Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Connecting a Dell Desktop to a Wireless Router

Wireless routers have given users freedom from wires. You can connect your Dell desktop or laptop to a wireless router and set up a home network for all your home or office computers. It will enable you to access wireless connection from any part of your home or office to share files or folders, music, games etc. In this post, I am going to discuss how you can connect your Dell desktop PC to your wireless router to enjoy the wireless connectivity.
Step 1
Before you begin, make sure that you have a Wi-Fi router and hi-speed modem to connect to your Dell PC. Besides, your Dell PC must have a wireless card, a.k.a adapter, to set up a wireless network via your Wi-Fi router. You can determine if your Dell PC is wireless-enabled or not by clicking the Start menu, right-clicking My Computer, and selecting Manage.
Step 2
Make sure that you are logged in with administrator privileges, failing to which won’t let you access Device Manager. In the Computer Management window, click Device Manager and you will see a list of devices listed there. Click Network Adapters and you will see you wireless network card. If it’s not there, you will need to install one on your Dell desktop. If there is one, you can connect to the wireless network. Exit all the windows for now.
Step 3
If you have windows 7 on your PC, click the Start button and type ‘devmgmt.msc’ in the Start Search field. Hit the Enter key. If prompted, enter you admin password, click Continue. In Device Manager, expand Network Adapters and check if you have a wireless adapter installed on your Dell computer or not. Do as instructed above.
Step 4
Now place your Wi-Fi router in a convenient location, which is free from obstacles and electricity wires other than your modem’s and computer’s. All the three devices must be in the reach of wall jacks, electricity outlets. Now connect your wireless router to your broadband modem using an Ethernet cable. Plug one end of the Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port of your modem and run its other end into the WAN (or WLAN) port of your wireless router.
Step 5
Plug your router and modem in their respective electricity outlets. Push the Power button on both the devices. Wait for the devices to boot up properly. Depending on your router model, it may not have a Power button. It simply has to be plugged in the PC and the modem. So, if your router doesn’t have a Power cord, don’t worry. Plug one end of the Ethernet cable into one of the four LAN ports of your router and run its other end into Ethernet port of your Dell PC.
Step 6
Turn on your Dell PC. Check that all the lights have lit up on the router and the modem. When done, check if you have a wireless router setup disk and insert it in the drive of your Dell PC. The wireless router installation wizard should automatically fire up. Follow the on-screen prompts, install the drivers etc. and set up a wireless connection. Note down your wireless network details like SSID, security key etc. on a piece of paper and keep it safe. You will need this information in the next steps to connect to your wireless network.
Step 7
You may remove the Ethernet cable from the back of your Dell PC and the router also to start using the wireless connection. Click the Open Network and Sharing Center icon in your system tray. You will see the available wireless networks. Click your wireless network name (SSID) and then click the Connect button. Make sure that the button beside Automatically connect to this network is checked. When prompted, enter your security key and click Connect. You will now be connected to your wireless network.
Step 8
If you are using Windows XP, click the Open Network Connections icon in your system tray> select View Available Wireless Networks. Click your SSID name (wireless network name) and click Connect. If prompted, enter your wireless security key and click Connect. Open your web browser and check if you can browse the Internet.
Step 9
Windows 7 or Vista generally does not generally need the wireless router setup disk for driver installation. Window 7 or Vista can automatically search for the drivers once you are online and prompt you to install them. Windows XP can also search for and automatically install the drivers when prompted. You can also manually update the drivers of your wireless adapter by downloading them from the Dell website.

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