How to Access WiFi With a Desktop PC

By Aaron Wardell

Wireless Internet is a great way to add portable access to the web and email to your home. Thanks to current technology, accessing wireless Internet through your computer has never been simpler. It's easy to get rid of those annoying cables and prepare your desktop PC to connect to your home WiFi network.

Things You'll Need

  • Desktop PC
  • Wireless Internet card
  • Bluetooth wireless adapter (optional)
  • Screwdriver
  • Flashlight

Step 1

Install a wireless Internet card. If your computer doesn't already have one, purchase a WiFi card from your local electronics or computer store. Using the supplied instructions and flashlight as a guide, open your computer and locate a free PCI slot. Unscrew and remove the bracket and gently push the wireless card into the slot. Replace the screw to secure it. Screw in the supplied antenna to the back of the card, replace your computer's cover, and install any supplied device drivers to your computer using the provided CD.

Step 2

Alternately, install a USB wireless adapter. These do not require you to open your computer and are great for laptops without internal wireless functionality. Again, using the supplied instructions as a guide, simply insert the adapter or cable into a free USB port, install the included drivers and software, and your computer is ready to connect to WiFi access points.

Step 3

Use the included software or Windows networking to search for access points. Once your WiFi adapter is correctly installed, open Windows Control Panel and select Network Connections. There will be an option to access your adapter's settings and view available access points. Double-click on the desired access point to connect. If it is a secure access point, enter a password when prompted.

Step 4

Start using the Internet. When your computer connects to a WiFi access point, it will automatically configure the connection for you. Simply open your favorite browser and start surfing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Third-party software is available to further detect and manage wireless access points. Stronger antennas are also available to increase the detection range of your adapter. You may pick up additional wireless access points around you, especially if you live in the city. If these are unlocked, always get permission before using someone else's Internet connection. If you use a WiFi router at home, it's a good idea to secure it with a password.

References & Resources