How to Connect to a Wireless Router

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Wireless routers are devices that perform the function of a router through wireless access points. Wireless networks are commonly utilized in households and offices. Today, wireless networks are also available in many places. Access may be given to people in establishments such as malls, cafes, bookstores, and even restaurants for free or for a small fee.

Materials Needed:
- Desktop or laptop computer with Windows installed
- Installed 802.11b/g Wireless Network adapter
- Active 802.11b/g wireless network
Step 1
Turn on the computer and wait for Windows to boot properly.
Step 2
Open the list of available network connections the computer may have. This may be done by launching the Control Panel and clicking Start > Control Panel. Search for the 'Network Connections' icon and double-click on it. Wireless networks in range will be shown on the display. Typical connection types are Dial-up and LAN or High-Speed Internet. Under LAN or High-Speed Internet are the Local Area Connection and Wireless Network Connection.
Step 3
Choose 'Wireless Network Connection' and right click on this icon. From the right-click menu, click 'View Available Wireless Networks'. This will launch the Wireless Network Connection window.
Step 4
The Wireless Network Connection window shows the available wireless networks detected by the computer. To view the wireless networks visible to the computer, click on Refresh network list under Network Tasks on the left pane of the window. A list of wireless networks in range is shown on the right pane along with the network security details and signal strength indicator.
Step 5
The wireless networks visible to the computer may be secured or unsecured. A security-enabled network would be denoted by a padlock image and the security type just below the network ID. An unsecured network would be shown with the description 'Unsecured wireless network'.
Step 6
Select a wireless connection by clicking on it. It would be best to select a network with string signal strength. Click on the 'Connect' button found on the bottom right corner of the window after selecting a network.
Step 7
If the network chosen is unsecured, the system automatically connects to the system after clicking on the 'Connect' button. If the network is security-enabled, other details may need to be entered to connect properly. A common requirement to be able to connect to a secure wireless network is the network key.
Step 8
A network key prompt will show up when trying to connect to a secure wireless network. This network key would vary in length, depending on the network’s security type. To acquire this key, contact the network administrator. When connecting to a wireless network inside commercial establishments, network keys are usually provided upon payment of the usage fees.
Step 9
After successfully connecting to a wireless network, a wireless icon would be placed on the taskbar of the system. A pop-up balloon will also show up when the connection is established.