How to Add a Laptop on to My Wireless Connection

By Linda Bond

With the right equipment you can access the Internet with a laptop from almost anywhere. Accessing the Internet at home without a cable or DSL modem wired to your laptop can be done relatively easily. Most of today's laptops allow you to quickly connect to wireless networks, but sometimes you may need to go into your laptop's control panel and adjust its configuration.

Things You'll Need

  • DSL or cable modem
  • Wireless router
  • Laptop

Step 1

Connect a wireless router to your cable or DSL modem if you don't have one already. These units are readily available in all electronic stores and some office supply stores.

Step 2

Follow the instructions that came with your wireless router. You will need to set up a network name, also called an SSID (Service Set Identifier). All of the computers connected to the router, including the laptop, will use this network name. You may need to set up other network connection and security parameters according to the router manufacturer's instructions. These settings should be adjusted from the main computer you are using with your current DSL or cable modem.

Step 3

Turn on your laptop once you have completed the instructions that came with the wireless router.

Step 4

Search for your home network's SSID with your notebook. If your laptop detects the network, it may ask if you would like to connect to it. If this does not happen, you will have to configure your laptop to work with your new network.

Step 5

Go to your laptop's control panel. You can do this in Microsoft Windows XP by clicking on "My Computer" and then clicking on "Control Panel." From there, double-click on the "Network Setup Wizard" icon. Follow the instructions in the wizard. If you are prompted to enter an SSID, use the network name you used when you set up your wireless router.

Step 6

Restart your laptop. If you are still not connected to your network and you are using Windows XP, look at the bottom right corner of your laptop's screen. You should see a network icon. You can find it by using your mouse and hovering the cursor over the icons. Click on the network icon, then the "Properties" button and then click on the "Wireless Networks" tab. If there are no networks showing, you will have to manually add one. Click on the "Add" button and manually enter in your network name (SSID). Click "OK." Go back to the previous screen and the network should show up in your "Available Networks" screen. Click on "Configure" and add in any other information you used when setting up your wireless router, including any passwords that you created. Click "OK" and then "OK" again on the following screen.

Step 7

Start your laptop's Web browser. You should now be connected to your wireless connection.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your laptop has Windows Vista instead of Windows XP and you need help setting up your connection, please visit the link in the Resources list below.