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Windows 7 - How to Connect to a Wireless Network

In Windows 7, it is easier than ever to connect to a wireless network. With more and more people using laptop computers and netbooks, wireless Internet is now the normal way which people use to connect to the Internet. In spite of this, it is still a good idea to use a LAN cable between your computer and a modem where possible. This way, you don't have to worry so much about security concerns and the common problems which may arise when you try connecting to a wireless network. Using a cabled connection also means that you don't have to worry about signal problems and you can enjoy a better quality connection all round.

Connecting to a wireless network in Windows 7 is very straightforward and there's no need for using any third party software. Although many laptop computers come with extra software preinstalled for managing and connecting to wireless networks, this software is usually completely unnecessary and can cause connectivity problems and conflicts. Follow the instructions below to use the features built into Windows for connecting to a wireless network.

In the bottom-right of your taskbar, just beside the system time, you should see a network icon. When you're not connected to a network, but there are networks in range, you'll see a small yellow star symbol over this icon. If there are no wireless networks in range, you'll see a small red cross over the icon instead.

Click on the icon to open up a list of available wireless networks in range. If you are living in an urban area, you'll often see many networks within range. Make sure that you know which one to connect to. The network name should be written on the back of your router. If you're trying to connect to a network in a public place, you should ask someone who works there which network to connect to. You may also need a password.

Most wireless networks are secured, in which case you'll need to enter the passkey. If you're using your home network, always make sure that it is secured with a passkey. The passkey, unless you've changed it, is also usually written on the back of the router. Enter this passkey and wait a few seconds to a minute for Windows 7 to connect you. When you connect to a network the first time, you'll be asked to choose whether it is a public, home or office network. Select the appropriate network type as this is important for security.

Be careful when connecting to an unsecured network. You can tell whether a network is unsecured if there's a small orange shield icon beside it. You should avoid connecting to an unsecured network whenever possible since other users, with the right tools, will be able to see all data being sent between your computer and the Internet.


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