Mary from Tennessee writes:

How can I pick up Wifi on my desktop? I have a HP computer. Next is where do I get the equipment I will need?

First of all, you’ll need to have a WiFi signal in your home. That means you’ll need an Internet connection and a wireless router. If you currently only have a modem, you’ll need to purchase a separate router. These days, many Internet Service Providers offer a dual modem/router combo that will support multiple devices in your home.  Often times, the ISP will provide the equipment and do the initial set-up of the equipment as part of the installation.

I know often times people are hoping that WiFi is somehow free, but that’s seldom the case. Some apartment complexes and communities do offer WiFi as part of the rent. If that’s the case you would be given that information by the management along with the password for the router.

Sometimes it’s possible to pick up a WiFi signal from a neighbor’s unsecured network, but that pretty much amounts to stealing unless you have that neighbor’s permission.  It might also be possible to access a public network from a restaurant  or business nearby, but since those connections are intended for customers, that’s not a good everyday practice.

Your PC will also need the capability of connecting to the router.  Many PCs already have that function built in. Type “wireless” in the search box or search charm. If your PC has built-in wireless, you should see “manage wireless devices” in the results.

 comcastrouter

If not, you can add a USB wireless  adapter to pick up a the wireless signal. These devices call be small and slip neatly into a free USB port.

Cendyne WL-700N 300Mbps Wireless-N USB Mini Adapter

Or larger, with antennas to help you pick up a strong signal if your router is in a distant part of the house.

Premiertek High-Power 300 Mbps Wireless-N Adapter w/Dual 9dBi Antennas

We sell adapters here at WorldStart or you could check with a local electronics store.

Once you have a wireless router set up in your home, that router can also be accessed by smartphones, tablets, laptop computers, streaming boxes and any other wireless devices you have in your home. You could also permit guests visiting your home to use the connection for their devices.

Hope this helps.

~ Cynthia