How to Connect a PC to Wireless & Broadband

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How to Connect a PC to Wireless & Broadband
Wireless networking eliminates the need for cables to your PC. (usb cable image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com)

Using a wireless network eliminates the need for ugly and cumbersome cables that limit the locations of a network connection. Wireless networks are a cost effective way to share a broadband Internet connection in a home because they do not require expensive contractors to install inwall wiring. Wireless networks are most commonly used by laptop and desktop computers, but wireless-enabled smart phones and gaming consoles also use wireless connections. You can find the equipment for setting up a wireless network at your local electronics store.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wireless gateway
  • Wireless network card
  • PC
  • Broadband modem
  • CAT-5 cables

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Connect the wireless gateway to the broadband modem with a CAT-5 cable.

  2. 2

    Connect your PC to the wireless gateway with another CAT-5 cable. Open a browser window on your PC to connect to the configuration address on your gateway and login with the default credentials. Your configuration address and login credentials can be found in your wireless gateway documentation.

  3. 3

    Navigate to the "Wireless Options" on your configuration page. Change the name of your network (also known as the Secure Set Identifier or SSID) to a unique name of your choosing.

  4. 4

    Secure your new wireless network by enabling encryption. As of 2010, the Wireless Protected Access (WPA) protocol is widely used security protocol that is easy to use and set up. Navigate to your wireless gateway's security setting and enable WPA2-Personal encryption. Choose a secure pass phrase for your wireless connection, something easy for you to remember, but hard for others to guess.

  5. 5

    Disconnect your PC from your wireless gateway.

  6. 6

    Install your wireless network card on your PC if it has not yet been installed. Follow your manufacturer's instructions for installing your wireless card, including any provided drivers and software. You can choose to have Windows control your wireless network card or use the manufacturer-supplied software. Reboot your PC after the card and software have been installed.

  7. 7

    Connect your PC to the wireless network. If using Windows to control your wireless network card, navigate to the bottom right of your screen and right click on the wireless connection icon. Choose "Connect to New Network" and enter the name of your wireless network and enter the pass phrase you chose. If you choose to use the software that came with your wireless network card, follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to connect your wireless network.

Tips and warnings

  • For added wireless security, hide the name of your wireless network by choosing the "Disable SSID Broadcast" option on your wireless gateway.
  • Give your wireless network a unique name but refrain from giving away personal information such as your family name or address. For instance, do not use SmithFamilyWiFi or 555MainStreet as your network name.
  • Do not use your network name for your encryption pass phrase as this will make it easy to crack.

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