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Connecting

The first thing you should know about getting online with a handheld is that it's not the same as connecting your PC or laptop. With PCs and laptops, you plug in a wireless modem PCMCIA card, configure it for an existing Internet-connected wireless network, and you're off and running. Well, it's not quite that easy, and of course, you have to boot up before you can do anything—which seems like overkill if all you want to do is check the weather.

Getting online with a handheld isn't hard; it's just different. What can be a little confusing, however, is that there seem to be so many ways to get online. Where do you start? To simplify matters, let's look again at the three types of wireless networks that will get you online: PAN, LAN, and WAN. These three wireless network types are different in the technology they use to provide a wireless connection and also in how they are used and in the solutions that are based on them.


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