Back to Contents Page

Setting Up and Using Networks

Dell™ Latitude™ D630/D630c User's Guide

  Connecting a Network or Broadband Modem Cable

  Setting Up a Network in the Microsoft® Windows® XP Operating System

  Setting Up a Network in the Microsoft Windows Vista® Operating System

  Wireless Local Area Network

  Mobile Broadband (or Wireless Wide Area Network)

  Dell Wi-Fi Catcher™ Network Locator

  Microsoft® Windows® Firewall


Setting up a computer network provides connectivity between your computer and the Internet, another computer, or a network. For example, with a network set up in a home or small office you can print to a shared printer, access drives and files on another computer, browse other networks, or access the Internet. You can set up a local area network (LAN) using a network or broadband modem cable, or set up a wireless LAN (WLAN).

The Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems provide wizards to help guide you through the process of networking computers. For more information about Networking, access the Help and Support Center (click Start® Help and Support).


Connecting a Network or Broadband Modem Cable

Before you connect your computer to a network, the computer must have a network adapter installed and a network cable connected to it.

  1. Connect the network cable to the network adapter connector on the back of your computer.

NOTE: Insert the cable connector until it clicks into place, and then gently pull the cable to ensure that it is securely attached.
  1. Connect the other end of the network cable to a network connection device or a network wall connector.

NOTE: Do not use a network cable with a telephone wall connector.


Setting Up a Network in the Microsoft® Windows® XP Operating System

  1. Click Start® All Programs® Accessories® Communications® Network Setup Wizard® Next® Checklist for creating a network.

NOTE: Selecting the connection method labeled This computer connects directly to the Internet enables the integrated firewall provided with Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2).
  1. Complete the checklist.

  2. Return to the Network Setup Wizard and follow the instructions in the wizard.


Setting Up a Network in the Microsoft Windows Vista® Operating System

  1. Click the Windows Vista Start button, , and click Connect To® Set up a connection or network.

  2. Select an option under Choose a connection option.

  3. Click Next, and then follow the instructions in the wizard.


Wireless Local Area Network

A wireless local area network (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.

What You Need to Establish a WLAN Connection

Before you can set up a WLAN, you need:

Checking Your Wireless Network Card

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:

Start Button and Connect To Option

In Microsoft Windows XP, click Start® Connect To® Show all connections.

In Microsoft Windows Vista, click Start® Connect To® View network computers and devices.

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:

  1. Right-click Wireless Network Connection.

  2. Click Properties.

The Wireless Network Connection Properties window appears. The wireless network card's name and model number are listed on the General tab.

NOTE: If your computer is set to the Classic Start menu option, you can view network connections by clicking the Start® Settings® Network Connections. If Wireless Network Connection does not appear, you may not have a wireless network card.

The Order Confirmation for Your Computer

The order confirmation that you received when you ordered your computer lists the hardware and software that shipped with your computer.

Setting Up a New WLAN Using a Wireless Router and a Broadband Modem

  1. Contact your Internet service provider (ISP) to obtain specific information about the connection requirements for your broadband modem.

  2. Ensure that you have wired Internet access through your broadband modem before you attempt to set up a wireless Internet connection (see Connecting a Network or Broadband Modem Cable).

  3. Install any software required for your wireless router. Your wireless router may have been shipped with an installation media. Installation media usually contain installation and troubleshooting information. Install the required software according to the instructions provided by the router manufacturer.

  4. Shut down your computer and any other wireless-enabled computers in the vicinity through the Start or menu.

  5. Disconnect your broadband modem power cable from the electrical outlet.

  6. Disconnect the network cable from the computer and the modem.

  7. Disconnect the AC adapter cable from your wireless router to ensure that there is no power connected to the router.

NOTE: Wait for a minimum of 5 minutes after disconnecting your broadband modem before you continue with the network setup.
  1. Insert a network cable into the network (RJ-45) connector on the unpowered broadband modem.

  2. Connect the other end of the network cable into the Internet network (RJ-45) connector on the unpowered wireless router.

