More and more home devices are able to connect to the internet today.  The real problem comes with the compatibility of the devices with your broadband connection.  You also have to consider the wireless connection set-up between your phone and broadband package, and the device.  There are certain steps that you can complete to ensure your devices are going online correctly.

Windows-based Devices

If you are using a Windows-based device you should have very little trouble getting online.  All Windows versions are compatible with the common phone and broadband packages.  This does not mean that you can simply turn your computer on and start working. 

When you set up your broadband connection you will need to use the installation CD compatible with your version of Windows.  These CDs are compatible with Windows Vista and later versions.  The versions before Vista are considered obsolete and not worth thinking about.  If you are running your computer on one of the older versions then you may have a harder time getting online. 

To actually connect to the broadband your device needs to have either an Ethernet port or a wireless modem.  If your computer does not have wireless you can buy a USB adaptor that works as a wireless receiver and transmitter.  Most new computers will have one of these options, if not both.

To connect your computer to the broadband through a wired connection you need an Ethernet cable.  The cable will plug into your computer at one end and the Ethernet port on your router at the other.  You may see USB cables that offer the same connection.  It is better that you get the Ethernet cable as the speed of the broadband will not be compromised - which could happen with the USB cable.

For a wireless connection you will have to turn on the wireless adaptor.  To do this you either have to plug the adaptor into the USB port or turn it on from your control panel.  Many laptops have a button on the keyboard that turns the wireless network adaptor on and off. 

Apple Devices and Linux Systems

If you have an Apple product or are running the Linux operating system then you may have a harder time getting online.  While this may be the case, you should not actually have any compatibility issues with the broadband.  You could come across some compatibility issues with the installation CD, however.

Most installation CDs run on Apple operating systems but Linux users could have a problem.  The reason for this is that Linux is not a very popular operating system.  If the installation CD you have is for Windows systems only, then you should be able to find information online about how to connect your Mac.  Linux users may not have the same luck, unfortunately.

Operating system community forums may be the best place to look for information about getting online.  There are also certain websites which specialise in helping Linux and Apple users with the problems they face.

The hardware problems that Windows users have can also be felt by Apple and Linux users.  If you have a Mac you will need to talk to an Apple dealer to find an adaptor that works with the computer.  The reason for this is that Mac computers are not compatible with generic adaptors.

Phone and Broadband with Gaming Consoles

Online gaming is something that the game console makers have been quite eager to jump into.  This means that all new consoles are able to connect to the internet; however, this does not mean that all consoles are actually compatible with broadband.  You may have to take extra steps to get online if you have an older game console.

The Playstation 3 is compatible with broadband connections.  You can connect to the internet via wireless broadband and wired connections.  The PS3 has an inbuilt wireless receiver which allows you to connect to your broadband.  To connect with a wired connection you will have to use an Ethernet cable. 

Wii consoles also have the ability to connect to broadband wirelessly.  However, the console is not compatible with wired broadband.  If you do not have a wireless router you will have to purchase additional hardware to make your Wii compatible.  This with either be a Wi-Fi USB connector or a Wii LAN adaptor.  The manual you get with the console should have further information about how to connect to wired broadband. 

The Xbox 360 has a range of models, and some of the older models are not compatible with wireless broadband.  To connect these older models you have to get an Xbox wireless network adaptor.  You should be able to connect these older models to the broadband through an Ethernet cable.  The newer Xbox 360 models have a wireless adaptor built into them.  If you have one of the original Xbox models then you should note that Xbox Live is no longer open to them.  This means that you will be able to get online but you cannot get content from the Xbox Live store. 

The Playstation 2 is not compatible with wireless broadband but you can connect to the internet using an Ethernet cable.  If you want to make the PS2 compatible with wireless broadband you have to get a wireless gaming adaptor.  If you have a Sega Dreamcast or Nintendo GameCube you will have to complete the same steps.

If you are trying to connect your handheld gaming device to the internet you should notice that they are all compatible only with wireless connections.  You will not be able to connect them to a wired connection at all.  If you are trying to connect the original Nintendo DS to the internet you will have a problem.  The original DS is not compatible with broadband routers with WPA security settings.  You can only connect to router that is using the older WEP security key.  You can get a wireless USB connector but it is becoming increasingly harder to find these.  The reason for this is that the Nintendo DSi does not have the same compatibility problems.

Compatibility is a major issue today, with proprietary software and hardware making it increasingly difficult for consumers to seamlessly shift from one to another without great effort or expense. However, if you are aware of these issues, it will – at the very least – stop you from incurring an expense that may be a waste of good money.