How to Get Wireless Capabilities on Your Laptop

by C. Taylor

Most laptops these days contain an integrated wireless adapter that allows you to connect to wireless networks. However, the adapter may be disabled to conserve battery power. Fortunately, laptops that integrate a wireless adapter contain a hot key to quickly enable or disable the adapter. If your laptop does not have a wireless adapter built-in, you can add one using a simple USB wireless adapter.


Look on the top function keys of your keyboard for a radio antenna icon. If you find one, this function key toggles your laptop's wireless adapter on or off. On some laptops, you'll need to hold "Fn" while pressing that function key. On others, simply press the function key.


Insert a USB wireless adapter into your laptop's USB port (see links in Resources). Windows 7 should automatically install the driver, but some adapters may require additional software. If your adapter came with a CD, insert it into your laptop's CD/DVD drive and follow the automated setup instructions. For more detailed instructions, consult the adapter's installation guide.


Click the wireless network icon from your Windows 7 notification area and select the wireless network you want. Click "Connect" and enter the security passphrase if required to connect to the network.


  • close if you get an "unlimited" data plan with any cell provider and use the connection to do a lot of bandwidth intensive stuff like watch a hundred youtube videos every day or download massive files all month, they'll kick you off the plan for using too much bandwidth.

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