  3. Ensure that no network or USB cables, other than the network cable connecting the modem and the wireless router, are connected to the broadband modem.

NOTE: Restart your wireless equipment in the order described below to prevent a potential connection failure.
  1. Turn on only your broadband modem and wait for at least 2 minutes for the broadband modem to stabilize. After 2 minutes, proceed to step 12.

  2. Turn on your wireless router and wait for at least 2 minutes for the wireless router to stabilize. After 2 minutes, proceed to the step 13.

  3. Start your computer and wait until the boot process completes.

  4. See the documentation that came with your wireless router to do the following in order to set up the wireless router:

  5. If necessary, configure your wireless network card to connect to the wireless network (see Connecting to a WLAN).

Connecting to a WLAN

NOTE: Before you connect to a WLAN, ensure that you have followed the instructions in Wireless Local Area Network.
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 using wireless technology. Specific network names and configuration details vary. See Wireless Local Area Network 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.

Determining the Wireless Network Device Manager

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 in Windows XP:

  1. Click Start® Settings® Control Panel® Network Connections.

  2. Right-click the Wireless Network Connection icon, and then click View Available Wireless Networks.

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.

To determine which wireless configuration utility is managing your wireless network card in Windows Vista:

  1. Click Start® Connect To® Manage wireless networks.

  2. Double-click a profile to open the wireless network properties screen.

For specific information about the wireless configuration utility installed on your computer, see your wireless network documentation in the Windows Help and Support Center (click Start® Help and Support).

Completing the Connection to the WLAN

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.

Monitoring the Status of the Wireless Network Card Through Dell QuickSet

The wireless activity indicator provides you with an easy way to monitor the status of your computer's wireless devices. To turn the wireless activity indicator on or off, click the QuickSet icon in the taskbar and select Hotkey Popups. If Wireless Activity Indicator Off is not checked, the indicator is on. If Wireless Activity Indicator Off is checked, the indicator is off.

The wireless activity indicator displays whether your computer's integrated wireless devices are enabled or disabled. When you turn the wireless networking function on or off, the wireless activity indicator changes to display the status.

For more information about the Dell QuickSet wireless activity indicator, right-click the QuickSet icon in the taskbar and select Help.


Mobile Broadband (or Wireless Wide Area Network)

A Mobile Broadband network, also known as a Wireless Wide Area Network (WWAN), is a high-speed digital cellular network that provides Internet access over a much wider geographical area than a WLAN, which typically covers only from 100 to 1000 feet. Your computer can maintain Mobile Broadband network access as long as the computer is within a cellular-data coverage zone. Contact your service provider for coverage of a high-speed digital cellular network.

NOTE: Even if you are able to make a call from your cellular phone in a specific geographical location, that location may not necessarily be within a cellular-data coverage zone.

What You Need to Establish a Mobile Broadband Network Connection

NOTE: Depending on your computer, you can use a Mini Card to establish a Mobile Broadband network connection.

To set up a Mobile Broadband network connection, you need:

NOTE: Only Cingular and Vodafone need a SIM card. Verizon, Sprint, and Telus do not use a SIM.

If the utility is corrupted or deleted from your computer, see the Dell Mobile Broadband Card Utility user's guide for instructions. The user's guide is available through the Windows Help and Support Center (click Start® Help and Support) or on the media that accompanied your card if you purchased it separately from your computer.

Checking Your Dell Mobile Broadband Card

Depending on what you selected when you purchased your computer, the computer has a variety of configurations. To determine your computer configuration, see one of the following:

To check your Mobile Broadband card in the Windows Help and Support Center:

  1. Click Start® Help and Support® Use Tools to view your computer information and diagnose problems.

  2. Under Tools, click My Computer Information® Find information about the hardware installed on this computer.

On the My Computer Information - Hardware screen, you can view the type of Mobile Broadband card installed in your computer as well as other hardware components.

NOTE: The Mobile Broadband card is listed under Modems.

