Nothing can be as frustrating as when you have your laptop, your coffee and you are ready to do some and you get an error saying you have no internet connection. So here are some instructions to help you get connected to a wireless network and back to work. These instructions are for Windows only.
First look for an icon in the lower right corner of your taskbar that looks like a very small bar graph.
The yellow overlay indicates that there are available wireless networks detected.
If you place you mouse over the icon you will see this pop-up. You want to click on it to view the available wireless networks.
Your list of available networks will vary based on your location. If you are at a Starbucks or an Airport your network list will be different than if you are at home.
This is what a list of connections should look like. If the network you are trying to attach to is not listed click on the refresh button (the two blue arrows) to re-detect wireless networks.
The details of the detected wireless networks (SSID, signal strength, security type, radio type) will be shown if you hold your mouse for 1 second on the selected network.
If there is orange bubble and exclamation mark on wireless network symbol, that is open or unsecured wireless network without any wireless encryption. This type of connection will be present in an open environment like Starbucks or a place that is offering Free Wi-Fi.
Once you decide which network you want to connect to simply click on it.
If you are in an environment that is offering free Wi-Fi you might get a connection notice like this one. Basically Windows is trying to make sure you really want to connect to an insecure network.
If you are comfortable with connecting to an unsecured network, click “Connect Anyway” and when you are connected you will get the following message.
If you are at a Starbucks or another location such as a hotel or airport, you will need to open your browser and accept their terms and conditions or user agreement to continue on with your Internet session.
With any new network connection you will have to choose what type of connection it is which is very easy. If you are out at home choose “Home” otherwise choose “Public”.
Now after all that your wireless icon should have signal bars denoting how strong the signal is like this:
When the network you want to connect to is a secured network, like your Verizon FiOS or Cable connection at home you will need your password. The password is usually on a sticker on the router and it will have the SSID (the name of your wireless network) and it will have the security key information (the password).
Again, choose your network and put a check mark in the “Connect automatically” box so that your laptop automatically connects the next time it sees this network.
Click connect and then when prompted type in your security key and click “Ok”.
Again if this is a new connection you will get the choices for Home, Work or Public. This time choose the Home network.
If the laptop connects you will see the full bar graph icon that indicates the signal strength of your network.
If you have issues with connecting, here is an explanation of the different types of Windows 7 network icons and what they mean.
The following icon means no wireless networks are available. This could be because you are out of range of the wireless network. Make sure that you are in an area that has wireless access; also make sure that your wireless is turned on. On some laptops there is a way to turn the wireless on and off. It can be a button on the side or top part of your keyboard area. Some laptops also have it as a function key on the keyboard.
While this isn’t a comprehensive guide to all of the possible problems that you may experience when trying to connect to a wireless network, hopefully it will provide you with some basic troubleshooting steps and get you connected more easily. Remember, if you are experiencing problems, your HouseCall systems administrator is always available to help.