Most of the new laptops that you can buy these days already come equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities so all you have to do is connect it and away you go.
If it is your first laptop and you are not familiar with the terminology or how Wi-Fi works then the whole process of connecting and using Wi-Fi on your laptop might be quite daunting. However, it needn’t be as connecting your Wi-Fi is really not that difficult at all.
What is Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi is basically a way of connecting to the Internet using radio waves so you don’t need to use any cables, which is why it is called wireless. Having a Wireless connection also enables you to share an Internet connection as well as a printer and allows you to swap files between computers.
Terms you will come across
- SSID stands for Service Set Identifier and is basically the Network Name
- WEP stands for Wired Equivalent Privacy and by entering a WEP key (set of numbers and letters) your data is protected
- WPA stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access
You will need to know what Network Name you want to connect to and what the WEP key is before you connect although you are not always asked for the WEP key. The WEP key will usually be provided with your router or when you purchase access but if not then you can find this information on the web or from the manufacturer of your router.
Ok so now you are ready to connect Wi-Fi and start browsing the Internet.
- Your laptop may have a little ‘on off’ switch for Wi-Fi so if it does make sure it is on
- Now locate the little Wi-Fi icon on the bottom right hand side of your screen and click on it
- Click on the properties tab
- Select the Wireless Networks Tab You and you should see a list of available networks including the one you want to connect to but if that is not listed then you are going to have to add it
- If you do see a list of networks then click on the one with the correct SSID (Network Name) that you want to connect to, click on configure and then enter the WEP key if that is required
- If the network connection you want is not listed then you will have to click on Add and enter the SSID and WEP and you’re almost there.
- Now go to ‘Start’ at the bottom left hand side of your laptop, then to ‘connect to’ and you should see your connection listed there. All you have to do now is click on that and away you go.
Problems with Connecting
Ok that’s it in theory but in reality you could come across one or two challenges. If you cannot get your laptop to connect then try disabling your firewall settings and if that allows you to connect then you have immediately identified the problem. However, you can’t leave your laptop unprotected so you’re going to have to make changes to your firewall settings to enable it in future.
If that didn’t work then check that any SSID or WEP information you entered was correct as sometimes these can change.