Knowledge Base

Wireless Networking for the Home for Windows 7


Table of Contents:

  1. Wireless Networking: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  2. Setting up a Wireless Network
  3. View and Connect to Available Wireless Networks
  4. Troubleshoot Problems Finding Wireless Networks
  5. How Do I Find my Wireless Network Name
  6. How Do I Find my Wireless Network Key
  7. Securing Your Wireless Network
  8. My Internet Explorer Browser Cannot Display the Web Page
  9. Setting up File and Printer Sharing
  10. File and Printer Sharing Issues
  11. How to Know Which if any Wireless Networking Adapter is Installed in Your Dell Computer
  12. How to Download and Install the Latest Dell Wireless Network Adapter Driver
  13. Internet Firewall Issues and FAQs
  14. HomeGroups for Windows 7
  15. The Wireless Network Adapter Still Cannot see any Networks or Will Not Connect
  16. Changing the Wireless Network Name

This article provides links to other articles concerning wireless networking setup and troubleshooting for Windows 7.


1. Wireless Networking: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This article provides information about:

  • What is a wireless network?
  • What are the different types of wireless network technologies?
  • What hardware does my computer need to be on a wireless network?
  • What is a Wireless Network Name (SSID)?
  • What is a Wireless Security (Network) Key?
  • How Do I Create a Wireless Security (Network) Key?

For additional information, refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base article Wireless Networking: Frequently Asked Questions

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2. Setting up a Wireless Network

This article provides information about:

  • What equipment and services are needed to set up a wireless network?
  • How to set up the wireless network hardware?
  • For information on securing your wireless network, refer to the Securing Your Wireless Network section.

For additional information, refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base article Setting up a Wireless Network

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3. View and Connect to Available Wireless Networks

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4. Troubleshoot Problems Finding Wireless Networks

  1. Make sure the wireless switch is on. It will be either a sliding switch on the left or right side edge of the computer, a key combination or single key, look for the wireless icon .

    For example on the Inspiron 1545 and Studio 1555, press the <F2> key to alternatively turn off or turn on the wireless function on the computer.
    Note: For more information on where the wireless switch is located for your specific computer and how to use it, browse to the Online User's Guide. Click the make and model of the computer and the preferred language. Download the Setup Guide or User's Guide and refer to the wireless switch information.
    Note: When the computer has a sliding wireless switch on the left or right side edge and changing its position does not toggle the wireless function on or off or when the switch is loose, Contact Technical Support.

  2. Move the computer to within 1-3 ft (0.3-1 meters) of the router.

  3. Make sure the correct network name (SSID) and key (if any) were used to create a profile, for more information refer to the How Do I Find my Wireless Network Name and the How Do I Find my Wireless Network Key sections.

  4. Unplug the wireless router for 30 seconds and then plug it back into the A/C outlet (give the router 2 minutes to boot back up).

  5. Run network diagnostics (refer to the My Internet Explorer Browser Cannot Display the Web Page section for information on how).

  6. Make sure the latest driver is installed, for more information refer to:
  7. Update the wireless router's firmware to the latest available, refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 1.
    Manufacture User Name Password
    Linksys
    leave blank
    admin
    D-Link
    admin
    leave blank
    Netgear
    admin
    password
    2Wire
    None unless one was set up.
    None unless one was set up.
    Belkin
    None
    leave blank
    Apple
    Use the AirPort utility
    SMC
    Admin
    smcadmin
    Table 1: Common Wireless Router User Name and Passwords

For additional information, refer to the Microsoft Knowledge Base article, Why can’t I find a wireless network?.

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5. How Do I Find my Wireless Network Name

The easiest way to find your wireless network name (SSID) is to put the computer and the wireless router side-by-side (1 to 3 feet away from each other).

Do one of the following tasks:

  • For a notebook computer, move the computer next to the wireless router and follow the instructions below.
  • For a desktop that is not already connected it may be necessary to move the wireless router close to the desktop (you do not need to move or power off the broadband modem because Internet access is not needed at this time, but any other computer(s) that is connected to the wireless router will not able to access the Internet during this process). Make sure the wireless router is powered on after moving it and follow the instructions below.
    • After finding your wireless network name, you will need to move the wireless router back to its original location and re-connect it to the Broadband Modem.
  • When you have a computer that is connected to the wireless router with a network cable, it is possible to get the wireless network name directly from the wireless router, click here and follow the instructions.

  1. Open Connect to a Network by clicking the network icon (Picture of the wireless network icon or Picture of the wired network icon) in the notification area.

  2. Write down the wireless network name with the strongest signal, exactly as you see it.
    • The signal strength is indicated by the number of green bars. Look for a listing that has five green bars next to it (it may be necessary to scroll up or down to find it, if the listing with 5 green bars reads as "Other Network", click here, for instructions to get the wireless network name from the wireless router directly.

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Getting the Wireless Network Name Directly from the Wireless Router

For this process to work a network cable will have to be connected between one of the LAN ports on the back of the wireless router and the LAN port on the computer.

