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1st Published, Dec. 2004
Updated Feb. 2007

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Wireless - Basic Configuration.

In order to connect to the Internet or your own Network a Wireless computer needs a Wireless Source.

In case that the Wireless source is Not your own, you need to find out (from the owner) what is the parameters of the connection. Use the method as described on this page to type in the parameters into your Wireless computer configuration menus.

If the Wireless source is your own, i.e. you have a Wireless Cable/DSL Router, or an Access Point. Read carefully the Router's manual to make sure that the Router is ready for Wireless “Action”. In most case the Default setting of a Wireless Router are set so the basic unsecured communication can be obtained easily.

Please Note that the following describes the general principles of configuring the Wireless, there is No standard interface to Wireless devices, and each manufacturer is doing its own “Song, and Dance”. So read the manuals first to be familiar with your hardware menu structure.

Install the drivers on the Client Computer (follow the Wireless card instructions).

After installation check Windows Device manager to make sure that every thing is OK, and there is no conflicts and  or “Ghost” Installations. The big Yellow Exclamation mark is BAD (aka Ghost Installation).

Windows XP SP2, and Vista include Wireless Zero Configuration (WZC) which is very Cool utility that is part of Windows, WZC makes it easy to configure a Wireless connection regardless of the Wireless Hardware Brand.

In the past some cards were Not fully compatible with WZC.  Almost all cards released in the last two years are compatible. Nevertheless almost all cards come with their own Wireless Utility too.

Which one is better to use?

Most people prefer the universal approach of WZC. Howvever it is a personal choice if one gives you trouble try the other.

If try to use Windows WZC and it seems that it does not work, do not "Mess Up" your Network setting.  Switch Off WZC (stop the service) and use the manufacturer Utility. 

For the initial configuration, you do not want Distance issues to impede the connection.  Put the computer with the Wireless Client close to the Wireless Router.

Disable temporarily all software Firewalls (including Windows ICF), Active Antivirus programs or and any other application that might block TCP/IP traffic.

 It is important to disable temporarily the Wireless Security Options in order to establish a solid connection.  Once you establish a Solid Connection, and your Internet/LAN works correctly, you can start  enabling the security settings.

If you decided to start with WZC, make sure that the WZC Service is running, http://www.ezlan.net/wzc.html

If you decided to start with the original manufacturer utility, the instruction should be in the full manual.

1. Make sure that the drivers are set to infrastructure mode and obtain IP auto. 

2. Router's DHCP On. (Static IP will work too if set correctly.)

3. Make sure that the Router does not have any MAC or IP filtering on.

4. Disable WEP/WPA on both devices.

5. Set the SSID and channel of the Router and the Client card to be is same.

At this point if you established a connection and you can surf the Internet and exchange info with other computers on your LAN it is time to attend to Security.

Read the content of the following page and decide what is going to work for you.

Link to: Wireless Security for the Home User.

Important Note.  WEP or WPA on old cards might reduce the Wireless Distance of your Network; Enable the security while the computer is still close to the Wireless Source.  Once it is working with the security measures of your choice move the computer to it intended location.  

If the move results in losing the connection or it becomes unstable try to disable WEP (or WPA). If the Wireless is working well with the WEP Off get a new Card. Increasing the Wireless Distance by switching Off Security is highly risky.

If the Wireless Connection does not work at the new location regardless of whether the Security is On or Off, You have to increase the working Distance, or put the computer closer to the source.

Link to: Extending the Distance of Entry Level Wireless Network.

More info:

Link to: Wireless Cable/DSL Router or Access Point - What should I get?

Link to: How do I use a Wireless Cable/DSL Router as a Switch with an Access Point?

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