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Home > Laptop Buyer's Guide > Ports & Connectivity

Laptop Connections - Cards, Modems, & Ports

For the majority of laptops users, being able to pull right into the Internet and various network connections is a necessity. This article details the types of connection ports you should ensure are on any of the Refurbished Laptops you might want to purchase.

Connecting To A Network Or The Internet

Because notebooks get used in a variety of locations, we suggest getting both a built-in 56 Kbps modem and integrated 10/100 Mbps Ethernet connection.

The Ethernet connection will let you connect to an office LAN or a home network, or to high-speed Internet connections such as DSL and cable modems.

The modem will let you dial in from anywhere a network connection isn't available. If you use a dial-up connection exclusively, you could omit the Ethernet adapter. If you want one later, you can buy it in the form of a plug-in PC (formerly PCMCIA) Card.

For those of you who know about Wi-Fi connections (Wireless Internet), the next page will tell you about the types of modems required for such connections.

Ports For Peripheral Devices

Notebooks usually come with a standard complement of ports that includes serial, parallel, USB (Universal Serial Bus), monitor, speaker, and microphone ports.

Other options to consider include a TV-output or S-video port (so you can hook the notebook up to a regular TV) or a FireWire (IEEE 1394) port, which can be used as a high-speed connection for transferring video to and from many digital video cameras.

Two slots for plugging in PC Cards are also fairly standard. Always do a quick checklist of the types of devices you plan on plugging into your laptop, either at home or on the road, and then make sure any Refurbished Laptops you plan to buy have ports for all those devices.

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