What is a Wireless Internet Gateway?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 01 October 2019
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A wireless Internet gateway is the term used to describe the hardware components used to allow people to access the Internet via a wireless connection. This type of connection is growing in popularity, as it provides the greatest amount of freedom to users and represents a potential revenue stream to a range of different businesses. There are two aspects to connecting to the Internet via a wireless Internet gateway: hardware in the user's computer and network hardware for the service provider.

In order to access the Internet via a wireless connection, the computer you are using must have a wireless card. Laptops manufactured after 2007 usually come with a wireless card installed. If the card is not installed, it can be purchased from any computer or electronics store.

The card is inserted into a wide slot located on the side of the laptop and often has an antenna. To use the service, the card must be activated or turned on. Look in the network or wireless connections section of your computer operating system to turn this function on. Any wireless networks active in the area will appear on the screen.


To actually connect to the wireless Internet gateway, you may need to enter a user name and password. This type of security is very common, and is used to control access or provide connection to the Internet via a fee for service model. Once the connection is established and the user name and password accepted, you are now connected to the Internet via a wireless connection. Each user is free to browse the Internet the same way he would if the connection was a physical line.

The firm or organization providing the wireless Internet gateway must invest in a wireless Internet router and a connection to an Internet service provider (ISP). Typically, when you subscribe to an ISP, it provides you with a cable connection and router. The router is connected to a computer and configured to connect to the ISP. Adding a wireless router allows a user to connect to the router without a cable, and from there, access the Internet. Multiple users can connect to the router address and then access the Internet.

Many cafes, bakeries, libraries, and stores are providing wireless access to the Internet as a service to their customers. Some firms charge a nominal fee for each hour of use, while others have a policy that users must purchase something from the store. The actual cost to the business is quite low, and it represents a way to attract new customers or generate a new revenue stream.


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Post 4

Has anyone had any experience with the long distance WiFi connections that are popping up in larger cities? I guess from the way I understand it, it is like having wireless router access points all across the city so that you can get on the internet no matter where you are.

Maybe I just worry too much like a lot of other people, but it seems like that would be a great way for some people to be stealing personal information from people that got on the network. I'm sure they say all of the connections are secure, and maybe they are for the time being, but it won't take long for people to figure out how to get into the system.

I think it would be good to have internet wherever you go, but I don't perceive public, citywide wireless gateways being common anytime soon.

Post 3

@kentuckycat - I don't personally know of any programs off the top of my head that would do what you are asking about, but I think just being careful is the best way to prevent anyone stealing valuable information from your computer.

Like you said, avoiding websites where you have to enter passwords is important, and I would never enter credit card information on a network that I didn't know was secure.

Something else that some people don't think of is making sure that you never clicked the "Connect automatically" button when you go to a public network. If you did this at an airport, if your computer was on in your bag or something, it would connect to the network and stay connected the entire time you were at the airport giving someone plenty of time to get access to your computer if they knew what they were doing.

Post 2

I like having internet connections around me, but I am always worried about people stealing my information if I log into a public connection. What I have always wondered is how real the threat is in actuality. Has anyone ever had someone connect to their computer while they were on an open wireless network?

I travel a lot and use airport connections when I absolutely have to get on the internet for something. Although I always avoid going to sites where I have to put in a password or enter any personal information, I still worry about it. Are there any programs that you can download that will make your connection more secure or at least alert you if someone might potentially be trying to access your computer?

Post 1

I always thought that a wireless internet gateway was a special type of internet connection, but I guess maybe not. This article sounds like it can be any type of connection. Here, it is mentioned sort of from the standpoint of having a public internet connection, but is the phrase wireless internet gateway also used to describe home networks, as well?

I think it is great that wireless networks are becoming so common. Sometimes it is hard to remember what things were like when we didn't have the internet with us at all times.

I don't do a lot of internet browsing when I'm not actually at home on my computer, but it is always nice to know that if I need immediate information that I can just pull out my cell phone and have it.

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