How to Connect to a Wireless Internet Connection

Level of difficulty: Beginner

A wireless Internet connection is normally generated based on the IEEE 802.11 standards more commonly known as WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) or Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity). This is supported by wireless devices certified by WICA (Wireless Internet Compatibility Alliance) which is composed of over 300 companies involved in networking. In most wireless networks, the main component responsible for broadcasting the Internet connection and allowing devices with wireless capability to hook to the network is the wireless router. Although there is an emerging standard in how wireless Internet is handled, the manner of connecting to this service depends largely on the underlying Operating System of the computer as well as how the network is configured by the owner or administrator. A wireless Internet connection is usually protected by some type of encryption or security procedure to prevent unauthorized users from accessing and monopolizing Internet connection bandwidth.

Materials Needed:
- Wireless router
- broadband Internet connection
- computer
- wireless network adapter
Step 1
In general, the process of connecting to a wireless Internet connection provider is as simple as selecting the name of the provider and clicking on the 'Connect' button will initiate the process. However, the specifics may vary from one Operating System to another. For systems running under the Mac OS platform, proceed to Step 4. Linux-based machines can achieve this procedure by following the guide in Step 7. Microsoft Windows Operating System users may begin from the next step.
Step 2
Click on the 'Start' button, select the 'Connect To' option, and click on the 'Show all Connections'.
Step 3
Choose the Wireless Internet icon and click on the 'View Available Wireless Connections' category at the task pane of the Network Connections window.
Step 4
Select the name of the network that hosts the wireless Internet connection and click on the 'Connect' button. During the initial attempt to join the network, the user may be prompted to enter the network password to gain access to the service.
Step 5
Mac OS users can go to the Applications folder and select the 'Internet Connection' option.
Step 6
Click on the 'AirPort' option in the newly opened program window. The AirPort must be turned on before accomplishing this step.
Step 7
Select the network you intend to join from the Network Menu list that pops up. Input the password whenever applicable.
Step 8
For machines using the Linux Operating System environment, connecting to the wireless Internet connection service can be done by going to the 'Network Manager' option.
Step 9
In the ensuing window, select the type of Encryption method (whether WPA or WEP) prior to entering the passkey. In this context, it is important to know what type of security protocol is used because choosing the wrong encryption method despite the correct password will result in a failure to connect.
Step 10
The network password may only be required during the initial connection attempt depending on the security procedure used by the network administrator. The outlined steps can be used for both secured and unsecured wireless networks. Turn off the wireless adapter to disconnect from the wireless service.