If your Google Android tablet is not connected to the internet then there are lots of things you will be unable to do. Without an internet connection your tablet is a static device, you can only use it as a self contained piece of equipment and it is limited by the applications and services which were on it at the time you bought it.

But get onto the internet and the tablet becomes a connected device, and a whole world of activities is opened up. One of the most obvious, perhaps, is browsing the web, and accessing all the favourite web sites that you usually use with your main computer.

Your Android tablet can also be used for SMS and email, and in the latter case it is easy to set up email accounts so that you can pick up and reply to messages from however many email addresses you have. It can even cope with corporate email managed by Microsoft Exchange.

If you have a Google account, you'll need access to the internet in order to synchronise contacts you have stored within your account, get your Gmail on your tablet and synchronise your Google calendar too. You can also use the internet to enjoy video streaming services like YouTube and take advantage of catch-up TV. These kinds of services look great on the big screen of a tablet.

You'll need internet access to take full advantage of Google Maps and a host of services which work best when they know where you are. And then there is social networking. Imagine not being able to check your Facebook or keep in touch with your Twitter friends on your tablet.

And there is another reason for wanting to get your Android tablet connected to the internet. Apps. There are literally tens of thousands of applications for your Android tablet, all waiting for you to peruse and download. Android benefits from the fact that lots of these applications are free, and it is really easy to download one and try it out, then discard it if it does not meet your expectations.

We could go on. But the point is that an unconnected Android tablet doesn't get anywhere near giving you the full tablet experience.

You have two ways to get an Android tablet online – by using a SIM card and by using Wi-Fi.

You can take the SIM card route in a couple of ways. You can get your tablet on contract from an operator, paying in the same way as you would for a mobile phone. Or you can buy a tablet outright and use a pay as you go SIM from an operator. Shop around for the deals that look best to you.

An Android tablet can hop onto Wi-Fi networks that are open and those that are password protected. Getting on and off is easy, and your tablet will remember networks so that rejoining them a second time and thereafter is seamless.

So, what are you waiting for? Get online!

NEXT PAGE: Insert a SIM card

  1. Use your tablet PC to browse the web
  2. Insert a SIM card

If your Google Android  tablet is not connected to the internet then there are lots of things you will be unable to do. We show you how to get online using your Android tablet.

Step one

If your tablet does not have a SIM card inserted then all you need to do is look for the slot and pop a SIM into it. Your tablet may reboot so that it can properly interface with the SIM.

Step two
Using your home or free public Wi-Fi is less expensive than using your SIM. Choose 'Settings' then Wireless and Network' and then select Wi-Fi settings.

Step three
Make sure 'Wi-Fi' has a check mark by it at the top of the page to indicate it is turned on. Look at the list of networks found and tap yours.

Step four
If your network has security encryption you will need to enter the code. Tap carefully. You can check 'Show Password' if you want to see the letters and numbers you enter to make sure they are right.

Step five
When you are done tap 'Connect'. After a very short wait you will be shows the Wi-Fi settings screen again, and told you are connected.

Step six
To control settings easily use a widget. On the home screen tap and hold, then choose Widgets. Look down the list and choose one. On the Samsung Galaxy Tab choose 'Power Control'.

Step seven
The Power Control widget gives one touch access to Wi-Fi as well as other settings. Tap once to turn Wi-Fi off, and again to turn it on again.

Step eight
Alternatively, on the Samsung Galaxy Tab, pull down the notifications area and use the quick toggle settings that are here for turning Wi-Fi on and off.

Tips and tricks

  • If you are a keen user of Facebook or Twitter look in the Android Market for applications and widgets to help make your use easier. You'll find plenty of choice, and even widgets that put updates onto the home screen.
  • If you are a fan of YouTube use the dedicated application on your Samsung Galaxy Tab rather than going to the YouTube web site. You'll find it is better designed for the screen size and it works well.
  1. Use your tablet PC to browse the web
  2. Insert a SIM card