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Dell™

Wireless Networking
for your
Home and Small Business
What is a Wireless Network?

What Does It Take?

How To Set Up Your Own

How Do I Connect To An Existing Wireless Network?

How Do I Connect To A Public "Hot Spot"

Troubleshooting

Technical Information

What Is a Wireless Network?
A Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) is a series of interconnected PCs that communicate
over the air waves as if they were connected with wires. In a Wireless Local Area Network,
a radio communications device called an access point or wireless router connects network
computers and provides Internet or network access. The access point or wireless router is
small and lightweight with an antenna attached to it that sends data back and forth over the
air waves.

Return to Table of Contents

What Does It Take To Establish a Wireless Network?

Wireless Internet Access Checklist

Sign up for High-Speed (Broadband) Internet Access Learn More About
(such as Cable or DSL). Broadband

A Broadband Modem that is connected and Learn More About Broadband
working. Modems

A Wireless Router. Learn More About Wireless Routers

A Wireless Network Adapter for each computer Learn More About Wireless
that will connect wirelessly. Network Adapters
Return to Table of Contents

How Do I Set Up a New Wireless Network?
Connect Your Wireless Router and Broadband Modem

NOTE: To successfully complete the steps below:

Ensure that you have "wired" Internet access through your broadband
modem before attempting to establish a wireless Internet connection.
To complete the installation process, use the order of restarting your
wireless equipment as described below, or the connection could fail.

Your wireless router might have been shipped with an installation CD.
Such CD's usually contain installation and troubleshooting
information. Load the required software according to the
manufacturer's instructions.

1. Shut down your computer.
2. Disconnect the power from your broadband modem.

NOTE: Leave the broadband modem powered-off for a minimum of 5
minutes.

3. Make sure there is no power to your wireless router.
4. Using CAT 5 or CAT 5e Ethernet cable, connect both the powered-down broadband
modem and wireless router, as shown in Figure 1.

NOTE: As you follow the next steps:

Make sure there are no other cables (CAT 5 or USB) leading from
your broadband modem to any other device.
Power-down any computers that may have wireless cards already
installed.

Broadband Modem to Wireless Router Connection

Figure 1
5. Using CAT 5 or CAT 5e Ethernet cable, connect your powered-down wireless router
to your powered-down computer as shown in Figure 2.

Broadband Modem to Wireless Router Connection

Figure 2

NOTE: To complete the installation process, use the order of restarting your
wireless equipment as described below, or the connection could fail.

6. Power-up your broadband modem ONLY and wait for no less than two minutes for
the broadband modem to stabilize.
After two minutes, leave the broadband modem powered-up and proceed to the next
step.
7. Power-up your wireless router and wait for no less than two minutes for the wireless
router to stabilize.
After two minutes, leave the wireless router powered-up and proceed to the next step.
8. Power up your computer and wait until the boot process completes.
9. Have in front of you:

Any specific connection information requirements for your broadband
modem from your Internet Service Provider.
The setup information for your wireless router.

NOTE: Follow the wireless router manufacturer's instructions using
your computer which is "wired" to your wireless router which is
"wired" to your broadband modem.

10. Establish communication between your computer and your wireless router.
11. Configure your wireless router to communicate with your broadband router.

TIP! You may need to supply specific information to your wireless router in order for it
to communicate with your broadband modem which, in turn, communicates with
the Internet. This information will be supplied by your Internet Service Provider.

12. Find out your wireless router's broadcasted name.

TIP! Think of your wireless router as your own personal miniature radio station. In order
to "tune in" to your wireless router, you need to know the name of your "radio
station". The technical term for the name of your "radio station" is SSID or network
name. SSID stands for Service Set Identifier.

13. Configure your wireless card to connect to the wireless network.
Configure Your Wireless Card to Connect to the Wireless Network
1. Click Start, and then click Network Connections.
The Network Connections page appears.
2. Right-click the Wireless Network Connection and then click Properties.
The General tab within the Wireless Network Connection Properties appears.
3. Click the Wireless Networks tab.
4. Click the Add button located on the bottom left of the window.
The Wireless Network Properties appear.
5. Type the SSID or network name into the field next to Network name (SSID).
6. From the drop-down box next to Data Encryption choose Disabled. If the wireless
network requires security, choose the appropriate options for Network
Authentication, Data Encryption, and then type in the encryption key into the
Network key field.

