How to Hook Up Wi-Fi to a Computer With a Router

By Ty Arthur

Any computer with a wireless networking adapter can surf the Web through a Wi-Fi connection by accessing a wireless router. Before you can begin sending messages to friends or checking sports scores, though, you must first properly set up your router and then create a new wireless network. Setting up a wireless network and connecting to it only requires a few simple clicks and keystrokes in the Windows 7 operating system.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with wireless network card
  • Wireless router
  • Ethernet cable

Step 1

Plug the wireless router's AC adapter into a wall outlet if you have not already done so. Connect your cable or DSL line into the corresponding port on the back of your modem.

Step 2

Connect an ethernet cable between the ethernet port on the modem and the port on the wireless router labeled either "ethernet" or "wide area network."

Step 3

Insert the wireless router's installation CD into your computer's disc drive if the router included a CD. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the router's software.

Step 4

Navigate to the "Control Panel" option in the Start menu. Choose "Network and Sharing Center" and then select the "Set up a new connection or network" option.

Step 5

Choose the "Setup a new network" option, and click "Next." Type in a name for your network and then enter in a security key if you want to use one. Click "Next."

Step 6

Right-click the networking icon located in the notification area at the lower right end of your computer's desktop. Click the name of your network, then select "Connect."

Step 7

Type in the security key you set earlier, and choose "OK" to connect to the Wi-Fi connection.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your computer doesn't have a wireless network card already installed you don't need to take apart your computer and manually install one. Instead, you can purchase a USB wireless adapter through an electronics store and plug it into your computer's USB port.
  • When connecting to a Wi-Fi source at a public location such as a coffee shop, you only need to open up the network icon and then choose "Connect," instead of going through the process of setting up an entirely new network.
  • In Windows Vista you can bring up the list of available networks by clicking the "Connect To" icon in the Start menu. Select the name of the network and then choose "Connect."
  • You do not need to install the router software or go through network creation process on any other computers that need to connect to your network. Simply have them locate the network, click "Connect" and type in your security key.