Make sure that your computer or laptop has wireless capabilities. This means you will need either a wireless networking support or a wireless network adapter. Most new computers have these capabilities.
There are three main things you will need to get your wireless Internet set up: a broadband connection; a wireless router (connects signals from your Internet connection to wireless ports); and, a wireless network adapter if your computer doesn't have built-in capabilities (this will wirelessly connect your computer to your router).
You will first need to locate your cable modem or DSL modem. Unplug the modem to turn it off. Then connect the wireless router to your modem (this will always stay directly connected to your modem). If your computer is currently connected to your modem, unplug the network cable and plug it into the port labeled WAN or WLAN (located on the back of the router). If your computer is not currently connected to your modem, plug one end of the network cable (it comes with the router) into the router's WAN or WLAN ports and the other end into the modem.
A network cable should come with your wireless router. Use this to connect your computer to an open network port on the router (as long as it isn't labeled Internet, WAN, or WLAN). Next, open your Internet browser and type in the address to configure your router (this will come with your router package).
You will need to choose a network name (also known as the SSID). It should be something unique and not something your neighbors could guess (e.g., your last name, child's name, or street name). You also will need to add a password for security reasons (to ensure that no one else can hack into your wireless system). This should also be unique and not something easily guessed.
The wireless encryption (WEP) or Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) will need a "passphrase" to ensure security protection. It should be long and difficult – you don't need this on a day-to-day basis, so you don't need to have it memorized, but keep it somewhere safe.
It's now time to test your tech work. Turn on your other computers and/or laptops and access the Internet. If they have wireless built-in capabilities, your network will automatically come up and you will only need to enter the password. If your computer doesn't have built-in wireless capabilities, use a USB network adapter that plugs into your computer. The network information should then appear.
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