NOTE: The Passphrase setting or any key generator that populates
the encryption or network keys will not work with Dell wireless
cards. Disable Passphrase or the key generator located on the
wireless router or Access Point. Dell Wireless cards do not
support 152, 256, or 512 WEP encryption. Dell branded
wireless routers or Access Points will not contain these
proprietary security features.

7. Click OK.
The Wireless Network Properties disappears.
8. Click OK.
The Wireless Network Connection Properties disappear.

A successful wireless connection can be seen in the system tray where the clock is.

NOTE: If you still cannot connect to the Internet wirelessly, refer to the
Troubleshooting section.

Professional Setup Available

Would you like professional setup of your wireless network?

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/sna.aspx?
c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&~topic=wireless_homeinstall

NOTE: To view the information located at the link above you must currently be
connected to the Internet. You can use the same URL on a different Internet
connected computer if this one does not have an Internet connection at this
time.

Return to Table of Contents

How Do I Connect To An Existing Wireless Network?
1. Click Start, then click Network Connections.
The Network Connections page appears.
2. Right-click the Wireless Network Connection and then click Properties.
The General tab within the Wireless Network Connection Properties appears.
3. Click the Wireless Networks tab.
4. Click the Add button located on the bottom left of the window.
The Wireless Network Properties appear.
5. Type the SSID or network name into the field next to Network name (SSID).
6. From the drop-down box next to Data Encryption choose Disabled if the wireless
network does not require security settings. If the wireless network requires security,
choose the appropriate options for Network Authentication, Data Encryption, and
then type in the encryption key into the Network key field.

NOTE: The Passphrase setting or any key generator that populates the
encryption or network keys will not work with Dell wireless
cards. Disable Passphrase or the key generator located on the
wireless router or Access Point. Dell Wireless cards do not
support 152, 256, or 512 WEP encryption. Dell branded
wireless routers or Access Points will not contain these
proprietary security features.

7. Click OK.
The Wireless Network Properties disappear.
8. Click OK.
The Wireless Network Connection Properties disappear.

Return to Table of Contents

How Do I Connect To A Public "Hot Spot"?
Hot spots are often located in areas such as coffee shops, airports, train stations, hotels, and
convention centers. A hot spot is a location in which an Access Point or wireless router
provides public wireless broadband network services to mobile visitors through a wireless
network. Some hot spot locations require payment for access to the wireless network.

Connect to a Hot spot with a Wireless Network Name (SSID)

1. Ask a hot spot employee what the SSID or network name is. The SSID or network
name is the name the wireless router or Access Point is broadcasting and is case
sensitive.
2. Click Start, then click Network Connections.
The Network Connections page appears.
3. Right-click the Wireless Network Connection and then click Properties.
The General tab within the Wireless Network Connection Properties appears.
4. Click the Wireless Networks tab.
5. Click the Add button located on the bottom left of the window.
The Wireless Network Properties appear.
6. Type the SSID or network name into the field next to Network name (SSID).
7. From the drop-down box next to Data Encryption choose Disabled.
8. Click OK.
The Wireless Network Properties disappear.
9. Click OK.
The Wireless Network Connection Properties disappear.

Connect to a Hot spot Without Knowing the Wireless Network Name (SSID)

1. Click Start, then click Network Connections.
The Network Connections page appears.
2. Right-click the Wireless Network Connection and then click Properties.
The General tab within the Wireless Network Connection Properties appears.
3. Click Wireless Networks tab.
4. Click View Wireless Networks.
The Choose a wireless network window appears.
5. Click to highlight the SSID or network name in the box under Click an item in the
list below...
6. Click the Connect button located on the bottom left-corner of the window.
If the wireless network does not have security, the You are connecting to the
unsecured network. Information sent over this network is not encrypted and
might be visible to other people. message appears.
7. Click the Connect Anyway button.

