How to Set Up Wireless Internet on Laptop

By Larry Amon

Using a laptop is great because you have a powerful computer that's mobile and will go wherever you go. The laptop is truly an amazing piece of equipment. However, most people use their computers to do stuff on the Internet. So while you can take your laptop almost anywhere, you are tethered to certain locations where you can plug into a network unless you can get wireless Internet on your laptop.

Things You'll Need

  • Network cardRouterISP

Step 1

Get an ISP. The first thing you need to get wireless Internet into your house is the Internet itself. In case you don't already have Internet access, you'll need to go to an ISP (Internet Service Provider) such as your phone or cable company to get a connection to the Internet. For the most part you will need to use a high-speed Internet connection. While it is possible to share a dial-up connection, wirelessly it is difficult, inefficient and very slow.

Step 2

Set up a router. In order to get the Internet signal wirelessly throughout your house you'll need to buy a wireless router. You hook the cable or connection from your Internet modem or source to the router, and the router then sends the signal out over an antenna. Once you install the router, the instructions will give you an IP address to type into your web browser to administer the wireless network. You can administer the network to use passwords, encryption and other tools to limit who can use the network.

Step 3

Use a network card. Unless your laptop comes with a built-in network card you will need to install one. You can buy a PC network card and easily plug it right into a PC card slot. The computer will likely detect the wireless network automatically. If not, go to the Control panel, click on "Network connections" and then look for a choice like "Detect wireless networks." Pick your network, and you should be up and running on the Internet.