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Free Tech Tip: Connecting Desktop Computer to Wireless Internet




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Question: I need to connect my desktop computer to a wireless internet connection. How do I do that?

Answer: there are several steps to your question and the first is to get wireless internet in your room via a wireless router. If you have that, then you’ll just need a wireless adapter that plugs into your desk top computer and has an antenna that will grab the wireless internet signal.

STEP 1 — Wireless Router:
Skip this if you already have a wireless router or you are in a place that already has wireless internet, such as a dormroom. Our recommendation is the D-Link DIR-655 Extreme-N Gigabit Wireless Router (it has more than 1,900 positive reviews on amazon)  . This will plug into your cable/dsl modem. The D-Link Xtreme N Gigabit Router (DIR-655) is a draft 2.0 802.11n compliant device that delivers up to 14x faster speeds* and 6x farther range* than 802.11g while staying backward compatible with 802.11g devices. Connect the Xtreme N Gigabit Router to a cable or DSL modem and provide high-speed Internet access to multiple computers, game consoles, and media players. Create a secure wireless network to share photos, files, music, videos, printers, and network storage. Powered by Xtreme N technology and equipped with three external antennas, this router provides superior wireless coverage for larger homes and offices, or for users running bandwidth-intensive applications. The DIR-655 also includes a 4-port 10/100/1000 Gigabit switch that connects Gigabit wired devices for enjoying lag-free network gaming and faster file transfers. With wireless prioritization technology and our award-winning intelligent QoS engine, jitter-free Internet phone calls (VoIP), high-definition video streaming and Web gaming are achievable on your wired and wireless networks.

If you have other wireless devises that you plan on attaching, find out what they are (if they are -N or something else). The router isn’t usually forward compatible, but they are usually backward (they can communicate in an older “type” sometimes). The documentation will tell you what the modem is compatible with.

STEP 2 – Wireless Adapter (for the Desktop): A wireless adapter is basically a computer card you put into a PCI slot in your motherboard. It has an antenna on it. A good one is Cisco-Linksys Wireless-N PCI Adapter with Dual-Band (WMP600N). Again, notice the -G. Just make sure the adapter and the router are both the same, or documentation for either says they are compatable. If you’re buying both the router and adapter, make them the same (-G to -G), since that is more efficient for the hardware.

All of these things have instruction manuals which are pretty good, but it is usually pretty tricky to get set up so go step by step exactly as the instructions say and be patient! Don’t plan on getting this done quickly.


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