How to Connect a Laptop to a Wireless Router
Level of difficulty:
Connecting a laptop to a wireless router improves user mobility and frees the laptop from wire connections to gain access to the Internet. A wireless router allows a user to access the Internet and share printers and files with other computers while still having the convenience to walk about. A wireless router can also function as a wireless access point to be able to access the Internet or a computer network without using cable connections. Connecting to this network device is fairly easy and well worth it.
- Internet connection
- wireless router
- laptop computer
You can buy any wireless router according to your price range and needs.
Refer to the wireless router’s manual for its setup and how it is connected to the Internet. It may be necessary to connect to a wired client into the router. When setup for the wireless router is completed, the wired connection is not needed anymore but it may be best to still have the wired client connection especially if Wi-Fi is set up in a separate PC. If something is wrong in the setup, you can try to view the administration interface.
Obtain some information such as the SSID (Service Set Identifier) and the WEP (Wireless Encryption Protocol) Key. Other bits of necessary information you should obtain are the mode and channel. All these can be gathered during the setup process while the computer is booting up. Wireless devices, such as a laptop, need to be set to the same radio channel and SSID as the wireless router to enable communication.
Restart the laptop and insert the Wi-Fi card. If the laptop has a built-in Wi-Fi card, this step is not necessary.
Next, you would need to install the necessary drivers to be able to utilize the Wi-Fi card. Insert the CD or disc that came along with your Wi-Fi card. Next, refer to the installation process displayed on the screen. Usually, insertion of a disc will pop the wizard for installing new hardware, making the installation process fairly easy and simple.
Once installation is complete, double click the icon for Wi-Fi connection. This is located in the system tray which is at the bottom left portion of the screen.
Select 'Properties' then choose the tab for Wireless Networks.
Click the 'Add' option if you cannot see your Wi-Fi Network in the section for Available Networks.
Type the WEP and SSID key of your network.
Choose 'Start' and then select 'Connect to', then click Wireless Network Connection. The computer can now gain access to the Wi-Fi which connects the computer to the Internet.