Install a wireless network adapterIn areas that
are served by a wireless network, you can connect to a computer network
without using a cable, and surf the Internet or connect with other
computers. To connect to a wireless network, your computer needs a
wireless network adapter.
Many new computers-especially
laptops-come with wireless adapters. Before using your computer, check
to see if it already has a wireless network adapter
computer doesn't have a wireless network adapter, you can install one.
a wireless USB network adapter
. Most people prefer this type of
adapter for any type of computer, because it's easy to install.
a wireless CardBus or CF network adapter
. For portable computers,
this type of adapter (also called a PCMCIA
or PC Card) is easier to
travel with than a USB
adapter, because it is often smaller and fits
securely in the PC Card slot on the side of the computer.
a wireless internal network adapter
. If you have a desktop
computer, you may prefer an internal adapter so that you can use the USB
port to connect another accessory.
type of adapter you install depends on your computer and your level of
How to determine if you
already have a wireless network adapterMany portable computers
manufactured after 2000 have wireless networking built in. However,
because the antenna is hidden inside the computer, it's not easy to see.To
see which network adapters are currently installed in your computer
, and then click Control Panel
Click Network and
or pick a Control Panel icon
, click Network Connections
Windows XP displays your network adapters. Wireless network adapters
are labeled Wireless Network Connection. If an adapter displays a red X,
it is disconnected. If the Network Connections
window is blank,
your computer doesn't yet have a wired or wireless network adapter.