A wireless desktop computer is a computer equipped with adapters that allow it to access a wireless router remotely, granting the computer access to the Internet without the use of cords. Adapters are sometimes made to hook into USB slots, while others require being placed into a network card slot in the computer's motherboard.
Wireless desktop computers connect to a wireless network, which must be connected to the Internet through a modem typically provided by an Internet service provider. An ISP is the company that provides Internet service, usually for a monthly fee. Wireless routers have security functions and advanced software tools available that, depending on the model, secure the connection from outside intrusions. Because a wireless network requires a wide transmission, anyone who has the security passwords and a wireless adapter of her own can access it.
A common alternative to a desktop computer is the laptop computer. Laptop computers are able to use wireless adapters as well, and some laptop models have standard wireless hardware built into them. Laptop computers are used frequently to access public wireless networks at places such as coffee shops, airports or hotels.
The first official wireless protocol, the 802.11 Wi-Fi protocol, was released in 1997, marking the first official usage of wireless networking.