Wireless Network Cards
A WLAN is a series of interconnected computers that communicate with each other over the air waves rather than through a network cable connected to each computer. In a WLAN, a radio communications device called an access point or wireless router connects network computers and provides Internet, or network, access. The access point or wireless router and the wireless network card in the computer communicate by broadcasting data from their antennas over the air waves.
What You Need to Establish a WLAN Connection
Before you can set up a WLAN, you need:
- High-speed (broadband) Internet access (such as cable or DSL)
- A broadband modem that is connected and working
- A wireless router or access point
- A wireless network card for each computer that you want to connect to your WLAN
- A network cable with the network (RJ-45) connector
Checking Your Wireless Network Card
Depending on what you selected when you purchased your computer, the computer has a variety of configurations. To confirm that your computer has a wireless network card and to determine the type of card, use one of the following:
- The Start button and the Connect To option
- The order confirmation for your computer
Start Button and Connect To Option
- Click the Start button.
- Point to Connect To, and then click Show all connections.
If Wireless Network Connection does not appear under LAN or High-Speed Internet, you may not have a wireless network card.
If Wireless Network Connection appears, you have a wireless network card. To view detailed information about the wireless network card:
- Right-click Wireless Network Connection.
- Click Properties. The Wireless Network Connection Properties window appears. The wireless network card's name and model number are listed on the General tab.
|NOTE: If your computer is set to the Classic Start menu option, you can view network connections by clicking the Start button, pointing to Settings, and then pointing to Network Connections. If Wireless Network Connection does not appear, you may not have a wireless network card.|
The Order Confirmation for Your Computer
The order confirmation that you received when you ordered your computer lists the hardware and software that shipped with your computer.
Connecting a Wireless Router and a Broadband Modem
- Contact your Internet service provider (ISP) to obtain specific information about the connection requirements for your broadband modem.
- Ensure that you have wired Internet access through your broadband modem before you attempt to set up a wireless Internet connection.
- Install any software required for your wireless router. Your wireless router may have been shipped with an installation CD. Installation CDs usually contain installation and troubleshooting information. Install the required software according to the instructions provided by the router manufacturer.
- Shut down your computer and any other wireless-enabled computers in the vicinity through the Start menu.
- Disconnect your broadband modem power cable from the electrical outlet.
- Disconnect the network cable from the computer and the modem.
|NOTE: Wait for a minimum of 5 minutes after disconnecting your broadband modem before you continue with the network setup.|
- Disconnect the AC adapter cable from your wireless router to ensure that there is no power connected to the router.
- Insert a network cable into the network (RJ-45) connector on the unpowered broadband modem.
- Connect the other end of the network cable into the Internet network (RJ-45) connector on the unpowered wireless router.
- Ensure that no network or USB cables, other than the network cable connecting the modem and the wireless router, are connected to the broadband modem.
|NOTE: Restart your wireless equipment in the order described below to prevent a potential connection failure.|
- Turn on only your broadband modem and wait for at least 2 minutes for the broadband modem to stabilize. After 2 minutes, proceed to step 12.
- Start your computer and wait until the boot process completes.
- See the documentation that came with your wireless router to do the following in order to set up the wireless router: