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Windows XP Wireless Network Configuration

This section illustrates how to configure a wireless network adaptor, a network card that is used on a wireless network. It may also be referred to as a Wireless Network Connection. Click on the images if you wish to see a full size version.

Wireless Network Connection Icon on TaskbarTo configure your Wireless Network Connection you must edit its properties. If you are lucky you will have an icon by the time on the bottom right hand corner of your screen much like the one pictured to the right of this paragraph. The red X indicates that the computer is not connected to a wireless network, once connected successfully it will go away. If you have one of these simply double click on it, if your less fortunate follow the steps below.

Click on the Start Menu - Click to EnlargeMost settings on your computer are controlled via the Windows XP Control Panel. To go to the Control Panel simply click on your start menu located in the bottom left hand corner of your screen and click on Control Panel.

Windows XP Control Panel - Click to Enlarge The Control Panel is divided into different categories that control different aspects of your computer. Inside Control Panel on the left hand side you will see either switch to Classic View or switch to Category View. Ensure that the Control Panel is in Category View. Locate the Network and Internet Connections category and click on it.

Network and Internet Connections - Click to EnlargeInside Network and Internet Connections you will be given the option to Pick a Task or Pick a Control Panel icon. Double Click on Network Connections underneath Pick a Control Panel Icon.

Network Connections - Click to EnlargeNetwork Connections allows you to view and configure the network interfaces on your computer. It can have several categories depending on what network connections are present or configured on your computer. Your wireless adaptor will be found in the LAN or High Speed Internet category and will be labelled Wireless Network Connection, followed by a number if you have more than one wireless card. Once located, double click on it.

Choose a Wireless Network - Click to Enlarge WLAN Status - Click to Enlarge

Regardless of whether you double click on the connection inside network connections or the icon by your time one of the above two boxes will be displayed. If your wireless adaptor is not currently connected to a wireless network the screen pictured above left prompting you to Choose a Wireless Network will be displayed. If it is connected to a wireless network it will go to the wireless network connection status screen pictured above right instead. If your are on the connection status screen click on View Wireless Networks to go to the choose wireless network screen.

Connecting to A Wireless Network

Choose a Wireless Network - Click to EnlargeThe Choose a Wireless Network screen displays the result of a scan for nearby wireless networks. Clicking on Refresh network list will make the wireless card scan again and it will display the ESSID or SSID of any nearby available wireless networks. An SSID is like a beacon that an access point or router broadcasts so that the wlan can be identified. Needless to say that your wireless access point or router should be configured before you can connect to it. Double click on the network you wish to join.

Network Key - Click to EnlargeThe computer will attempt to connect to your wireless network. If your network is secured (and it should be!) it will prompt you to type in your network key, the same key that you typed into the configuration of your wireless router or access point. You will need to type it in twice to confirm it.


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