How to setup Wi-Fi on laptop

This article explains the step by step procedure to setup Wi-Fi on your laptop. The following are the parameters available on any Wi-Fi network.

SSID

The SSID, which stands for service set identifier is the name of the Wi-Fi network to which you are connecting. The SSID or the name is configured on the wifi router , to which the users connect to get access. This is typically a user friendly name.

Security Key & protocol

The security key is specific to the network which requires connectivity. Every SSID is configured with a security key on the Wi-Fi router. To gain access, both the SSID and security key are required. There are multiple security protocols which can be configured on a wifi router.

The common security protocols as on date are WEP, WPA, WPA2. WEP being an insecure protocol is not recommended to be used on the network. WPA which stands for Wifi protected access is recommended for better security.

Wi-Fi setup steps on laptop

1. Go to the Wi-Fi adapter on the laptop and view the list of Wi-Fi networks available as shown in the screenshot below.

setup wifi on laptop

2. Go to the Wi-Fi network you require connectivity for and right click and go to the properties.

3. Select the security protocol along with the associated parameters. For example , in the screen shot below, the security type is WPA 2 – personal and the encryption type is AES. Provide the security key in the respective section.

setup wifi on laptop properties

4. Once all the parameters are configured, connect to the SSID.

5. If the configured parameters are correct, then you should be able to successfully connect to the wifi network as shown in the screenshot below. Once connected, the laptop would also receive an IP address from the wifi router using which the network can be accessed.

setup wifi on laptop connected

FAQ

1. Do all laptops on the network have a unique key or a shared key.

All users would be sharing a common unique key which is configured on the wifi router. This is for WPA2- PERSONAL configuration. WPA can also be configured in enterprise mode. In this case, the keys are derived automatically using servers in which case each laptop would derive a unique session key from the main key configured on the wifi router.

But in most cases like a home network or a small office network, where an enterprise network is not used, there would only be one key which would be shared among all the laptops.

2. Does the IP address of the laptops need to be configured manually or is it provided dynamically

The IP address of the laptops can be configured statically or dynamically. Most of the time, the DHCP server on the WiFi router on the network provides the IP address. If the IP address is configured as static, then it has to be done manually. For this, the IP addresses which are not used on the network should be configured.

3. I have setup all the configurations properly, but unable to connect to the Wi-Fi network

Ensure that the security key and protocol used is correct as this is a common issue. Verify if it is a driver / physical issue with the wifi card on the laptop. This can be verified on the device manager / network card. The status of the card would be displayed in this section.

4. I have connected to the Wi-Fi network but internet is not accessible.

Check if the adapter has received all the required TCP/IP parameters like IP address , subnet mask , default gateway, DNS IP address, etc. Ensure that the router on the network is configured appropriately with all the necessary parameters and it has the received the necessary TCP/IP credentials from the ISP.

5. I have both LAN and Wi-Fi connection on my network. Should I disable the LAN network when connecting to WiFi

It is not required. Every connection has an associated entry in the routing table of the PC. The entry with the lowest metric value would be used. So when Wifi and LAN is connected simultaneously based on the lowest metric value, the appropriate connection would be taken.

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