What software do I need in order to find available networks on my wireless laptop with Windows Vista?
Go to http://www.nirsoft.com and download the app. for WirelessNetView. It givves lots of information that is helpful in finding open access points.
If you have a mobile PC, you can see a list of available wireless networks, and then connect to one of those networks, no matter where you are. The wireless networks appear only if your computer has a wireless network adapter installed and the adapter is turned on.
Click to open Connect to a Network by clicking the Start button , and then click on Connect to.
In the Show list, click Wireless.
You'll see a list of the wireless networks currently available.
Click a network, and then click Connect.
If you don't see the network you want to connect to, click Set up a connection or network. A list of options will appear that includes manually searching for and connecting to a network, as well as creating a new network connection.
Some networks require a network security key or passphrase. To connect to one of those networks, ask the network administrator or the service provider for the key or passphrase.
Whenever possible, you should connect to security-enabled wireless networks. If you do connect to a network that is not secure, be aware that someone with the right tools can see everything that you do, including the websites you visit, the documents you work on, and the user names and passwords that you use.
View and connect to available wireless networks
1.Open Connect to a Network by clicking the Start button , and then clicking Connect to.
2.In the Show list, click Wireless.
3.Click a network, and then click Connect.
Using Windows Vista to Connect Wireless Network