There are two ways to find the wireless signal and connect. Not all wireless signals will be visible; some people and organizations hide theirs. To connect to them is beyond this week’s column. Some are encrypted and will require you to enter a code, and some are open, where anyone can connect.
The first way to connect is to right-click the wireless icon in the task bar (the bar on the bottom of your screen). It will show you the wireless connections available (or tell you no wireless connections are available); you will choose one and choose “Connect.” It will begin connecting, and if a security code is needed, it will request it.
The other way in Windows 7 (will be similar in Windows Vista and XP) is to go to the “Start” button then to “Network and Sharing.” If it does not show on the “Start” menu, go to “Control Panel” then “Network and Internet” and then “Network and Sharing.” Then choose “Connect to a Network,” and you will get a list of wireless signals available, and you can choose one and connect. If it is secured, Windows will prompt for a code.
Once you connect, you will get a box asking what type of network it is: public, home or office. If it is a network where you know who everyone is, choose office or home. If it is one in a place you don’t know (or trust) everyone on the network, choose public. Choosing public sets some security settings so things on your machine are not visible to others on the network.
Send your questions to Dwight Watt at email@example.com. He teaches at a technical college in northwest Georgia and does consulting work for businesses and individuals. His website is www.dwightwatt.com.