The newest laptop computers come equipped with built-in Wi-Fi capability that connects the laptop to an available network and allows its user to surf the Internet. "Sniffer" software automatically searches and finds reachable Wi-Fi networks accessible to the laptop. But when you open up your browser, it may not be connecting to the Internet. The likely reason is that you need a key, a password or a key phrase to access the nearest Wi-Fi signal.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Laptop with wireless capability
- "Sniffer" software
- Wi-Fi network password
Open up your laptop and power it on.
Scan the desktop, after the laptop boots into the operating system, and look for the icon that indicates wireless service. It varies between computers and operating systems. Check the lower-right corner of the screen, since it most often appears there, especially on Windows-based computers.
Right-click the wireless icon and wait for the menu to pop up. From the menu, select "Available Wireless Networks," or something similar, and review the list of available networks within range.
Select the wireless network of choice. A pop-up window appears requesting your password to unlock the Wi-Fi network.
Insert the password into the appropriate field. A secure Wi-Fi network requires a password for access. If visiting an Internet cafe, a bookstore or coffee shop, these retail outlets usually provide a free Wi-Fi network, access to which may require a password. Request the password from a staff member to access the Internet. If at home, locate the password on the bottom of the wireless router, or ask the person who configured the router for the password.
Click "Enter" after inserting the password into the appropriate field. This should bring up the Internet.
Tips and warnings
- Illegally accessing a private network can result in fines or penalties if discovered. For instance, if you log on to a neighbour's Wi-Fi network without their permission, you could be subject to violation of computer regulations in your local area. Network routers keep logs of all computers that have accessed the network. Always seek permission to log onto a wireless network that is not your own.
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