The latest Windows 8 laptops, with their extended battery life and much-improved screens, mean that being on the move with a computer is more productive than ever before. Furthermore, getting online so that you can stay connected to email and the web has never been easier.

All Windows laptops now come with wireless connectivity built-in, however not all wireless is equal. The wireless standard is called 802.11, but supplementary letters are used to to denote differences in speeds.

The latest standard is 802.11ac and this offers the highest speeds possible. 802.11g and 802.11n are more widely available, and still offer good throughput, but they are older so look out for ac where possible. The good news is that all the wireless standards are compatible so no matter which one your PC has it will be able to connect.

Of course, for a Wi-Fi connection you have to be in a relatively fixed position, either close to your modem at home or in a café or public space that has a wireless hotspot you can log on to. The problem with connecting to the internet in a public place is that you leave yourself open to security issues, no matter how much you trust a public Wi-Fi hotspot you can’t be 100 percent certain that someone isn’t snooping at what you’re surfing.

With a personal 3G mobile connection, however, you can get online no matter where you are and more safely. Some new Windows 8 laptops come with a sim card slot so that you can get online wherever you are, but even without a built-in sim you can add mobile connectivity to your computer.

All the mobile networks offer USB dongles or battery powered units that add wireless 3G and now 4G connections to your PC. The added advantage of a personal mobile connection is that you can certainly trust it with your personal data more readily than that of a Wi-Fi hotspot. There are so many ways to get online and stay online nowadays that keeping in touch is simpler than ever.

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