Hardware to use wireless internet

Posted on 2011-10-26
Last Modified: 2013-12-24
What hardware does it take to make a 3 year old PC ready for wireless internet. A family member got permission from her neighbor to use their wireless account, but we need to get her computer ready for it.
Question by:weikelbob
    LVL 12

    Accepted Solution

    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    You can buy a USB wireless network adapter - this is like a memory stick - it just plugs in to a USB port on the computer and allows the computer to communicate wirelessly. For the best performance either use the same make as your neighbors wireless box or stick to a known brand such as Netgear, Belkin, D-Link, Linsys.

    Once you have followed the instructions to install the USB wireless adapter it should see the neighbours wireless if it is close enough and then allow you to connect.
    LVL 89

    Assisted Solution

    by:John Hurst
    The computer needs a wireless card. Check Computer (My Computer): Right Click, Manage, Device Manager, Network devices. Does it have a wireless NIC?  It will (almost for certain) have a wired NIC. Once you know that, we can go from there.

    For a wireless setup, you need the neighbour's information: SSID, type of wireless (WEP, WPA, WPA2), and password. Then it is easy to set up.

    ... Thinkpads_User
    LVL 22

    Assisted Solution

    by:Dr. Klahn
    Hobett's advice regarding sticking with the same manufacturer as the wireless access point is good and important.  Many models of wireless equipment just do not work with equipment from other manufacturers.

    Before buying a wireless adapter, also find out what revision of the wireless protocol the access point uses.  The choices are B, G or N.  If the access point will talk to any of these, well and good.  However, if the access point only allows 802.11N, for example, an adapter that only "talks" 802.11B or G is useless.
    LVL 69

    Assisted Solution

    I would recommend a USB wireless adapter like this one: - it is compatible with all wireless versions, and is easy to install.  I also recommend a cable like the one pictured here, because the wireless adapter orientation affects reception, like most antennas.
    LVL 7

    Author Comment

    We are in the process of trying your suggestion, Callandor.

    Thank you.

    I'll close this as soon as we see if it works or not.
    LVL 7

    Author Comment

    My grandmother's computer is not working, so I was not able to try the adaptor, but I will. going to close this. Thanks everyone for the great information

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