How to Connect a Laptop to the Internet

By Felix Ofiwe

The major advantage of owning a laptop computer is the freedom to use it anywhere. Setting up a network allows you to connect to the Internet from your bedroom, kitchen, living room or anywhere you choose. There are many ways to set up your network.

Things You'll Need

  • Wireless router
  • Wireless network interface card (NIC)

Step 1

Turn on your laptop computer and log on as Administrator. Install the software (driver) that came from the manufacturer of your wireless network interface card (NIC) following on-screen instructions. Don’t insert the NIC card into your laptop computer. Restart your laptop after installation is complete.

Step 2

Insert your network interface card (NIC) into the laptop. Your computer will immediately recognize the network interface card and complete the installation of the software. This creates an icon on your desktop or system tray.

Step 3

Click the icon on your desktop or system tray. Go to Privacy tab and select the type of security you want on your wireless network. Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and WPA2 use stronger encryption technology and are available in newer laptop computers. Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is not as secure, but it is available on all laptop computers.

Step 4

Select "Configure" and enter the required information. This will vary depending on the type of encryption you choose.

Step 5

Click "OK" twice to complete the setup. Your laptop computer is now online.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also connect your laptop computer to the internet using Cat5 wires. Simply plug one end of the Cat5 wire to the LAN port on your laptop computer and the other end to the LAN or Ethernet port on your router. The disadvantage of using a wire is that your movement is restricted to the length of the wire.
  • Newer computers have wireless technology built in. If you have newer computer, you may not need the extra network interface card (NIC).
  • You must secure your wired or wireless network by using encryption technology to stop others from using your Internet connection without your permission.