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Did your ISP Boingo supply you with a DSL or cable modem with a built-in wireless router? If only a DSL or cable modem is supplied and you wish to connect to the Internet by wireless then you need to connect a wireless router to this DSL or cable modem.
You can connect to the Internet using a LAN cable from your laptop to the DSL or cable modem. If your laptop as a built-in wireless card you can to the Internet via the wireless router. If you laptop does not have a built-in wireless card then you can install a PCMCIA wireless card into the card slot of your laptop to the Internet via a wireless connection.
My 2170US does not have built in wireless like some of the other HP or Compaq models of the same vintage. Buying a mini pci wireless card wont make the wireless work. You will need a wireless card for the pcmcia slot on the left side of the laptop then your wireless will work. If there is an issue with the pcmcia slot a cheap work around is to buy a usb. based wireless card and use one of the two usb.slots in the back. It's not high speed usb.2.0 so it may run a little slower. As long as your pcmcia slot works just install the the card that you can buy even at walmart install the software and your wireless should be up and running. Its an old laptop and not worth spending a bunch of money on when new or used much better machines are out there.
It is underneath the unit you will see removable flaps, unscrew the biggest one, usually it is there, the WiFi card is a small card with Antenna wires coming out of it, it slots into a MiniPCI slot. Check this also check your WiFi isn't turned OFF via the switch.
These laptops are hit and miss wirelessly to tell the truth. Take the wireless card out and make sure the antenna is attached to the card properly. You will see the two wires. Often times one fo these connections is broken. If so reattaching the antenna will solve the weak connections.
There are three possible ways. 1. If the notebook has an available miniPCI socket in a compartment on the bottom of the PC, a wireless card can be installed there. However, the antenna wires are nearly impossible to connect. I would pick one of the following: 2. Get a wireless PC Card for notebooks, or 3. Get a USB wireless device (works on notebooks and desktops. This option is easiest, and usually cheapest. Follow the instructions that come with it, and you're all set. I use a USB wireless device when I work on PCs, to get out to the Internet and download drivers and such.