Return to Table of Contents

Troubleshooting
Test your connection to the network and your Internet connection after performing the steps
in each section for Troubleshooting.

Confirm the Wireless Radio is Enabled

To confirm the wireless radio is enabled, perform the following steps:

1. Press the < Fn > + < F2 > keys at the same time to enable the wireless radio.
An icon in the bottom right corner of the screen with a radio tower appears displaying
the radio status.

NOTE: If you have a full sized keyboard you will need to right-click on the wireless
icon in the system tray and select enable.

Disabled wireless radio.
Enabled wireless radio.

Determine if the System is Connected to the Wireless Network

To determine if the system is wirelessly connected, perform the following steps:

1. Click Start, then click Network Connections.
The Network Connections page appears.
2. Click View located at the top of the page.
The View menu appears.
3. Click Details from the View menu.
A detailed view appears for the LAN or High Speed Internet connections.
4. Determine the Status of the Wireless Network Connection located under the Status
column to the right of Wireless Network Connection.

If the Status states Connected, then the system is associated. If
connected, does the wireless network require security such as an
encryption key?
If Yes, go to Status Connected - Troubleshooting a Connection to a
Secure Wireless Network
If No, go to Status Connected - Troubleshooting a Connection to a
Non-secure Wireless Network.
If the Status states Not Connected, then the system is not associated.
Go to section Status Not Connected to the Wireless Network.

NOTE: Do not close the Network Connections window. The following
troubleshooting steps require this page to be open.

Status Connected - Troubleshooting a Connection to a Secure Wireless
Network.

Confirm the Wireless Security Settings

When connecting to a secure wireless network, the user must know the Network
Authentication, Data encryption, and the Network key to have a successful wireless
connection. Dell Technical Support cannot provide this information as these are custom
network settings. If these settings are not known, view another system's encryption schemes
that is successfully connected to the wireless network, the encryption schemes located on
the configuration pages of the wireless router or Access Point, or ask the network
administrator. Most home or small office wireless networks use Open Authentication with
WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) encryption, and WPA-PSK (Wi-Fi Protected Access) with
AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) or TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) security
schemes.

NOTE: The Passphrase setting or any key generator that populates the encryption or
network keys will not work with Dell wireless cards. Disable Passphrase or
the key generator located on the wireless router or Access Point. Dell
Wireless cards do not support 152, 256, or 512 WEP encryption. Dell
branded wireless routers or Access Points will not contain these proprietary
security features.

Confirm the correct wireless security settings are correct by performing the following steps:

1. Right-click the Wireless Network Connection and click Properties.
The General tab within the Wireless Network Connection Properties appears.
2. Click Wireless Networks.
3. Double-click the SSID or network name that you are connected to.
The profile Properties appear for the SSID or network name the system is connected
to.
4. Confirm the correct option is being used from the drop-down list next to Network
Authentication.
5. Confirm the correct option is being used from the drop-down list next to Data
Encryption.
6. Verify and retype the encryption key into the field next to Network key and Confirm
key.
7. Click OK.
The profile properties window disappears for the SSID or network name.
8. Click the Advanced button located at the bottom left corner of the Wireless
Networks tab.
The Advanced window opens.
9. Click to check Access point (infrastructure) networks only.
10. Click to uncheck Automatically connect to non-preferred networks.
11. Click Close.
The Advanced window disappears.
12. Click OK.
The Wireless Network Connection Properties disappears.

NOTE: If the system is still not connected, disable all security schemes on the
wireless router or Access Point and on the system with the wireless card to
see if incorrect or proprietary security settings are the issue.

Disable Proxy and LAN Settings

To disable proxy and LAN settings, perform the following steps:

1. Right-click the Internet Explorer icon located on the desktop and click Properties.
The Internet Properties window appears
2. Click the Connections tab.
The Connections window appears.
3. Click to check Never dial a connection under Choose Settings if you need to
configure a proxy server for a connection.
4. Click the LAN Settings button located on the bottom left corner of the window.
The Local Area Network (LAN) Settings window appears.
5. Click to uncheck Use automatic configuration script.
6. Click to uncheck Use a proxy server for your LAN.

