devices that are connected to one another by wired or wireless communication technologies. Connecting to each other through a network allows the computers and devices to share information, files, and resources (such as an Internet connection).

What are WLAN and WWAN?

A WLAN is a wireless local area network (LAN) connection, whereas a WWAN is a broadband or wireless wide area network (WAN) connection. Most home networks use a WLAN connection. The WLAN network connection range and signal strength is limited to the signal strength of your Wireless router.

Wireless Wide Area Network (WWAN) is a wireless connection to a network that is achieved with the use of cellular technology. WWAN is different from a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) because it uses cellular services and different hardware. Generally, this hardware comes as a wireless card or USB device that is associated with a particular cellular service provider.

With WWAN, you can browse the Internet, check your e-mail, and connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) from anywhere within the regional boundaries of your cellular provider. Cellular providers offer WWAN service for a monthly fee.

For detailed troubleshooting of WWAN devices or connection issues, contact the service provider.

What is the best broadband or high-speed Internet solution?

"High speed" access to the Internet is also referred to as broadband Internet access. When you are selecting a high speed Internet service, there are a few factors to consider. The best broadband solution for you will depend upon things such as:

  • The cost of the service option.

  • The Internet-access services that are available in your area For example, DSL might not be available where you live.

  • What you use your computer for, such as playing games, watching videos, or for a home office.

  • Service requirements to buy new hardware or software to make your solution work.

Common broadband options include the following:

  • DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) - Internet access is delivered over the telephone line. DSL requires an Internet service provider (ISP) that can work with your phone service company.

  • Cable - Internet access is delivered through cable television wires. Generally, you subscribe to an Internet service provider through your cable provider, which is integrated into the cable television service.

  • Wireless (Wi-Fi) Internet service provider - This refers to Internet service built around wireless networking technology. Connecting to a Wi-Fi network is similar to using a cell phone. A Wi-Fi-enabled device can connect to the Internet when it is within range of a wireless network access point for your subscription service.

What does 802.x mean?

When you see a variation of the number “802.x” related to a wireless network, it typically refers to the speed and technology of that network. In order for network-service providers and hardware manufacturers to create systems that work together, they use standards. 802 refers to the family of wireless local-area network standards that define the speed of the network, the method that is used to connect to the network, the level of security, and the types of network hardware.

For example, 802.11n is faster than the previous version and operates at 2.4 GHz. Generally, the different versions of the 802 standard are compatible, but hardware that was built for previous standards is not able to utilize the new features of newer standards.

How do I make my Internet connection faster?

The best way to make your Internet connection faster is to upgrade the bandwidth from your service provider - for example, upgrading from a 2G service to a 4G service. However, it is possible that you are not getting the most out of your current bandwidth. Try the following additional tips:

  • For wireless networks, move your computer closer to the router to increase your signal strength.

  • Limit the number of devices on your network that can access the Internet.

  • Upgrade your computer's network hardware to match the highest speed rating that is available from the ISP modem or router.

How do I share media over a network?

To share information over a network, you need to enable Network discovery and file and printer sharing on each computer between which you want to share media. For steps on how to do this, see Set up a basic home network.

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