The Internet is such a big part of using a computer that when you run into network trouble, you'll want to pull out your hair (assuming you have hair).

  • Run a firewall.

  • There’s no need to run multiple firewalls. A single hardware firewall on the router works best. If you don’t have one, run a software firewall.

  • Share folders on the network in Windows 7 and Windows Vista by using the Advanced Sharing button to access the Sharing tab in the folder’s Properties dialog box.

  • When restarting the network, turn everything off. Then turn on the modem, the router, any switches, and, finally, the PCs attached to the network.

  • Ensure that the wireless NIC has been enabled on your laptop; check for a small switch somewhere.