NOTE: If the system is on a business network, these settings may be
necessary to use. If disabling these options do not resolve the
wireless connection issue, recheck the settings that were
disabled.

7. Click OK.
The Local Area Network (LAN) Settings window disappears.
8. Click Apply and then click OK.
The Internet Properties window disappears.

Remove the Network Bridge

To remove the Network Bridge, perform the following steps:

1. Click Start, then click Network Connections.
The Network Connections page appears.
2. Right-click the Network Bridge and then click Delete.
3. Click Yes to confirm deletion.
The Network Bridge is removed.

Set the TCP/IP Settings

To check the TCP/IP settings, perform the following steps:

1. Click Start, then click Network Connections.
The Network Connections page appears.
2. Right-click the Wireless Network Connection and click on Properties.
The Wireless Network Connection properties appear.
3. Double-click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) located in the box under This connection
uses the following items.
The Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties appear.
4. Click to check Obtain an IP address automatically.
5. Click to check Obtain DNS server IP addresses automatically.

NOTE: Most networks are configured to obtain an IP address automatically. If the
system is on a business wireless network, confirm these settings with the
network administrator or a hot spot employee.

Reset the TCP/IP and Winsock Settings
To reset the TCP/IP and Winsock settings, perform the following steps:

1. Click Start, click Run, type netsh int ip reset delllog.txt, and then click OK.
2. Click Start, click Run, type netsh winsock reset catalog, and click OK.
3. Restart the system.

Delete Internet Explorer Temporary Files

To delete the Internet Explorer temporary files, perform the following steps:

1. Right-click the Internet Explorer icon located on the desktop and click Properties.
The Internet Properties General window appears
2. Click Delete Files.. button under Temporary Internet Files.
The Delete Files window appears.
3. Click to check Delete all offline files.
The Delete Files window disappears.
4. Click the OK button located at the bottom right corner of the window.
The Internet Properties window disappears.

Disable Devices Interfering With the Wireless Connection

Disable devices that may be interfering with the wireless connection. These devices
include cordless phones, microwaves, baby monitors, and wireless security systems.

Move the system with the wireless card within 10 feet of the wireless router or access
point. Other environmental issues such as thick walls, stucco walls, wire mesh within
walls, bodies of water, pine trees, and the distance between the system and the
wireless router or Access Point may be the cause of not wireless connection issues.

Move the wireless router or Access Point to a central location within the building or
house. Do not put the wireless router or Access Point in a cabinet or under a desk.
It is recommended to place the wireless router or Access Point up high away from any
obstacles.

Try changing the channel on the wireless router or Access Point to 1, 6, or 11. Test
each channel (1,6, or 11) until connected.

Disable Proprietary Settings on Non-Dell Branded Wireless Routers or Access Points

If connecting to a non-Dell branded wireless router or Access Point, disable these proprietary
settings on the wireless router or Access Point:

Short Preamble
Turbo Boost
Turbo Mode
Speed Boost
4X Mode
2X Mode
Super G
MIMO - (Multiple input, multiple output)
Cisco Extensions
Passphrase or key generator encryption keys
152, 256, 512 bit encryption

Power Cycle the Wireless Network

To power cycle the wireless network, perform the follow steps:

1. Power off the cable or DSL broadband modem for a minimum of 5 minutes.
2. Power off the wireless router or Access Point.
3. Turn off all computers attached to the network.
4. After 5 minutes, power on the cable or DSL broadband modem.
5. Wait 2 minutes after the modem has power then power on the wireless router or
Access Point.
6. Wait 2 minutes after the wireless router or Access Point has power, then power on the
computers.
7. Open Internet Explorer and try to access the Internet.

Reset the Wireless Router or Access Point to the Default Settings.

1. To reset the wireless router or Access Point, refer to the User's Guide.

NOTE: All custom settings will be lost such as encryption schemes, and
username/password settings for DSL connections. You will have to configure
the wireless router or Access Point again.

