Broadband USB wireless Internet cards are lifesavers for people with older computers in their homes. Not all desktop computers come with a wireless adapter installed inside the case, which makes accessing home or office wireless networks on these machines very difficult. Instead of spending a great deal of money for an internal wireless adapter that you will then have to either install yourself or pay a professional to install for you, you can save a great deal of time and money by using a wireless adapter that plugs right into any available USB port on your computers case. The installation and use of these devices is also surprisingly simple given how complex they really are.
Insert the CD-ROM that came with your broadband USB wireless Internet adapter card into your computer and install the software that came with the device. Though the Windows operating system includes its own native tools that are used to connect to wireless Internet networks, these tools dont necessarily work with third party USB adapters. The software that came with your adapter, however, will definitely work and allow you to connect to the Internet. Oftentimes your computer wont be able to recognize the USB adapter until the software is installed, so use the CD-ROM that came with the device to install all necessary programs before continuing.
Reboot your computer. Doing so will finalize the installation of both the USB wireless adapter cards device driver (which is required for the Windows operating system to recognize the device) and the included programs (which are required for you to find and access Wi-Fi networks on your machine).
Look for the â€œwireless networkâ€ icon in the Windows task bar notification area, which will always be located on the far right side of the taskbar under default settings. Depending on the specific model of USB adapter that you purchase, you may actually be able to use native Windows tools to connect to wireless networks. If you can, the â€œwireless networkâ€ icon will automatically appear in the taskbar.
If no such icon has appeared, open the â€œStartâ€ menu and load the program that came with your Internet adapter card. Doing so will load an interface that is very similar to the one used by Windows to find and connect to wireless Internet networks.
Click the name of the network you want to connect to with your adapter card. All of the available networks will display in the window on screen regardless of whether youre using the third party software that came with your device or the native tools included in Windows.
Click â€œConnect.â€ If necessary, input any password that is protecting the network in question to gain access. Your computer will be connected to the Internet network via the USB wireless card. Keep in mind that the card must remain plugged into your computer for the duration of your time on the Internet. Unplugging the card will cause your computer to immediately be disconnected from the Web.
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