My Laptop Can't Connect to the Wireless Server

By Richard Schupp

Wireless Internet connections are convenient ways of accessing both home and office networks, and are ideal for laptop users. Laptops are built on the fundamental idea of mobility, and having to be bogged down by Ethernet cables and connection wires go against this very principle. Today, almost all laptops include a wireless adapter, so users can connect to a wireless network right from the get go. If you are having problems connecting to a network, you have several courses of action you can take.

Step 1

Ensure that the wireless switch on your laptop is in the “on” position. Some laptop brands, such as Dell laptops, may not have a wireless switch. In this case, a keyboard shortcut is used (hold “Fn”+ “F2” simultaneously). The “Wi-Fi” light on your laptop will be lit if wireless is active.

Step 2

Ensure that you are close enough to your wireless router to make the connection. Depending on the type of router you own, the maximum distance of the signal will vary. For 802.11a routers, you must be within 50 feet in an indoor environment and 100 feet outdoors. 802.11b and 802.11g routers allow for a maximum of 150 feet indoors and 300 feet outdoors for the reach of the signal. Keep these distances in mind and position yourself appropriately.

Step 3

Make sure that your wireless router is turned on. The wireless icon on the router should be lit up. If it is not, try resetting the router. Switch the power to the router off, wait at least 10 seconds, and then switch the power back on. Allow some time for the router to reconfigure the connection.

Step 4

Move any devices, such as cordless phones or microwave ovens, away from your computer and router, or turn them off while working on your computer. These devices use similar signals for power and may interfere with the wireless networking capabilities of your laptop and router.

Step 5

Click the “Start” button, click “Control Panel,” and then click “Network and Internet.” Under “Network and Sharing Center,” click “View Network Status and Tasks.” Under “Change your network settings,” click “Manually connect to a wireless network” and input your network information, such as network name and password. Click the check box next to “Connect if the network is not broadcasting” to ensure that this network will always be found. Save the settings and exit.