How to Set Up a Wireless Network

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Wireless networks make use of a wireless connection that acts as a bridge to communicate and transmit data to other computers and printers. Wireless networks give a laptop or computer access to a local network or Internet connection without UTP cables.

Materials Needed:
- Laptop
- computer
- wireless network card
- USB wireless adapter
- wireless router
Step 1
Make sure that your computer or laptop is Wireless Fidelity or 'Wi-Fi' capable. Check if your computer has a built-in wireless network adapter or USB wireless network adapter. If your laptop or computer has an integrated wireless network adapter or USB wireless network adapter, proceed to step 4 for wireless network configuration, if not, proceed to step 2.
Step 2
If your laptop or computer does not have a wireless network card or Universal Serial Bus 'USB' wireless adapter, obtain a wireless network card or USB wireless network adapter that suits your needs. Make sure that the wireless adapter you use is compatible with the router you intend to use. (These days, most wireless networks make use of 802.11g or 802.11b protocols.)
Step 3
Install the wireless network card or USB adapter on the laptop or computer. If a driver is needed, install the driver on your computer. This driver is normally bundled with the wireless network adapter that you purchased for the computer. After installing your wireless network card, reboot your laptop for the driver to take effect.
Step 4
Unplug the modem from its power source and disconnect the UTP cable that connects to the modem on the computer. Plug the UTP cable that you have disconnected from the modem to the computer into the wireless routers Internet port.
Step 5
Plug the one end of the UTP cable to the computers Network Interface Card (NIC) and the other end to the wireless router.
Step 6
Connect all the power supply cables of the modem and the wireless router. Turn on the router and check if the router’s front panel LED lights are on and blinking. Make sure that the computer and modem are powered on. Make sure all the cables are connected, and then turn on the computer or laptop.
Step 7
Use the Internet browser. On the address bar, type the IP address in the address field and press the 'Enter' key. Make sure that you do not leave the username field blank and enter 'admin' as the default password in the password field. (Wireless routers have different default IP addresses and passwords depending on the manufacturer).
Step 8
Activate the wireless connection in the router configuration menu to enable the broadcast of wireless connection. Setting up the WEP and the SSID key is one way to make the wireless connection faster and more secured. If the broadcast is unsecured, the computer will automatically connect to the wireless network. After the wireless router has been configured, click the 'save setting' button to apply the wireless connection configuration.
Step 9
Click on the ‘Wireless Network Connection’ icon of your system tray. The system tray is located on the lower right side of the desktop screen.
Step 10
Right-click on the icon on your system tray icon and select the 'View Available Wireless Networks' option then left click.
Step 11
Click on the 'Refresh Network List' to view the wireless network within the range of your laptop. (Use this button if there is no wireless network list found within reach of your location.)
Step 12
Select the wireless network that appears within the range of your laptop or computer. Now, your computer is ready to access an Internet connection and can communicate to other computers in the network.