Status Connected - Troubleshooting a Connection to a Non-secure
Wireless Network

Verify the SSID or Network Name

Verify the correct SSID or network name is being used by viewing the SSID in the wireless
properties of another computer that is successfully connected to the network, viewing the
SSID within the wireless router's or Access Point's configuration pages, or by asking the
network administrator.

NOTE: The SSID or network name is case sensitive.

To edit the SSID or network name on the system, perform the following steps:

1. Click Start, then click Network Connections.
The Network Connections page appears.
2. Right-click the Wireless Network Connection and click Properties.
The General tab within the Wireless Network Connection Properties appears.
3. Click Wireless Networks.
4. Double-click the SSID or network name that you are connected to.
The profile Properties appear for the SSID or network name the system is connected
to.
5. Verify the SSID or network name is correct.
Check to Ensure all Wireless Security Features are Disabled

To disable wireless security features on the system, perform the following steps:

1. Right-click the Wireless Network Connection and click Properties.
The General tab within the Wireless Network Connection Properties appears.
2. Click Wireless Networks.
3. Double-click the SSID or network name that you are connected to.
The profile Properties appear for the SSID or network name the system is connected
to.
4. Choose Open from the drop-down list next to Network Authentication.
5. Choose Disabled from the drop-down list next to Data Encryption.
6. Click OK.
The profile properties disappears disappear for the SSID or network name.
7. Click the Advanced button located at the bottom left corner of the Wireless
Networks tab.
The Advanced window opens.
8. Click to check Access point (infrastructure) networks only.
9. Click to uncheck Automatically connect to non-preferred networks.
10. Click Close.
The Advanced window disappears.
11. Click OK.
The Wireless Network Connection Properties disappear.

Disable Proxy and LAN Settings

To disable proxy and LAN settings, perform the following steps:

1. Right-click the Internet Explorer icon located on the desktop and click Properties.
The Internet Properties window appears
2. Click the Connections tab.
The Connections window appears.
3. Click to check Never dial a connection under Choose Settings if you need to
configure a proxy server for a connection.
4. Click the LAN Settings button located on the bottom left corner of the window.
The Local Area Network (LAN) Settings window appears.
5. Click to uncheck Use automatic configuration script.
6. Click to uncheck Use a proxy server for your LAN.

NOTE: If the system is on a business network, these settings may be
necessary to use. If disabling these options do not resolve the
wireless connection issue, recheck the settings that were
disabled.

7. Click OK.
The Local Area Network (LAN) Settings window disappears.
8. Click Apply and then click OK.
The Internet Properties window disappears.

Delete Internet Explorer Temporary Files

To delete the Internet Explorer temporary files, perform the following steps:

1. Right-click the Internet Explorer icon located on the desktop and click Properties.
The Internet Properties General window appears
2. Click the Delete Files.. button under Temporary Internet Files.
The Delete Files window appears.
3. Click to check Delete all offline files.
The Delete Files window disappears.
4. Click the OK button located at the bottom right corner of the window.
The Internet Properties window disappears.

Remove the Network Bridge

To remove the Network Bridge, perform the following steps:

1. Click Start, then click Network Connections.
The Network Connections page appears.
2. Right-click the Network Bridge and then click Delete.
3. Click Yes to confirm deletion.
The Network Bridge is removed.

Set the TCP/IP Settings

To check the TCP/IP settings, perform the following steps:

1. Click Start, then click Network Connections.
The Network Connections page appears.
2. Right-click the Wireless Network Connection and click on Properties.
The Wireless Network Connection properties appear.
3. Double-click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) located in the box under This connection
uses the following items.
The Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties appear.
4. Click to check Obtain an IP address automatically.
5. Click to check Obtain DNS server IP addresses automatically.

NOTE: Most networks are configured to obtain an IP address automatically. If the
system is on a business wireless network, confirm these settings with the
network administrator or a hot spot employee.

Reset the TCP/IP and Winsock Settings

To reset the TCP/IP and Winsock settings, perform the following steps:
1. Click Start, click Run, type netsh int ip reset delllog.txt, and then click OK.
2. Click Start, click Run, type netsh winsock reset catalog, and click OK.
3. Restart the system.

