How to Connect Using Free WiFi

Internet cafes and Wi-Fi hotspots that offer users free wireless Internet connections are becoming more and more common. Many public locations such as libraries, airports, restaurants and schools are also starting to offer free Wi-Fi Internet at their locations. Most standard laptops now come with built-in wireless cards that can connect to these free Wi-Fi networks where they are available.

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Use a laptop to connect to free Wi-Fi networks.

Step

Ensure that your laptop’s wireless network card is active. Some laptops have a physical switch that can turn the wireless network card off and on. Be sure that your wireless card is turned on or it will not detect the Wi-Fi network.

Step

Click the Start button, choose “Connect To” from the Start menu and click “Wireless Network Connection.”

Step

Allow the Wireless Network Connection window to find a list of Wi-Fi connections that are within range of your laptop. If there is more than one connection in your area, make sure to connect to the free Wi-Fi network offered at your location. If you’re not certain, ask to confirm the name of the wireless network.

Step

Select the Wi-Fi network name from the list, and click the “Connect” button.

Step

Enter the security pass phrase if you are prompted for one. Though free Wi-Fi locations can be unsecured networks, if the owner of the network has enabled a security pass phrase, you must ask for it before you can connect.

Step

Allow your laptop to make a connection to the Wi-Fi network.

Step

Put a check mark in the boxes next to “Save this network” and “Start this connection automatically” if you know that you will use this connection again in the future to allow your laptop to save the settings automatically and find and connect to this network.