How to Make Your Laptop Wireless

By Ruri Ranbe

Older laptops manufactured before the 2000s -- when Wi-Fi became popular -- lack wireless capabilities, preventing the computers from detecting or producing wireless radio signals. To connect to a Wi-Fi hot spot, a laptop needs a functional wireless local area network adapter, or wireless adapter. Installing a wireless N USB adapter to your laptop will enable it to connect to any N-standard or earlier routers.

Things You'll Need

  • Wireless N USB adapter

Step 1

Connect an 802.11n wireless adapter to the USB port on the side of the laptop.

Step 2

Insert into the disc drive the software included with the wireless adapter. If the setup application fails to launch, click "Start," "Computer" or "My Computer" and then double-click the drive containing the setup disc.

Step 3

Follow the on-screen directions to install the associated software. When setup completes, check the indicator light on the side of the adapter to confirm that the wireless antenna is active.

Step 4

Click the Wireless Network Connection icon in the system tray. Select a Wi-Fi hot spot to connect to and then click "Connect."