Disable Devices Interfering with the Wireless Connection

Disable devices that may be interfering with the wireless connection. These devices
include cordless phones, microwaves, baby monitors, and wireless security systems.

Move the system with the wireless card within 10 feet of the wireless router or access
point. Other environmental issues such as thick walls, stucco walls, wire mesh within
walls, bodies of water, pine trees, and the distance between the system and the
wireless router or Access Point may be the cause of not wireless connection issues.

Move the wireless router or Access Point to a central location within the building or
house. Do not put the wireless router or Access Point in a cabinet or under a desk.
It is recommended to place the wireless router or Access Point up high away from any
obstacles.

Try changing the channel on the wireless router or Access Point to 1, 6, or 11. Test
each channel (1,6, or 11) until connected.

Disable Proprietary Settings on Non-Dell Branded Wireless Routers or Access Points

If connecting to a non-Dell branded wireless router or Access Point, disable these proprietary
settings on the wireless router or Access Point:

Short Preamble
Turbo Boost
Turbo Mode
Speed Boost
4X Mode
2X Mode
Super G
MIMO - (Multiple input, multiple output)
Cisco Extensions
Passphrase or key generator encryption keys
152, 256, 512 bit encryption

Power Cycle the Wireless Network

To power cycle the wireless network, perform the follow steps:

1. Power off the cable or DSL broadband modem for minimum 5 minutes.
2. Power off the wireless router or Access Point.
3. Turn off all computers attached to the network.
4. After 5 minutes, power on the cable or DSL broadband modem.
5. Wait 2 minutes after the modem has power then power on the wireless router or
Access Point.
6. Wait 2 minutes after the wireless router or Access Point has power, then power on the
computers.
7. Open Internet Explorer and try to access the Internet.

Reset the Wireless Router or Access Point to the Default Settings.

1. To reset the wireless router or Access Point, refer to the User's Guide.

NOTE: All custom settings will be lost such as encryption schemes, and
username/password settings for DSL connections. You will have to configure
the wireless router or Access Point again.

Status Not Connected to the Wireless Network
Verify the SSID or Network Name

Verify the correct SSID or network name is being used by viewing the SSID in the wireless
properties of another computer that is successfully connected to the network, viewing the
SSID within the wireless router's or Access Point's configuration pages, or by asking the
network administrator.

NOTE: The SSID or network name is case sensitive.

To verify the SSID or network name on the system, perform the following steps:

1. Click Start, then click Network Connections.
The Network Connections page appears.
2. Right-click the Wireless Network Connection and click Properties.
The General tab within the Wireless Network Connection Properties appears.
3. Click Wireless Networks.
4. Double-click the SSID or network name that you are connected to.
The profile Properties appear for the SSID or network name the system is connected
to.
5. Verify the SSID or network name is correct.

If the Status states Connected, then the system is associated. If
connected, does the wireless network require security such as an
encryption key?
If Yes, go to Status Connected - Troubleshooting a Connection to a
Secure Wireless Network.
If No, go to Status Connected - Troubleshooting a Connection to a
Non-secure Wireless Network.
If the Status states Not Connected continue to section Disable
Devices Interfering with the Wireless Connection.

Disable Devices Interfering with the Wireless Connection

These devices include cordless phones, microwaves, baby monitors, and wireless
security systems.

Move the system with the wireless card within 10 feet of the wireless router or access
point. Other environmental issues such as thick walls, stucco walls, wire mesh within
walls, bodies of water, pine trees, and the distance between the system and the
wireless router or Access Point may be the cause of not wireless connection issues.

Move the wireless router or Access Point to a central location within the building or
house. Do not put the wireless router or Access Point in a cabinet or under a desk.
It is recommended to place the wireless router or Access Point up high away from any
obstacles.

Try changing the channel on the wireless router or Access Point to 1, 6, or 11. Test
each channel (1,6, or 11) until connected.

