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What is an Integrated Wireless Connection?

Answer: A wireless connection typically refers to a Wi-Fi connection (based on the 802.11 standard), which can be used to connect to a wireless router. Since wireless routers are often connected to a cable or DSL modem, a Wi-Fi connection can allow computers to access the Internet.

Another type of wireless connection is Bluetooth, which has a shorter range than Wi-Fi. Bluetooth is used to connect wirelessly to PDAs, cell phones, printers, wireless keyboards and mice, and other peripheral devices that support Bluetooth. It is not used to connect to a wireless network like Wi-Fi is.

An integrated wireless connection means the hardware for connecting wirelessly is built into the computer. A computer that comes with a Wi-Fi card or Bluetooth adapter built in has an integrated wireless connection. While wireless connections are more likely to be integrated into portable computers, they can be installed in desktop computers as well. If Wi-Fi or Bluetooth components are not built-in to a computer, it is often still possible to add them. A Wi-Fi card can be placed in a laptop's PCMCIA slot, while a Bluetooth adapter plugs into a USB port. These components allow the same wireless capabilities as having an integrated wireless connection.

Published: February 23, 2005 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center