How to Add Wireless to My HP Desktop Computer

By Shanna Pena

Setting up a wireless network allows you to connect your HP desktop computer, and other wireless compatible devices, to the Internet without the need for wires or cables. To set up wireless Internet access on your HP desktop, you will first need a wireless router in addition to your cable modem, as well as a wireless adapter. Two different types of wireless adapters are available to choose from—a USB adapter is easier to install but requires the use of a USB port; an internal network card requires installation inside of the computer case. In either case, installation in an HP desktop computer is the same as any other PC with Windows Vista or XP.

Things You'll Need

  • HP desktop computer
  • Cable modem
  • Wireless router
  • Wireless adapter—USB or internal

Step 1

Connect your wireless router to your cable modem per the manufacturer's instructions. Name your wireless network and password protect it to keep others from using your connection without your permission. Write your network name and password down in a safe place for future reference.

Step 2

Install your network adapter per the manufacturer's instructions. Your wireless adapter and wireless router do not have to be the same brand to be compatible. Keep in mind that different routers emit different signal strengths and choose the strength that fits your needs. For the best results, you should choose an adapter that corresponds to the signal strength you chose.

Step 3

For Windows Vista, access the Start menu and select "Connect To" which will open a network dialog window. Click "Set Up a Connection or Network" and follow the on-screen prompts. In Windows XP, access the Start menu and select the "Control Panel" and then "Network Connections". Click on "Wireless Network Connection" and follow the on-screen prompts. In the prompts you will be asked to enter the network name and password you set up in Step 1.

Step 4

Look to the right-hand side of your menu bar for an icon with two computers and a blue dot. This confirms that you are connected to the Internet. Mouse over the icon to show what network you are connected to. It should show the name that you provided in Step 1.

References & Resources