The technology that lets you bop around the Internet on handheld gadgets like the Pre has come a long way in the past couple of years. Cellphones made in 2007 and earlier let you sort of browse the Web, but what you typically saw were stripped-down versions of websites that came to be known as the "mobile Internet.” Connections were poky on such devices, and you had trouble seeing graphics—if you got them at all. And you had to use funky text menus to get around online, so surfing wasn’t even remotely like what you were used to on a desktop computer.
As you’ll discover in this chapter, your Pre is light-years ahead of that. Web pages on the Pre look like they do on a desktop PC. First, you’ll learn how to get your Pre connected to the Internet, then you’ll hear about all kinds of neat things you can do online.
Obviously, it’d be silly if you had to plug a wire into your Pre to connect it to the Internet—that would defeat the purpose of having a mobile gadget. So the Pre uses wireless networks to get online, and it connects wirelessly in three different ways. The method you choose determines how quickly websites will load. Of course, if you’re somewhere with only one kind of network, you have to use whatever’s available. The following sections explain your options, starting with the cellular networks that the Pre starts you out with by default, and then moving on to WiFi.
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