More and more computers have inbuilt wireless capabilities, especially laptops and tablets. Chances are, if your PC is new, it is wireless-ready. The trouble is, you may not know if your system can get online wirelessly straight from the box or if you need to buy an extra adaptor. Our straightforward guide will show you how to check for inbuilt wireless devices, and also how to see if your system has its wireless functions switched on. You can find out all you need to know to get surfing in about fifteen minutes.
Does your computer have a wireless adaptor?
Here are the steps to follow to find out if your PC has a wireless adaptor:
1. Navigate to the Network Connections window.
2. In XP and Vista, this is located in the Settings menu. Click the Start button and select Settings, then Network Connections.
3. In Windows 7, type Network into the text bar after clicking the Start button and select Network and Sharing Centre. This window lists all the types of connection you can have. If there is no Wireless option, your system does not have Wi-Fi . You will need to purchase a separate device.
Is your computer picking up a wireless signal?
The next step is to ensure your PC is picking up a signal. Your system will show you an icon displaying the status of its Wi-Fi connection. From the number of bars in the icon you will be able to see how strong the signal is.
Note: Some devices, such as certain tablets, will only display this icon when connected to a wireless network.
Using the icon to spot problems with the connection
Your Wi-Fi icon may display a number of additional status indicators:
• Yellow Circle: This means that your computer is not connected to a wireless network.
• Red X: The computer's wireless functions are switched off.
• Yellow triangle: There is a problem with the wireless card or signal.