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    Connect to a wireless network

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    • If you have a portable computer or a desktop computer with a wireless network adapter, you can see a list of available wireless networks and then connect to one of those networks. The wireless networks will only appear if your computer has a wireless network adapter installed, the adapter is turned on, and the wireless access point is in range.

      To view and connect to wireless networks in Windows 7

      1. Click the wireless network icon Picture of the wireless network icon in the notification area of your taskbar.
      2. In the list of wireless networks, click the network you want to connect to, and then click Connect.

      3. If you're connecting to a secure network, type the security key, and then click OK.

      To view and connect to wireless networks in Windows Vista

      1. Open Connect to a Network by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button and then clicking Connect to.
      2. In the Show list, click Wireless.

      3. Click the network you want to connect to, and then click Connect.

      4. If you're connecting to a secure network, type the security key, and then click OK.

        If you don't see the network you want to connect to, click Set up a connection or network. A list of options will appear that includes manually searching for and connecting to a network, as well as creating a new network connection.

      To view and connect to wireless networks in Windows XP

      1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.

      2. In the left pane, under Network Tasks, click View available wireless networks.

        Note

        Note

        If you don't see the network you want to connect to, click Refresh network list.

      3. Click the network you want to connect to, and then click Connect.

      4. If you're connecting to a secure network, type the security key, and then click OK.

      Warning

      Warning

      Whenever possible, you should connect to security-enabled wireless networks. If you do connect to a network that's not secure, be aware that someone with the right tools can see everything that you do, including the websites you visit, the documents you work on, and the user names and passwords that you use. Changing your network location to Public can help minimize the risk. For more information, see Choosing a network location and How do I know if a wireless network is secure?

      Troubleshoot connection problems

      If you're having trouble connecting to a wireless network, review the sections below for troubleshooting tips.

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      What if I don’t see my wireless network in the list of available networks?

      Your wireless router might not be set to broadcast its network ID (SSID). If this is the case you won’t see the network when viewing available networks. Enabling the router to broadcast its network ID makes the network visible to any user within range of the network.

      To check your wireless router and enable the option to broadcast the network ID (SSID), refer to the documentation that came with the wireless router or follow these basic steps:

      1. Connect your computer to the network using a network cable, start Internet Explorer, and type the IP address for your wireless router (for example, 192.168.1.1 or 172.16.0.0).

      2. Enter the user name and password to access the router settings. The documentation will contain the default user name and password.

      3. On the wireless router page, look for a Wireless Settings option. Depending on the router manufacturer, this might be a tab, an icon or just an option in a task pane.

      4. On the Wireless Settings page, look for an option to Enable SSID Broadcast or Wireless SSID Broadcast. Click the radio button or place a check in the box to enable this option, then save your router settings.

        Note

        Note

        If you can't find the option to enable broadcasting, check the documentation that came with the router or contact the router manufacturer.

      How do I connect to a hidden wireless network?

      A hidden wireless network is a wireless network that isn't broadcasting its network ID (SSID). For more information about the risks of connecting to hidden networks, see What are the risks of connecting to a hidden network?

      If you still want to connect to a hidden wireless network despite the risks, you'll need to gather some information from the wireless router first. Use the following basic steps to gather that information. You can also check the documentation that came with the wireless router or contact the router manufacturer.

      1. Gather the following information:

        • Network ID (SSID), the name that would normally appear in the list of available networks

        • Security type (WPA, WPA2, WEP, or 802.1X)

        • Encryption type

        • Security key

      2. Then follow the steps below for the operating system you are using.

      Show all

      My wireless connection is not connected when my computer resumes from sleep or hibernation.

      When coming out of sleep or hibernation, your wireless network connection might not reconnect if the power options on your wireless adapter are set to a power-saving mode. To check or change your current power options, follow the steps below for your operating system:

      Windows 7

      1. Open Power Options by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Security, and then clicking Power Options.
      2. Next to your currently selected power plan, click Change plan settings, and then click Change advanced power settings.

      3. Click to expand the Wireless Adapter Settings section, and then click to expand the Power Saving Mode section.

      4. If the setting is currently anything other than "Maximum Performance," click it and then selectMaximum Performance.

      Note

      Note

      You can also set the On battery setting to "Maximum Performance." For more information on power management, see the Power managementfeature page on the Microsoft website.

      Windows Vista

      1. Open Power Options by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Power Options.
      2. Next to your currently selected power plan, click Change plan settings, and then click Change advanced power settings.

      3. Click to expand the Wireless Adapter Settings section, and then click to expand the Power Saving Mode section.

      4. If the setting is currently anything other than "Maximum Performance," click it and then selectMaximum Performance.

      Note

      Note

      You can also set the On battery setting to "Maximum Performance." For more information on power management, see What's new in managing power settings.

      Windows XP

      1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.

      2. Right-click the wireless network connection that has lost connectivity, and then click Properties.

      3. On the General tab, click Configure.

      4. Click the Advanced tab, click Power Save Mode. If the setting in the Value list is currently anything other than "Off," change it to Off.

      Where can I find my network security key?

      You can find your security key by opening the wireless router's settings webpage. This is where the security key is set up or automatically generated. Some wireless router manufacturers set a default security key that you might be able to find on a sticker in the documentation or on the bottom of the router. If you don't find the security key in the documentation or on the bottom of the router, follow these steps:

      1. Connect your computer to the router using an Ethernet cable.

      2. Start a web browser and type the IP address for your wireless router into the search bar (for example, 192.168.1.1 or 172.16.0.0). You can find the default IP address in the documentation that came with your router.

      3. Most router documentation contains a default user name and password to access the router settings webpage.

      4. On the router settings webpage, look for a wireless or wireless settings option. Depending on the router manufacturer, this might be a tab, an icon, or an option in a task pane.

      5. On the wireless settings page, look for a security or wireless encryption option.

      6. You might see a security type or encryption type setting. The security key is listed by the selected security type.

      Note

      Note

      Different router manufacturers have different settings pages. If you’re having difficulty accessing the router settings, contact the router manufacturer.


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    • View Answer at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/help/wired-and-wireless-network-connection-problems-in-windows
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