You can access the Internet from a laptop with wireless capabilities by establishing a wireless connection. Some laptops have a built-in wireless card that can be activated to communicate with a router in the vicinity. Older laptops without the wireless feature will need an external wireless connection. To establish the network, you will need to install a wireless router. Once the network is set up, the laptop will be able to access the Internet, provided it is within range of the router.
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Things you need
- Wireless router
- Cable or broadband modem
- Desktop computer
Turn off your laptop and install the wireless router. If your modem is connected to a desktop computer, unplug the cable. Refer to the router's manual for instructions on installation and set-up. Hook up your router with the wireless modem--cable or broadband--and plug in the power cord. After plugging in the cables, the router will be the "bridge" device between the computer and the modem. If your Internet connection directly feeds a standalone modem, you can install the router by connecting it to the modem and powering up both devices.
Secure your wireless network. As soon as your router is installed, a wireless network is established and can be accessed by anyone in the vicinity with a wireless device, such as a laptop or even smartphones and PDAs. If you do not password-protect your network, you will be allowing unauthorised access, and you will be compromising your privacy and security. You will be prompted for a name for the network and a password or key when installing the router. All users on devices connecting to your router must put this information in before getting access to the network.
Switch off the laptop, unplug its power cord and insert the wireless card. If your laptop has integrated wireless capabilities, you will not need an external card. Power up the laptop and insert the installation CD to load the driver software and complete the installation process.
Activate the wireless card. If you use an external card, you can activate the card from its software. For laptops with built-in wireless capabilities, the feature can be initiated by a button, usually with an antenna icon.
Check for signal strength from the system tray on the bottom right of the screen. If the signal is weak, move to a place near the router.
Double-click on the wireless icon on the system tray. You can view a list of all available networks. Scroll down until you see the name of the network you created and click "Connect." You will be asked for a password before you can access the Internet. You can authorise the laptop for the network, so that the network's security feature recognises the laptop and does not ask for a password for future login attempts.
Tips and warnings
- There are different kinds of wireless routers available for use in different applications and settings. Do your research on the different brands and types of wireless routers, before you get one.
- If your router's installation software does not ask for a password, then the established network will be openly accessible. Make sure you manually associate a password before using the network.
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