How to test a WiFi card

Written by lita mcleary
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How to test a WiFi card
Install and set up a Wi-Fi card. (pc card insertion end image by Georgios Alexandris from

A Wi-Fi card, otherwise known as wireless PC card, is a device that allows wireless capability for laptop and desktop computers. Many desktop computers and some older laptops do not have built-in wireless capability. That is why it is necessary to install and test a Wi-Fi card.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Computer running Windows XP/Vista/7 operating system
  • Wi-Fi card
  • Wi-Fi card installation CD

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  1. 1

    Locate the wireless PC card slot (also known as CF or CardBus slot) in your laptop or desktop computer. Most laptops have one or two slots at the side panels or at the back side of the laptop. Some desktops, however, do not have a card slot.

  2. 2

    Slide the card into the slot with the label facing up. The computer should automatically detect the device once it is inserted to the slot. If you are trying to install the card to a laptop, there is no need to shut down the computer. If you are installing the card to a desktop computer, however, shut it down first, and then insert the Wi-Fi card.

  3. 3

    Wait for the "Add or Remove Hardware Wizard" to appear. Insert the Wi-Fi card installation CD into the optical drive of the computer. Browse for the card driver file, and then wait for the wizard to install the driver to the computer. If the wizard does not appear, click "Start," "My Computer" (for Windows XP) or "Computer" (for Windows Vista and 7), and then "CD/DVD-ROM." Browse for the "Autorun" file and click on it to launch the installer. Follow the installation instructions until the Wi-Fi card driver is installed to the computer.

  4. 4

    Access the wireless connections that are within the Wi-Fi card's range. The computer should automatically detect wireless connections once the card is installed. If you are using Windows XP, click "Start," "Control Panel," "Network Connections," and then "Wireless Network Connection." Right-click on the public name of the wireless connection and then click "Connect." If you are using Windows Vista/7, right click on the network icon in your "System Tray" located at the bottom right corner of your screen, click on the name of the wireless network that you want to connect to, and then click "Connect." Enter the network password if you are prompted to do so.

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