How to Enable Free Wi-Fi on My Computer

by Robert Kohnke

Wi-Fi is a trademarked name of the Wi-Fi Alliance but it is commonly used to refer to any wireless Internet connection or hotspot. Each of the three major operating systems (Windows, Apple and Linux) supports wireless Internet access and as of 2010, most laptops come equipped with wireless capabilities. Enabling wireless connectivity on a laptop simply requires that your flip a switch or press a button. On a desktop, you need to navigate to a simple menu. Once enabled, free Wi-Fi is simply an unprotected wireless network connection or hotspot that you can access.

For Windows

Turn on the computer. From the main desktop, click on the "Start" menu.

Click on "connect to" to bring up a list of available networks.

Select a network from the list. If you are unsure whether any of the networks are "free access," look for the ones that say "unprotected" or "insecure" -- these networks do not require a password to access them. Connect to the network by clicking on it, then click "Connect" to establish a free Wi-Fi connection to the Internet.

For Apple

Power on the computer. Locate the Internet symbol in the lower right-hand corner of the task bar of the desktop screen. The Internet icon in Apple resembles little waves and is called the "AirPort" symbol.

Left-click on the "AirPort" symbol to bring up a list of available networks.

Select an unprotected network to connect with and enjoy surfing the Internet over a free Wi-Fi connection.

On Linux

Boot up the computer and right-click on the Interent symbol, which by default is located in the lower right corner of the main desktop and is the icon showing two computers.

Click on "enable wireless" so that you can access wireless networks.

Left-click on the Internet icon and select an unprotected network from the list. The higher the percentage associated with the network, the stronger the network connection will be, which means the faster your Web surfing connection will be.

Items you will need

About the Author

Robert Kohnke has been an avid writer since 1995. Kohnke is well-versed in gardening and botany, electronic/computer repair and maintenance, and technical support. He graduated with an Associate of Arts in agricultural business from Cosumnes River College, where he is continuing his education in computer technology and computer information science.

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