I can point you in the right direction, but you should google some of these topics for a better understanding. The prefered, wired connection for your laptop is Ethernet. This network interface connects via a Cat.5E, UTP(ushielded twisted pair)cable, finished with RJ45 connectors, which can be plugged in at your house, hotels, etc.. The wireless ethernet version(WiFi)is IEEE 802.11B/G. If you want the convenience of both of these options, you would have to have 2 network interface cards. Most laptops come with one. You can purchase a PCMCIA card for the other. You can configure each NIC(network interface card) with different firewall exceptions, making it very convenient to use the hardwired version at work/home, and the wireless at public hotspots like Starbucks/airport. Connecting via cell phone is rather slow and expensive. Regarding plugging into a friend's pc; you can accomplish this via ICS, internet connection sharing. The computer doing the sharing will need 2 NICs. Google and learn!