How do I make my Laptop Wireless

Wireless network and Internet connectivity are hugely popular today and most new laptop computers come with built-in wireless capabilities. If your laptop does not have built-in wireless capabilities you may find the following options to be easy solutions.

For those who have an older laptop which does not have built-in wireless capabilities, there are still a couple of options for you when you ask "how do I make my laptop wireless"?

Many older laptops have PCMCIA or PC Card slots on the side of the laptop. These slots are for add-on capabilities and upgrades as well. The really nice thing is that you can usually upgrade to wireless capabilities on your older laptop using these slots or a USB port. If you have one of these you can simply add a laptop wireless adapter to one of the slots and make your laptop wireless and now have the ability to access the local network and the Internet wireless. The wireless card just plugs into one of these slots on the side of your laptop.

Another option available to make your laptop wireless is the USB laptop wireless adapter which will simply be able to be inserted into an available USB port on your laptop computer. Be sure that the USB wireless card is compatible with the USB version of your laptop. For example many USB 2.0 cards are backwards compatible with USB 1.0 slots, while some are not.

One thing to remember is to make sure that the laptop wireless adapter comes with the drivers that are for your particular operating system. For example if you have Microsoft Windows 2000 on your laptop computer you would want to be sure that the card comes with drivers for Windows 2000. Almost all cards will be compatible with Windows XP. Most will be compatible with Windows Vista as well.

The drivers should come on a CD, along with the laptop wireless adapter, so you can simply install them by putting the CD into your laptop’s CD drive and accessing the install file. Usually the CD drive will auto-run which will prompt you to begin the driver installation process. Generally I find that instructions on how to install the drivers will be supplied with wireless card when you purchase it.

Quite often there will be a wireless manager utility that will be installed if you choose, to help you connect to and manage your laptop wireless networking connections as needed. Windows has a built-in wireless network management utility which is actually very good and you may want to choose to not install the one that comes with the laptop wireless adapter and just use the one built into Windows.

It is good to know that you can definitely go wireless with laptops which were not originally designed to be wireless. This can be a fairly inexpensive way to go and is considered to be one of the DIY computer repairs. Even though it is not really a repair so much as it is more of an upgrade.