Note: For more information on where the LAN port is located for your specific computer, browse to the Online User's Guide. Click the make and model of the computer and the preferred language. Click View next to Setup Guide or User's Guide and look for the section on Connecting the Network Cable.
  1. Click Start (located in the lower left corner of the computer screen).

  2. Click Control Panel.
    (When using Classic Start menu, click Settings, click Control Panel, and then click Classic View.</>Using the drop down menu in the upper-right corner, next to View by:, select Category.)

  3. Click View network status and tasks under Network and Internet.

  4. Click Local Area Connection on the right-side of the window.

  5. Click Details.

  6. Locate and write down the IP address to the right of IPv4 Default Gateway.

  7. Open an Internet browser.

  8. In the address bar, type http://[Default_Gateway_ip_address], where [Default_Gateway_ip_address] is the IPv4 Default Gateway IP address (do not include the brackets).

  9. Log into the router. For some of the most common router user name and passwords, refer to Table 2.
    Manufacture User Name Password
    Linksys
    leave blank
    admin
    D-Link
    admin
    leave blank
    Netgear
    admin
    password
    2Wire
    None unless one was set up.
    None unless one was set up.
    Belkin
    None
    leave blank
    Apple
    Use the AirPort utility
    SMC
    Admin
    smcadmin
    Table 2: Common Wireless Router User Name and Passwords

    Wireless router manufacturers typically keep the wireless Network Name or SSID under a page listed as Wireless, the method for getting to that page varies (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 2).

    Be sure to write the wireless network name down, exactly as you see it.

    When the common defaults do not work, it means that either someone has changed the default or your model of wireless router has a unique user name or password. Ask whoever may have set up the wireless router what is the user name and password, refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer (links are provided in Table 2).
    Note: When all attempts to log in to the wireless router have failed, it will be necessary to reset the wireless router back to its defaults (like it was when first taken out of the box) to connect to the wireless router. Refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer on how to reset the wireless router (links are provided in Table 2).

    Before you reset the wireless router please note:
    • When you access the Internet through a DSL (phone) connection:
      • Contact you Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your username and password that allows you to connect to the Internet, you will need to re-enter that information into the wireless router.
      • No other computers connected to your network will be able to access the Internet until you re-enter your username and password that you got from your ISP.
      • After re-entering your username and password that you got from your ISP into the wireless router, no wireless computers will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 2).
    • When you access the Internet through a TV cable provider:
      • No other wireless computers connected to your wireless router will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 2).

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6. How Do I Find my Wireless Network Key

Note: 2Wire wireless routers provided by AT&T have the 10-digit WEP key located on the bottom of the 2Wire router inside brackets (for example [ xxxxxxxxxx ]). Write down the 10-digit key, exactly as you see it.

For this process to work a network cable will have to be connected between one of the LAN ports on the back of the wireless router and the LAN port on the computer.

Note: For more information on where the LAN port is located for your specific computer, browse to the Online User's Guide. Click the make and model of the computer and the preferred language. Click View next to Setup Guide or User's Guide and look for the section on Connecting the Network Cable.
  1. Click Start (located in the lower left corner of the computer screen).


  2. Click Control Panel.
    (When using Classic Start menu, click Settings, click Control Panel, and then click Classic View. )

  3. Using the drop down menu in the upper-right corner, next to View by:, select Category.

  4. Click View network status and tasks under Network and Internet.

  5. Click Local Area Connection on the right-side of the window.

  6. Click Details.

  7. Locate and write down the IP address to the right of IPv4 Default Gateway.

  8. Open an Internet browser.

  9. In the address bar, type http://[Default_Gateway_ip_address], where [Default_Gateway_ip_address] is the IPv4 Default Gateway IP address (do not include the brackets).

  10. Log into the router. For some of the most common router user name and passwords, refer to Table 3.

    Manufacture

    User Name Password
    Linksys
    leave blank
    admin
    D-Link
    admin
    leave blank
    Netgear
    admin
    password
    2Wire
    None unless one was set up.
    None unless one was set up.
    Belkin
    None
    leave blank
    Apple
    Use the AirPort utility
    SMC
    Admin
    smcadmin

    Table 3: Common Wireless Router User Name and Passwords

    Wireless router manufacturers typically keep the Network Key or Passphrase under a page listed as Wireless Security, the method for getting to that page varies (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 3).

    Be sure to write the wireless network key down, exactly as you see it.

    When the common defaults do not work, it means that either someone has changed the default or your model of wireless router has a unique user name or password. Ask whoever may have set up the wireless router what is the user name and password, refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer (links are provided in Table 3).

    Note: When all attempts to log in to the wireless router have failed, it will be necessary to reset the wireless router back to its defaults (like it was when first taken out of the box) to connect to the wireless router. Refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer on how to reset the wireless router (links are provided in Table 3).

