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Networking Questions and Answers - Can't Connect to the Internet Wirelessly

Sandra writes in with a networking question

Question:
I am attempting to set up wireless for someone who has only a laptop (running Windows XP). She has a Linksys router and DSL modem and a Dell wireless card. I have had no problem in setting up the router while it is hardwired to the laptop. But I have been unable to make the laptop wireless when not attached to the router and modem. I've been told this is possible but I'm apparently missing something.

Answer: First you should make sure the wireless is enabled on the laptop. Many laptops will have a switch for the wireless card if it's built in. If it's a PC card that you insert to the laptop make sure it's installed correctly. Check Device Manager for any problems.
 
Once you make sure the card is installed properly and enabled make sure it is set to obtain an IP address automatically. Check the properties of the wireless card from My Network Places to make sure it is using DHCP.
 
Next you should right click the wireless icon in your taskbar and choose View available wireless networks. You can also get to this by right clicking My Network Places and choosing properties. From there right click the wireless connection icon and choose View available wireless networks. See if your router shows up in the list and if it does then connect to it. You may want to change the name (SSID) of the router so it will be easier to recognize if you have other wireless routers in your area that may show up on the list. If you don't see your router but see other routers such as your neighbors then there is something wrong with your router or the wireless part of it is disabled. You will have to plug into it and double check the settings. If you don't see any wireless networks when you pick View available wireless networks then there may be something wrong with your wireless card.

 



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