Disable Proprietary Settings on Non-Dell Branded Wireless Routers or Access Points

If connecting to a non-Dell branded wireless router or Access Point, disable these proprietary
settings on the wireless router or Access Point:

Short Preamble
Turbo Boost
Turbo Mode
Speed Boost
4X Mode
2X Mode
Super G
MIMO - (Multiple input, multiple output)
Cisco Extensions
Passphrase or key generator encryption keys
152, 256, 512 bit encryption

Power Cycle the Wireless Network

To power cycle the wireless network, perform the following steps:

1. Power off the cable or DSL broadband modem for minimum 5 minutes.
2. Power off the wireless router or Access Point.
3. Turn off all computers attached to the network.
4. After 5 minutes, power on the cable or DSL broadband modem.
5. Wait 2 minutes after the modem has power then power on the wireless router or
Access Point.
6. Wait 2 minutes after the wireless router or Access Point has power, then power on the
computers.
7. Open Internet Explorer and try to access the Internet.

Reset the wireless router or Access Point to the default settings.

1. To reset the wireless router or Access Point, refer to the User's Guide.
NOTE: All custom settings will be lost such as encryption schemes, and
username/password settings for DSL connections. You will have to configure
the wireless router or Access Point again.

Return to Table of Contents

Learn More about High-Speed (Broadband) Internet Access

What is Broadband?

With regard to Internet access, "broadband" access indicates the capability of sending and
receiving data many times faster than than dial-up Internet access. If your computer dials a
telephone number to connect to the Internet, you do not have high-speed (Broadband)
Internet access.

NOTE: If you do not have high-speed (Broadband) Internet access, attempting to
create wireless Internet access is not recommended.

Who Can I Contact to Determine if I Can Get Broadband Internet Access?

The following Dell Website can help you find out what broadband services are available in
your area:

http://www1.us.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/internet_modem?
c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs

NOTE: To view the information located at the link above you must currently be
connected to the Internet. You can use the same URL on a different Internet
connected computer if this one does not have an Internet connection at this
time.

If you have Cable TV in your area, contact the local Cable TV provider. A number of
Cable TV providers offer broadband (cable) Internet Access.
Check with your telephone company. They may offer broadband (DSL) Internet
access in your area.

Types of High-Speed (Broadband) Internet Access

Cable Access - Many Cable TV providers offer high-speed Internet access. If cable
TV is available in your area, contact the local cable company to inquire about
availability and rates.
DSL - Your telephone company may offer DSL (Digital Subscriber List) high-speed
Internet access in your area. DSL signals are carried over conventional telephone
wires.

Return to Checklist

Return to Table of Contents
Learn More about Broadband Modems

The term "broadband" indicates the ability to process Internet data at high
speeds.

Two types of broadband modems are addressed in this document; the Cable
modem and the DSL modem. The two types are not interchangeable.

A broadband modem is typically supplied by the Cable or DSL Internet Service
Provider with a subscription to high-speed Internet access service.

Return to Checklist

Return to Table of Contents

Learn More about Wireless Routers

The wireless router is connected by a CAT 5 Ethernet cable to the broadband
modem. The router acts as a traffic director for all of the computers connected
to it. A wireless router also may provide conventional "wired" connectivity. To
learn more about the different standards and speeds of wireless network, refer
to the An Abbreviated Wireless Dictionary section.

Return to Checklist

Return to Table of Contents

Learn More about Wireless Network Adapters

The term "network adapter" can be used interchangeably with the term NIC
(pronounced "nick"). A wireless network adapter allows a computer to
communicate with a wireless network. Each computer on a wireless network
must have a wireless network adapter to communicate with the wireless
router. If you purchased a Dell portable computer, you most likely have a
wireless network adapter called MiniPCI, which is inside your computer.

Return to Checklist

Return to Table of Contents

Technical Information
Dell offers books for Home and Wi-Fi networking to help you get started:

Dell Training and Certification - Home Networking: Getting Started Book -
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/ProductDetail.aspx?
TabPage=overview&sku=310-6350&c=us&l=en&cs=19

Dell Training and Certification - Wireless Networking: WiFi for Beginners Book -
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?
c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=310-6347

NOTE: To view the information located at the links above you must currently be
connected to the Internet. You can use the same URL's on a different Internet
connected computer if this one does not have an Internet connection at this
time.