    Before you reset the wireless router please note:
    • When you access the Internet through a DSL (phone) connection:

      • Contact you Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your username and password that allows you to connect to the Internet, you will need to re-enter that information into the wireless router.
      • No other computers connected to your network will be able to access the Internet until you re-enter your username and password that you got from your ISP.
      • After re-entering your username and password that you got from your ISP into the wireless router, no wireless computers will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 3).
    • When you access the Internet through a TV cable provider:
      • No other wireless computers connected to your wireless router will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 3).

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7. Securing Your Wireless Network

  • After entering a wireless network key into your wireless router, you have to enter it on the wireless network adapter in your computer, for more information on how, refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base article View and Connect to Available Wireless Networks

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8. My Internet Explorer Browser Cannot Display the Web Page

For troubleshooting steps when getting the "Cannot Display the Web Page" error, refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base article Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage

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9. Setting up File and Printer Sharing

These articles provide information on how to set up file and printer sharing.

For information on how to set up file and printer sharing between computer running different versions of Windows, refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base article "Networking home computers running different versions of Windows"

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10. File and Printer Sharing Issues

  1. Click Start (located in the lower left corner of the computer screen).


  2. Click Control Panel.
    (When using Classic Start menu, click Settings, click Control Panel, and then click Classic View. </>Make sure Large Icons or Small Icons is selected using the drop down menu next to View by:, located in the upper right-hand part of the window.)

  3. Click Troubleshooting.

  4. Under Network and Internet, click Access shared files and folders on other computers and follow the instructions.

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11. How to Know Which if any Wireless Networking Adapter is Installed in Your Dell Computer

For information on how to tell what if any wireless network adapter installed in your computer, refer to Dell Knowledge Base article FAQs - Drivers and Downloads.

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12. How to Download and Install the Latest Dell Wireless Network Adapter Driver

For information on how to download drivers for the wireless network adapter installed in your computer, refer to Dell Knowledge Base article How to Download and Install a Driver.

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13. Internet Firewall Issues and FAQs

For information on the Windows firewall, refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base article Firewall: Frequently Asked Questions

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14. HomeGroups for Windows 7

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15. The Wireless Network Adapter Still Cannot see any Networks or Will Not Connect

After performing the troubleshooting steps outlined above and the computer still cannot see any networks or will not connect, refer to Dell Knowledge Base article The Wireless Network Adapter Still Cannot see any Networks or Will Not Connect.

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16. Changing the Wireless Network Name

For this process to work a network cable will have to be connected between one of the LAN ports on the back of the wireless router and the LAN port on the computer.

Note: For more information on where the LAN port is located for your specific computer, browse to the Online User's Guide. Click the make and model of the computer and the preferred language. Click View next to Setup Guide or User's Guide and look for the section on Connecting the Network Cable.
  1. Click Start (located in the lower left corner of the computer screen).

  2. Click Control Panel.
    (When using Classic Start menu, click Settings, click Control Panel, and then click Classic View. </>Click Local Area Connection on the right-side of the window.)

  3. Click Details.

  4. Locate and write down the IP address to the right of IPv4 Default Gateway.

  5. Open an Internet browser.

  6. In the address bar, type http://[Default_Gateway_ip_address], where [Default_Gateway_ip_address] is the IPv4 Default Gateway IP address.

  7. Log into the router. For some of the most common router user name and passwords, refer to Table 4.
    Manufacture User Name Password
    Linksys
    leave blank
    admin
    D-Link
    admin
    leave blank
    Netgear
    admin
    password
    2Wire
    None unless one was set up.
    None unless one was set up.
    Belkin
    None
    leave blank
    Apple
    Use the AirPort utility
    SMC
    Admin
    smcadmin
    Table 4: Common Wireless Router User Name and Passwords

    Wireless router manufacturers typically name the page to enter a Wireless Network Key as Wireless Security and to change the Wireless Network Name as Wireless, the method for getting to that page varies (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 4).

    Be sure to write the wireless network name down, exactly as you see it.

    When the common defaults do not work, it means that either someone has changed the default or your model of wireless router has a unique user name or password. Ask whoever may have set up the wireless router what is the user name and password, refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer (links are provided in Table 4).
    Note: When all attempts to log in to the wireless router have failed, it will be necessary to reset the wireless router back to its defaults (like it was when first taken out of the box) to connect to the wireless router. Refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer on how to reset the wireless router (links are provided in Table 4).

    Before you reset the wireless router please note:
    • When you access the Internet through a DSL (phone) connection:< >Contact you Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your username and password that allows you to connect to the Internet, you will need to re-enter that information into the wireless router.</></>No other computers connected to your network will be able to access the Internet until you re-enter your username and password that you got from your ISP. </>After re-entering your username and password that you got from your ISP into the wireless router, no wireless computers will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 4).</>When you access the Internet through a TV cable provider:
      • No other wireless computers connected to your wireless router will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 4).

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Article ID: SLN126173

Last Date Modified: 09/21/2017 03:32 PM


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