This article will explain how to connect your laptop or desktop computer to your wireless (WiFi) network. In doing so, you will be able to surf the internet, without the need for any cables.
In order to use a WiFi connection, you must already have an internet router or modem available. These devices will allow for the transmission of information, acting in the role of "sender." This type of equipment usually offer a throughput of 54 Mbps (802.11g), with a range of about 100 meters, though there are other standards available. This standard range will be adequate for surfing and chatting, but a bit limited for downloading.
How To Set Up a Wireless (WiFi) Network
Before beginning, it is necessary to check if your PC comes equipped with a network interface card (NIC). Most PCs do have these cards, but we do recommend a quick verification if you're working with an older model.
Windows users can check their NIC by clicking on Start and then right-clicking on My Computer > Properties.
Click on the Hardware tab > Device Manager.
Next, click on the + sign in front of NIC. The name and brand of the card will appear if your PC has a network card.
Upon verification that your PC has a network card, you will need a receiver connected to the PC to receive information from the router/modem. Note that most laptops come equipped with this WiFi receiver.
Use a USB WiFi Adapter
A USB WiFi adapter is a very simple and inexpensive solution for connecting to a network. You can purchase a USB WiFi Adapter from media stores or on the internet. The latest WiFi Adapters can provide a throughput of up to 300 mbps (802.11n).
When purchasing a USB WiFi Adapter, be sure that the key corresponds to the standard of your router. (802.11g is the current, and most common, standard.)
Install a WiFi Card
Another solution is to install a WiFi card into your computer. This solution is more difficult, as it involves installing the card into a port on your motherboard (typically PCI). If you'd like to proceed with this option, you must first open up your computer case and find the corresponding port on your PC's motherboard.
A WiFi card may offer a maximum throughput of 300 mbps (802.11n) with a longer range than the USB key, so it's more comfortable. However, this is only useful if your box has 802.11n (300 mbps).
Set Up Your Wireless Network
Once your purchase made, it must set the wireless network.
To prepare all this, you will need the NIC, the installation CD of your WiFi card or USB key, the security key (WEP or WPA) of your internet box, and the SSID, or network name of your internet box.
Your security key can usually be found on the bottom or on the back of your internet box. If it's not there, check your box's manual, or go to the website of your internet service provider and check the code in your settings.
The SSID (network name of your box) is available in the network manual or via the internet within the parameters of the internet box.