An Abbreviated Wireless Dictionary

Access Point - A device that transports data between a wired network (infrastructure) and a
wireless network. Typically, the term "access point" is used to describe one of many such
devices that provide wireless network access over a large space (office building, warehouse,
etc.) where distances exceed the range of a single wireless network source.

Broadband - The broadband communication network has significantly greater bandwidth
than telephone networks.

Cable Modem - Cable modems are connected to Cable TV providers who offer Internet
access. A cable modem connects users to the Internet through a coaxial connection. Cable
technology allows for transfer rates up to 30Mbps, however, bandwidth through a cable
connection is shared among all subscribers in a defined area, or neighborhood. Actual
transfer rates vary from 265Kbps to 4Mbps depending on a variety of factors.

Cat-5 Cable - Short for Category 5. Cat-5 cables allow the transfer of data at high speeds
and are commonly used to connect computers to a local area network (LAN). Made up of
four twisted copper wires, a Cat-5 cable can support frequencies up to 100 MHz and data
speeds up to 100 Mbps.

Cat-5e Cable - Short for Category 5 enhanced. Cat-5e cable is becoming quite common in
new network installations. Cat-5e is capable of transferring data at higher rates than Cat-5,
which may an advantage for future upgrades.

ISP - Short for Internet Service Provider, an ISP is a company that provides individuals and
companies access to the Internet to surf the World Wide Web and send and receive e-mail.
An Internet Service Provider is required to connect to the Internet using wireless technology.

DSL - Digital Subscriber Line is a technology that allows the transmission of information over
a traditional telephone line. Data transfer rates are considerably higher than with dial-up
modems.

802.11 - The standard that is used to define how wireless networking is implemented. The
802.11 standard is administered by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
(IEEE). 802.11 has several "flavors", three of which may be of interest; 802.11a, 802.11b,
and 802.11g.

802.11a - Fast, but not commonly employed. 802.11a is wireless LAN specification that
provides up to 54 Mbps connection speed at 5 GHz. The higher operating frequency means
a shorter transmission range (about 60 feet). 802.11a equipment is not interoperable with
802.11b or 802.11g equipment.

802.11b - Very commonly employed. Also referred to as Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi), 802.11b
allows wireless data transfer of up to 11 Mbps. The transmission range of 802.11b is up to
300 feet.
802.11g - Because 802.11g is usually compatible with 802.11b, it is becoming popular.
802.11g can transfer up to five times more data than its predecessor (54 Mbps compared to
11 Mbps). The transmission range of 802.11g is generally about 10 percent short of
802.11b.

Network Adapter - see NIC.

LAN - Local Area Network is a series of interconnected computers that can share resources,
peripherals, and access to the Internet.

NIC - Network Interface Card. The term NIC (pronounced "nick") can be used interchangably
with the term "network adapter". A NIC allows a computer to communicate with a network.
Each computer on a network must have a NIC. NICs are typically either wired or wireless,
but usually not both.

Types of NICs:

Mini-PCI NIC - an internal NIC found in notebook computers.
PC Card NIC - (also known as a PCMCIA card NIC) - an external
device for portable computers about the size of a credit card. The PC
Card NIC fits into slots located on sides of many notebook computers.
USB NIC - an external NIC that can be used with either a USB-
equipped desktop computer or a USB-equipped portable computer.
PCI NIC - an internal NIC installed in a desktop computer.

WEP Encryption - Wired Equivalent Privacy is a security protocol for wireless LANs defined
by the 802.11b standard. WEP is designed to provide the same level of security as that of a
wired LAN. WEP aims to provide security by encrypting data over radio waves so that it is
protected as it is transmitted from one end point to another.

Wireless Router - A wireless router is an 802.11b, g, or a wireless access point with a built
in Internet router. With a connection to a cable or DSL modem, many wireless routers can
provide simultaneous access to the Internet for both wired and wireless computers.

A network requires the following components:

An Operating System capable of networking (such as Windows®)
Network Client Software (Microsoft, Novell)
Cabling if wired
Network client card (NIC, LOM)
Drivers for client cards
Network Protocol (TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, NetBEUI) - one for each computer

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