Back to Contents Page
Dell Latitude D610 User's Guide
Connecting to a Wireless Local Area Network
A WLAN is a series of interconnected computers that communicate with each other over the air waves rather than through a network cable connected to each computer. In a WLAN, a radio communications device called an access point or wireless router connects network computers and provides Internet, or network, access. The access point or wireless router and the wireless network card in the computer communicate by broadcasting data from their antennas over the air waves.
Before you can set up a WLAN, you need:
Depending on what you selected when you purchased your computer, the computer has a variety of configurations. To confirm that your computer has a wireless network card and to determine the type of card, use one of the following:
If Wireless Network Connection does not appear under LAN or High-Speed Internet, you may not have a wireless network card.
If Wireless Network Connection appears, you have a wireless network card. To view detailed information about the wireless network card:
|NOTE: If your computer is set to the Classic Start menu option, you can view network connections by clicking the Start button, pointing to Settings, and then pointing to Network Connections. If Wireless Network Connection does not appear, you may not have a wireless network card.|
The order confirmation that you received when you ordered your computer lists the hardware and software that shipped with your computer.
|NOTE: Wait for a minimum of 5 minutes after disconnecting your broadband modem before you continue with the network setup.|
|NOTE: Restart your wireless equipment in the order described below to prevent a potential connection failure.|
|NOTE: Before you connect to a WLAN, ensure that you have followed the instructions in Setting Up a New WLAN.|
|NOTE: The following networking instructions do not apply to internal cards with Bluetooth® wireless technology or cellular products.|
This section provides general procedures for connecting to a network via wireless technology. Specific network names and configuration details vary. See Setting Up a New WLAN for more information about how to prepare for connecting your computer to a WLAN.
Your wireless network card requires specific software and drivers for connecting to a network. The software is already installed.
|NOTE: If the software is removed or corrupted, follow the instructions in the user documentation for your wireless network card. Verify the type of wireless network card installed in your computer and then search for that name on the Dell Support website at support.dell.com. For information on the type of wireless network card that is installed in your computer, see Checking Your Wireless Network Card.|
Depending on the software installed on your computer, different wireless configuration utilities may manage your network devices:
To determine which wireless configuration utility is managing your wireless network card:
If the Choose a wireless network window states Windows cannot configure this connection, the wireless network card's client utility is managing the wireless network card.
If the Choose a wireless network window states Click an item in the list below to connect to a wireless network in range or to get more information, the Windows XP operating system is managing the wireless network card.
For specific information about the wireless configuration utility installed on your computer, see your wireless network documentation in the Windows Help and Support Center.
To access the Help and Support Center:
When you turn on your computer and a network (for which your computer is not configured) is detected in the area, a pop-up appears near the network icon in the notification area (in the lower-right corner of the Windows desktop).
Follow the instructions provided in any utility prompts that appear on your screen.
Once you have configured your computer for the wireless network that you selected, another pop-up notifies you that your computer is connected to that network.
Thereafter, whenever you log on to your computer within the range of the wireless network that you selected, the same pop-up notifies you of the wireless network connection.
|NOTE: If you select a secure network, you must enter a WEP or WPA key when prompted. Network security settings are unique to your network. Dell cannot provide this information.|
|NOTE: Your computer can take up to 1 minute to connect to the network.|
|NOTE: If you are unable to connect to a wireless network, ensure that you have all the components for establishing a WLAN (see What You Need to Establish a WLAN Connection), and then verify that your wireless network card is enabled by pressing <Fn><F2>.|
You can turn your computer's wireless networking function on and off by pressing the <Fn><F2> key combination.
Back to Contents Page