Knowledge Base

Wireless Networking for the Home for Windows Vista


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. Getting the Wireless Network Name Directly from the Wireless Router in Windows Vista
  7. How Do I Find my Wireless Network Key
  8. Securing Your Wireless Network
  9. My Internet Explorer Browser Cannot Display the Web Page
  10. Setting up File and Printer Sharing
  11. File and Printer Sharing Issues
  12. How to Know Which if any Wireless Networking Adapter is Installed in Your Dell™ Computer
  13. How to Download and Install the Latest Dell™ Wireless Network Adapter Driver
  14. Internet Firewall Issues and FAQ's
  15. The Wireless Network Adapter Still Cannot see any Networks or Will Not Connect

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


1. Wireless Networking: Frequently Asked Questions

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?

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.

Setting up a Wireless Network

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3. View and Connect to Available Wireless Networks

This article provides information on how to connect to your wireless network

View and Connect to Available Wireless Networks External Link

During this process you may need to know your wireless network name or network key. Refer to the How Do I Find my Wireless Network Name or How Do I Find my Wireless Network Key sections for help.

Note: If you have a router capable of Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), refer to Microsoft article Wireless network connection problems in Windows External Link for information on how to connect using WPS in Vista with Service Pack 2 installed. Click the Connect tab, and refer to the Connect to a wireless network using Wi–Fi Protected Setup section.

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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 External Link.
    Note:

  2. Move the computer to within 10-20 feet (1-3 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 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: How to Use the Drivers and Downloads Website.

  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 External Link

    leave blank
    admin
    D-Link External Link

    admin
    leave blank
    Netgear External Link

    admin
    password
    2Wire External Link

    None unless one was set up.
    None unless one was set up.
    Belkin External Link

    None
    leave blank
    Apple External Link

    Use the AirPort utility
    SMC External Link

    Admin
    smcadmin
    Table 1: Common Wireless Router User Name and Passwords

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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 (0.3 to 1m) 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, Getting the Wireless Network Name Directly from the Wireless Router in Windows Vista section and follow the instructions.

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

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

  3. Click Network and Sharing Center.

  4. Click Connect to a Network under Tasks on the left-side of the window.

  5. Write down the wireless network name with the strongest signal, exactly as you see it.

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6. Getting the Wireless Network Name Directly from the Wireless
Router in Windows Vista

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 Dell Knowledge base article Instructions to Download and View Manuals.
  1. Click Start (located in the lower left corner of the computer screen).

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

  3. Click Network and Sharing Center.

  4. Click View Status 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.

  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 External Link

    leave blank
    admin
    D-Link External Link

    admin
    leave blank
    Netgear External Link

    admin
    password
    2Wire External Link

    None unless one was set up.
    None unless one was set up.
    Belkin External Link

    None
    leave blank
    Apple External Link

    Use the AirPort utility
    SMC External Link

    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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7. 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 Dell Knowledge base article Instructions to Download and View Manuals.
  1. Click Start (located in the lower left corner of the computer screen).

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

  3. Click Network and Sharing Center.

  4. Click View Status 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.

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

    Manufacture User Name Password
    Linksys External Link

    leave blank
    admin
    D-Link External Link

    admin
    leave blank
    Netgear External Link

    admin
    password
    2Wire External Link

    None unless one was set up.
    None unless one was set up.
    Belkin External Link

    None
    leave blank
    Apple External Link

    Use the AirPort utility
    SMC External Link

    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 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 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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8. Securing Your Wireless Network

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9. My Internet Explorer Browser Cannot Display the Web Page

This article provides troubleshooting steps when getting the Cannot Display the Web Page error.

Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage External Link

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10. Setting up File and Printer Sharing

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11. File and Printer Sharing Issues

This article provides troubleshooting steps for when file and printer sharing is not working.
Troubleshoot file and printer sharing External Link

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

This article provides information on how to tell which if any wireless network adapter is installed in your computer.

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

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

This article provides information on how to download drivers for the wireless network adapter installed in your computer.

How to Download and Install a Driver

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14. Internet Firewall Issues and FAQ

This article provides information on the Windows firewall.

Firewall: frequently asked questions External Link

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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, click the link below.

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

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Article ID: SLN145155

Last Date Modified: 12/09/2016 11:03 AM


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