Networking Basics

Windows 11 supports Ethernet (wired) and Wi-Fi (wireless) networking capabilities that let you connect to the Internet, access PCs, printers, and other devices on the local network, and share your Internet connection with other PCs and devices. It also supports cellular data connections provided by mobile operators that let you connect to the Internet when you're away from Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
Get to know Windows 11 networking
Most people will use the networking capabilities in Windows 11 to connect to the Internet, and most of those interactions will occur in Quick settings, the new user interface that is accessible by clicking the Network, Sound, or Power icons in the notification area in the far right of the Taskbar.

You can also display Quick Settings by typing WINKEY + A.
This interface provides quick settings buttons for Wi-Fi and, if present, Cellular. These buttons can be used to toggle those radios on and off and to access specific networks. For example, here is the Wi-Fi interface:

There is no quick settings button for Ethernet connections because there is nothing to configure.
The appearance of the Network icon in the notification area will vary depending on how (or if) you are connected to the Internet. Possible icons include:

No connection. If you see this icon, you are not connected to the Internet.

Ethernet. This icon indicates that you have a wired Ethernet connection to the Internet.

You can learn more about Ethernet in the Ethernet chapter.
Wi-Fi. This icon indicates that you have a wireless Wi-Fi connection to the Internet.

You can learn more about Wi-Fi in the Wi-Fi chapter.
Cellular. This icon indicates that you have a wireless cellular data connection to the Internet.

You can learn more about cellular data in the Cellular Data chapter.
Airplane mode. This icon indicates that Airplane mode is enabled, all of the PC's wireless radios are disabled, and you do not have an Internet connection.

You can learn more about this feature in the Airplane mode chapter.
Windows will prioritize connectivity by connection type and will always use the fastest and most reliable network to which it can connect. This choice is reflected in the Network icon. If you have both Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections, for example, Windows will display the Ethernet icon in the notification area. If you have both Wi-Fi and Cellular, it will display the Wi-Fi icon.
Further network configuration occurs in Network & internet settings, which is available in the Settings app. You can launch Settings by clicking the "All settings" link (it resembles a gear) in Quick settings, via Search, or by typing WINKEY + I. Then, select Network & internet.

This page provides an overview of your network connections at the top and then a list of network and Internet-related settings in the list below that.

Some key interfaces include:

Mobile hotspot. This Windows 11 feature lets you share your Internet connect...

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