How to Test a Wireless Network Adapter Card

By TS Jordan

A wireless adapter (or networking) card is a device used to allow the computer to send and receive a wireless signal for communicating across a network. After installing your wireless card, you will naturally want to test it to see whether the installation was a success. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, so choose the method(s) that is most to your liking. The testing process should take no longer than 10 to 20 minutes.

Step 1

Determine whether the wireless card is properly recognized by the computer. Accomplish this by navigating to the "Start" menu, then to the "Control Panel," then to the "Device Manager." From there, open the option for "Network Adapters." You should see your wireless card in the list. Double-click on it and the computer should display "this device is working properly."

Step 2

Test your wireless card by seeing whether you can detect wireless networks. Go to the "Start" menu, then to the "Control Panel," then to the "Network and Sharing Center." Click on the option to "Connect to a Network." The available wireless networks in your neighborhood should be displayed on screen. Note that this will only work if you have already set up your own network or if your neighbors have a wireless network, so do not be alarmed if you cannot see any networks if none is actually in existence.

Step 3

Ping websites to test the ability of your wireless card if you are attached to a network and the Internet. "Pinging" a site is sending a small bit of data to the site and measuring the amount of time it takes for the data to return. Accomplish this by navigating to the "Start" menu, then typing "cmd" in the search box. Click on the "cmd" program that appears to be taken to a DOS prompt. At the prompt, type in "ping" followed by a space and the name of a website (e.g. "ping www.google.com"). If all of your test packets are sent and received without problem, your card is working fine.