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How To Add Laptop To Secured Wireless Router

Started by Rellik, August 03, 2008, 09:47 hrs

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Hi all,

I'm a newbie here at Poasters looking for some help with connecting my laptop to my wireless router.

The story's a little convoluted but here goes;

I just moved from my old home to a new home. At the old location, I had two laptops hardwired to my wireless router with a desktop computer in another room connecting via wireless.

At the time of the original setup, because I struggled with the settings of securing the router, I had a savvy computer person handle it remotely via WinVNC. All worked well after that, no problems.

Now I have moved to a new home and have the same computers setup in the reverse order with regard to their connection points. IE: I have the desktop computer hardwired to the router, and I want the laptop (I'm down to just one of the two original laptops) to connect to the router via wireless but of course it's (the router) secured from the original setup.

I understand that I'll probably have to access the router's settings somehow and add the laptop's IP address so it will interface with the router? If so, I don't have any idea where to start.

The router is a Linksys WRT-54G. The desktop is a Dell with XP-Home and the laptop is a Dell Latitude, D800 with XP-Pro.

Thanks in advance for any help.


This can be a difficult problem if you're not versed in setting up wireless routers, but this might help to get you going in the right direction:

Log in to your wireless router. Under the Wireless tab, make sure that your have the appropriate Network mode that corresponds to your laptop. For example, mine is set to Wireless-G Only, since my laptop only uses the G standard.

While you're there, note the Network Name (SSID) so that you can properly reference it from your laptop. I suggest giving the Network Name a unique name. It could be whatever you want, such as: MustangP38

Also make sure SSID Broadcast is enabled. After you have established a connection and everything works well, go back to this setting and disable it. This will prevent your router from needlessly telling the entire neighborhood your Network Name. It's not fool proof, but it will greatly reduce the possibility of someone snooping into your network.

While you're in the Wireless tab, Click on the Wireless Security heading. Note the settings, and make sure that you have a good, strong password. For security mode, I'd go with a minimum of WPA Personal. However, WPA2 Personal is a better option, assuming that both your router and laptop support it.

On the laptop, make sure that you turn on wireless access. This may be done manually by a switch, or possibly a Fn - Key combination. For example, you might have to hold down the Fn key while simultaneously pressing the F2 key (or some other key). I'm not familiar with your laptop, so I can't give you a definite answer here. If it's a manual switch, it will probably be small and it could be easily overlooked. Carefully check the front, sides, and the bottom of your laptop.

If you are using a wireless card, then you'll need to follow the manufacturer's instructions for installing the card and drivers.

Once activated, it could take the wireless function a minute or so to find a connection. Look for the little radar antenna icon (or similar) in your taskbar. It will normally show that a connection is being attempted.

When the connection is found, follow the wizard instructions.

Good luck.
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Thanks for your recommendations.

My job keeps me on the road a lot and I might not get to the 'fix' here before this coming weekend however, I wanted to acknowledge the post.

I'll be back with feedback as soon as I am able to get going on it.

Thanks again.


Yea!....I'm in!! (That's the good news.)

I checked the laptop's "List of Wireless Devices" and found that it did have the router listed on it. Then I tried to connect by just entering the Network Key (WEP) when it prompted for it however it still wouldn't connect. I then went back to the router settings and added the laptop's MAC address to the filter and WALLAH!....that did the trick.

Now for the bad news..the signal strength is too low. I can't connect to the internet. It ranges from 36 to 54 Mbps. This is the error message I'm getting:

Is this a router / strength issue or a settings issue with not recognizing the I.P. address?

Thanks again for your help. I really appreciate it!