How to Connect Via WiFi With a Laptop

By Ty Arthur

Most laptop computers include an internal wireless network card that allows you to access WiFi connections in many different locations. Whether you've got a wireless router at home or you need to access the Internet at a cafe or on the road at a hotel, you can use your laptop to surf the web without the restriction of a connected cable. Both the Windows 7 and Windows Vista operating systems have built-in options that make it a simple task to connect to any nearby WiFi networks.

Things You'll Need

  • Laptop with wireless network card

Windows 7

Step 1

Right click the network icon located in the notification bar at the lower right end of your desktop.

Step 2

Scroll through the list of available WiFi networks that pops up on the screen. Click the name of the network you want to connect with and then choose "Connect."

Step 3

Type in the encryption code and click "OK" if the WiFi network uses a security code. The encryption code can be acquired through the administrator of the WiFi network or through the management of the location where you are trying to connect, such as at a hotel or coffee store.

Windows Vista

Step 1

Open the Windows Start menu and click the "Connect To" button. Click the "Show" button and select the "Wireless" option.

Step 2

Scroll through the list of WiFi networks detected by your laptop. Click the specific WiFi network you need to access and then click the "Connect" button.

Step 3

Type the WiFi network's encryption key if you are connecting to a secured network that uses a password. Click "OK."

Tips & Warnings

  • The green bars located to the right of the WiFi network's name show the connection strength of the network. More green bars means that the network will have a faster and more stable connection. A network with no green bars is too far away to allow you to actively connect to the Internet.