Windows 7 For Dummies
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If you want the freedom to work anywhere in your house, you need to go wireless. Here's how you set up your own wireless home network.

First, buy a router with built-in wireless, that's how most of today's routers are built, so that's not much of a problem. Then you need to set up the wireless router to start broadcasting and receiving information to and from your own PC.

The set-up software you get with every router is going to provide information about network name and security. Many routers include an installation program to help you change these settings. Other routers contain built in software that you can access with Windows' own browser, Internet Explorer. Remember to write down these settings as you type them into your routers software. That way they will be easy to remember when you tackle the next section.

Next you need to set up Windows 7 on each wirelessly connected PC to receive the signal and send information back as well.

Start by turning on your computer's wireless adapter. Some laptops leave it turned off to save power. Then open the start menu, click control panel and choose Network and Internet, click Network and Sharing Center. Now click connect to network and a pop up window jumps from the wireless signal icon in your task bar.

Don't be alarmed if you see several wireless networks listed, they may belong to your neighbors. When you hover your mouse pointer over a network's name, Windows 7 sums up the connection four ways — name, signal strength, security type and radio type. SSID is also there. For some reason, Windows likes to repeat the networks name here too. Click on the network name you entered into your wireless router and then click connect. Or if you're in a coffee shop or airport, click the name of their wireless network. Now, enter the wireless network's password, if needed. You might have to ask a clerk for it. If for some reason Windows 7 doesn't list your wireless networks name, there could be two culprits.

One, it's just a low signal strength. Unfortunately networks are cursed with a limited range, so you might have to move your computer closer to the wireless router. Keep moving and click the refresh icon until your network appears.

The second option, the network is hiding. For security reasons, some wireless networks don't broadcast their names. So Windows lists an invisible networks name as other network. To connect to this unknown wireless network, you must know its real name. Ask the coffee shop attendant or airport clerk for the network's name. Then type it in and you should be able to connect.

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Andy Rathbone's computer books, which include Windows? 2000 Professional For Dummies? and Upgrading and Fixing PCs For Dummies?, have sold more than 11 million copies.

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