Connecting to a Mobile Broadband Network

NOTE: These instructions only apply to Mini-Cards. They do not apply to internal cards with wireless technology.
NOTE: Before you connect to the Internet, you must activate Mobile Broadband service through your cellular service provider. For instructions and for additional information about using the Dell Mobile Broadband Card Utility, see the user's guide available through the Windows Help and Support Center (click Start® Help and Support). The user's guide is also available on the Dell Support website at support.dell.com and on the media included with your Mobile Broadband card if you purchased the card separately from your computer.

Use the Dell Mobile Broadband Card Utility to establish and manage a Mobile Broadband network connection to the Internet:

  1. Click the Dell Mobile Broadband Card Utility icon on the Windows desktop, to run the utility.

  2. Click Connect.

NOTE: The Connect button changes to the Disconnect button.
  1. Follow the instructions on the screen to manage the network connection with the utility.

Or

  1. Click Start® All Programs® Dell Wireless.

  2. Click Dell Wireless Broadband and follow the instructions on the screen.

Enabling/Disabling the Dell™ Mobile Broadband Card

NOTE: If you are unable to connect to a Mobile Broadband network, ensure that you have all the components for establishing a Mobile Broadband connection (see What You Need to Establish a Mobile Broadband Network Connection), and then verify that your Mobile Broadband card is enabled by verifying the setting of the wireless switch.

You can turn your Mobile Broadband card on and off using the wireless switch on your computer.

You can turn your computer's wireless devices on and off with the wireless switch on the left side of the computer (see Left Side View).

If the switch is in the "on" position, move the switch to the "off" position to disable the switch and the Mobile Broadband card. If the switch is in the "off" position, move the switch to the "on" position to enable the switch and the Dell Mobile Broadband card. For information about the wireless switch positions, see wireless switch.

To monitor the status of your wireless device, see Monitoring the Status of the Wireless Network Card Through Dell QuickSet.

Managing Your Network Settings Through the Dell QuickSet Location Profiler

The Dell QuickSet Location Profiler helps you manage network settings that correspond to your computer's physical location. It includes two categories of profile settings:

You can use Location Profile Settings to create profiles for accessing the Internet with your computer in your office, home, or other public places with Internet services. General Mobility Settings allows you to change the way network connections are handled. The profiles consist of different network settings and equipment that you need when using your computer in different locations.

For more information about Dell QuickSet, right-click the QuickSet icon in the taskbar and select Help.


Dell Wi-Fi Catcher™ Network Locator

The wireless switch on your Dell computer uses the Dell Wi-Fi Catcher Network Locator to scan specifically for WiFi WLAN in your vicinity. For more information about the wireless switch, see wireless switch.

To scan for WiFi WLAN, slide and hold the switch in the "momentary" position for a few seconds. The Wi-Fi Catcher Network Locator functions regardless of whether your computer is turned on or off, in hibernate mode, or in standby mode, as long as the switch is configured through Dell QuickSet or the BIOS (system setup program) to control WiFi network connections.

Because the Wi-Fi Catcher Network Locator is disabled and not configured for use when your computer is shipped to you, you must first use Dell QuickSet to enable and configure the switch to control WiFi network connections.

NOTE: The Dell Wi-Fi Catcher Network Locator light appears only when the computer is turned off and wireless networking is activated in the system setup program. While working in Microsoft Windows operating systems, the light is designed not to appear.

For more information on the Wi-Fi Catcher Network Locator and to enable the feature through Dell QuickSet, right-click the QuickSet icon in the taskbar and select Help.


Microsoft® Windows® Firewall

Windows Firewall provides basic protection from unauthorized access to your computer while it is connected to the Internet. Windows Firewall is automatically enabled when you run the Network Setup Wizard.

When Windows Firewall is enabled for a network connection, the firewall icon appears with a red background in the Network Connections section of the Control Panel.

NOTE: Enabling Windows Firewall does not reduce the need for virus-checking software.

For more information, click Start® Control Panel® Security® Windows Firewall, or access the Help and Support Center (click Start® Help and Support).


Back to Contents Page