From the Kenosha News on 5-22-05

Configuring your Laptop for Wireless

       Continuing our focus on wireless, this column explains how to configure your wireless laptop to connect to your home wireless network or another wireless "hot spot" at a hotel, library, or airport.  These instructions are for Windows XP, which has management of wireless built-in.  You can use wireless with other versions of Windows, but you'll need to use the software that comes with your laptop or wireless card.

      To access your wireless settings, click the Start button, then click Control Panel.  Double-click on the Network and Internet Connections icon, then click the Network Connections icon.  Look for the icon that represents your wireless connection and double-click on it.  A smaller window will open showing a General and Support tab.  On the General tab, it will show you the status, speed, and signal strength of your connection once it's active.  To configure the connection, click the Properties button.  Click the Wireless Networks tab.  Check of the box next to "Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings" is checked.  If it is not, you can either use other software provided with your laptop to configure the wireless settings, or check the box to continue the setup in Windows.  The Available Networks section of this window shows you what wireless signals your computer can detect.  If you're not seeing what you expect, click the Refresh button. 

      If you see the network you want to connect to, click on its name in the Available networks section, and then click the Configure button.  (Those instructions are on the screen.)  Make changes only if needed.  Click OK. Click on the OK button again to close the Wireless Network connection Properties window, and it should connect.  You will know if you're connected by the status shown on the General tab of the Wireless Network Connection Status window.  Close all control panel windows and surf the net!

      If you don't see the network you want to connect to, it's possible that the wireless gear is configured to not broadcast its signal.  In this case, you can still connect, but you'll need to know the SSID (network name).  From the Wireless Network Connection Properties screen, click the Add button in the Preferred Networks section.  On the Association tab, enter the SSID of the network you want to connect to.  Check or uncheck the Data encryption box depending on the setup of the network; if you don't know what to choose, try it without the check first.  On the Authentication tab, uncheck the box next to "Enable IEEE 802.1x" unless you were instructed otherwise.  Click OK to exit.  You should now see that SSID in the Preferred Networks section.  Click on it and click the Configure button.  Click OK twice to exit these screens.  You should now be connected.

      If you have problems accessing a wireless network, contact tech support for one or more of the following:  1) Your computer, if it has built-in wireless, 2) Your wireless card manufacturer if your wireless card was separate, 3) Your wireless router manufacturer if you are setting up a home network, or 4) The location you are in (hotel, airport, etc.)  Happy surfing!

 By Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 5-22-05