How to Connect a Desktop Computer to the Wireless Internet

by Sandra Parker

Desktop computers can be quickly and easily connected to the Internet through a wireless connection, eliminating messy wires. You will need to purchase some basic hardware to accomplish this feat such as a wireless router and wireless network adapter, but you can have your desktop running online, completely wirelessly, in a matter of a couple of hours and for less than $100. The hardware is available at any local electronics store, or Wal-Mart, and you do not need any technical knowledge to accomplish this task.

Connect the wireless router. This is the device that turns your normally wired Internet signal into a wireless signal. You will connect the router to the modem through a hard wired connection using an Ethernet cable. This is the same cable that currently connects your modem directly to your PC. Simply disconnect the end of the cable from the back of your computer and re-connect into the back of your router into the port labeled WAN or WLAN, then connect the router to a power source. Make sure that your modem stays connected to your broadband Internet connection during this process. You can check to make sure your connection is working by locating the "Internet" light on the front of your router and ensuring that is lit up.

Configure the router. Using the Ethernet cable that comes with your wireless router, connect your desktop directly into the router by plugging the cable into the network jack on the back of the computer (this is the same jack that used to house your modem connection) and into the first port on the back of the router. Turn the computer on. Next, open your browser and enter the IP address of your router which is supplied in the instructions that came with your router. The URL should look something like this: http://xxx.xxx.x.x, where x equals the digits of the IP address. Your browser should now display the configuration page for your router. Select and enter your network name which will be defined by you, the passphrase for your data encryption, and your administrative password.

Connect your desktop to the wireless network adapter. Most wireless network adapters will connect to your desktop through the use of a USB 2.0 connector and most computers will automatically locate the appropriate drivers and install the software upon connection. If yours does not, you will need to manually add the driver for the network adapter by inserting the CD that accompanies the adapter and completing the installation wizard.

Disconnect the computer from the router and restart. After the installation is complete, remove the Ethernet cable from the back of your computer and the back of the router, restart the computer, and begin surfing the Web wirelessly.

Items you will need

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera computer keyboard and mouse image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com