How do I connect my computer to my router via WiFi?

Richard July 9, 2014
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The WiFi doesn’t work on my computer. The computer is only 7 months old. I disconnected the Netgear N150 Wireless Router (WNR1000v2) I just got. Now the computer works fine. I have no past experience with WiFi. My Internet provider says that my computer is not designed to do WiFi. My computer isn’t even six months old. It’s an HP Professional with Windows 7. Is there another way to hook up the WiFi? Any help would be very appreciated. I’m 76 and not very computer savvy. Thanks.

  1. Oron J
    July 9, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Bruce and Hovsep have already given good answers. I'll try to augment it by providing extra information.

    Most portable computers (laptops, tablets etc) have a built-in WiFi adapter, which can be switched on (for use) or off (to conserve battery power). Some laptops have a special switch for the purpose, but most use one of the F-keys (the keys in the top row of the keyboard), and the key will be marked with an icon like the one shown below. Once you have turned it on, you still need to connect to the local WiFi network (or "to your router") and you will probably need to provide a password for that, but let's get past this bridge first.

    WiFi symbol

    Most desktop computers do not have a WiFi adapter built in, but you can easily add one by getting a USB WiFi "dongle" such as this one. No need to pay that much for it though, I usually buy them from eBay for £2-3 and they're every bit as good.

    The reason desktop PCs don't have WiFi is they are kept in a fixed place, which allows you to use a cable to connect them to the router, which is usually more reliable, faster and simpler (just plug in the cable, no need to do anything else). The cable is called a "network cable", "ethernet cable", "patch cable", "Cat 5", "Cat 5e" or "Cat 6". You may also see reference to "RJ45" (that's the connector's type). Again, if you shop around you can get it for very little. They come in lengths ranging from about a 30 cm to 100 m (1' to 305' in "old money"). You can see a picture of a network cable here.

    If it's all the same to you, use a network cable, which, as I mentioned earlier, has technical advantages over WiFi, and is simpler to use. If you want to use WiFi, come back to us with the exact model of your computer (these tend to be quite long and involve a string of letters and numbers), then we may be able to provide more specific advice.

  2. Hovsep A
    July 9, 2014 at 8:30 am

    if you pc has inbuilt wifi capabilities you can check from device manager
    1) From the Start menu you can type "Device Manager" and press "Enter"
    2) Open Device Manager. Under the "Networking" heading, if a Wi-Fi adapter is installed it will be listed there.

  3. Bruce E
    July 9, 2014 at 6:06 am

    If your computer is a desktop model, it is likely that it does not have built-in WiFi capability. You can use an Ethernet cable to connect your computer to the router but if you want a wireless connection, you need to pick up a USB WiFi modem (some places call them WiFi adapters which is not entirely accurate) to attach to your computer. Most places that carry any kind of computer gear will have them.