How to Turn a Wired Computer Into Wireless

By Peyton Brookes

Wired computers use an Ethernet cable to access network resources and the Internet. An established network---Internet service plan, router and modem, for example---is required to turn a wired computer into wireless. Network adapters use an external antenna and hardware to communicate with your network's router. As a result, a wired computer benefits from an external wireless connection. To turn a wired computer into wireless, you'll need to purchase additional hardware and complete a simple installation process.

Things You'll Need

  • Wireless network adapter
  • USB cable

Configure the Wireless Adapter

Step 1

Purchase a wireless network adapter. Wireless network adapters connect to a computer and create a link to an established network. Ask a sales representative for a USB-type adapter, which plugs into an existing port on your computer. Insert the setup disk into your computer's CD-ROM drive. The Welcome Screen should appear. If not, open "My Computer" and double-click the executable file, which ends with the .exe file extension.

Step 2

Click the "Install" button on the welcome screen to initiate the installation. Read the user agreement, if any, and click the "Next" button if you agree.

Step 3

Click "Infrastructure Mode" if your computers will communicate using an access point. Click "Ad-hoc mode" if you have multiple wireless computers that will communicate with each other. Select the correct channel (the same channel the other devices are on) and select the correct security type for your network (WEP or WPA, for example). Enter the security key or password and follow the remaining prompts to complete the software installation.

Install the Adapter

Step 1

Insert one end of the USB adapter cord into an available USB port on your computer.

Step 2

Insert the other end of the USB adapter cord into the network adapter. The power light should come on and your computer should automatically install the adapter's software drivers.

Step 3

Place the adapter in a location close to your router and free from obstruction. Extend the antenna at a 90-degree angle to ensure the best signal.