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Dell computer

I know this is not an auto question, but I am sure some of you 'ole pros will be happy to answer me. I just bought a Dell Laptop computer for a grandchild, it it is wireless but what must I do or have to make it wireless? Thanks in advance.

There are several kinds of ‘wireless’, I’m guessing you mean it has WiFi capabilities. To use that they’ll need to have a WiFi router on their system (assuming they have some kind of internet access), and they can also use it at places that have public WiFi like McDonalds, Starbucks, etc.

Thanks, texases, they do have internet service, and the computer has a wifi card. Ia wireless router here that someone left here, but it must have a password for it and I cannot use it. Do you know how I can clear it out and start over?

Enter the router make/model in google, you will probably find a manual for it.

A little clarification.
Is the wireless router being used for anything now, or is this a new use?
When you say the computer has wireless is it the new laptop or existing computer?
If it is not the new dell computer you should be able to change the settings to allow guest access. and set up a guest access password. Require a password is extremely imperitive.

If the router is not being used for anything there is a small reset button, then the default administrator login can be found in the manual, probably online, probably even setup software. You will need a network cable to go to the internet provider modem or whatever you have.

Well the router is not in use, I can’t use it, I am talking about the new laptop, I will try to find a manual for it. (the router, that is).

Once you have the router, info it may need to be setup to match your IP provider settings. On your regular computer
xp - start, run, type cmd
you will get a black and white screen, type ipconfig and note subnet mask and default gateway,

For router setup use dhcp and enter subnet mask and default gateway.

win 7 start button then cmd then ipconfig then note subnet mask and default gateway,

To log onto the router once it is connected via cable in a browser window logon using the default IP address, if the software is not used, ie in your browser window type default address, may look something like, then type in logon name and password from the manual. Brands vary but this should apply to all.

The new computer will scan the near area for all wireless signals it can find and show you a list.
On that list you’ll see those that are password access and any that are not.
If you see one that is not passworded you could connect to it.

You home router will produce a signal that will show up on that list and here’s where you need its password.

I bought the wireless router from my home phone/internet company and that’s how we connect 2 smart tvs, four laptops, 1 desktop, and a wireless printer that all the computers can que.

So, you’ll need contact info for the router you have now or you’ll need a new one.
With model and brand name info and a short google, you should be able to come up with contact info for that brand.

Thanks everyone. I think I will get someone computer savvy to do this. I may wait to see how the new computer acts. It is still in the box until Christmas morning.

You need a wireless router.

OR…just have your grandson go to a public hot-spot. Many malls, libraries, Starbucks…etc have them.

But to work on it at home (which is the preferred method) you have to get a wireless router. But first he’ll have to get internet to the house. This is usually done through your cable provider.

If you are in the Chicago Milwaukee area I’d be glad yo help, better to open it up and have it working,

best bet see if your current internet provider can set you up on wireless, or upgrade you to wireless and help you to connect, you may have it and not know it. Free and easy and skip the hand me down.

As I said before, They have internet at home, and I have a wireless router. I just haven’t been able to set it up.
We will check with their provider about the wireless connection.

If you have a wireless router and it’s working then all you have to do is connect the laptop to the router.

Sounds like it’s fairly new so probably running Windows 7.

When the laptop is up and running…

From the Control Panel click on Network and Internet…then “Connect to a Network”

A little pop-up will appear in the bottom right hand corner…A list of the available wireless networks will be listed. Hopefully the one you have will be there. Click on that network and then click on Connect. He’s going to need a password.

Elly, typically to reset a wireless router with an unknown password to “factory” settings, what you do is unplug the power, then poke a paper clip or something small enough into the small recess labeled “reset” (unless the router has a larger reset button) Hold the paper clip in place, pushing down the concealed button, and plug the power back in while continuing to hold the reset button down for about 10 seconds. Typically you will see all the router’s lights come on, either while still holding the paper clip in place, or right after you release it from the reset button.

After it resets, it should be set to the way it came from the factory. Now you need to plug the router in to a computer with a network (“Ethernet”) cable. Use one of the 4 ‘standard’ ports on it, not the standalone one labeled “uplink” or “internet” Now open a web browser (like Internet Explorer) on the computer you’ve attached to the router, and type in: (on some routers it may be and hit enter. Apple routers use an oddball config address which I don’t know off the top of my head, so hopefully you don’t have one of those–they are a pain in the @$$ and no better than other brands. You should be prompted for a username and password. Typically the password is something simple like “admin” and the username is blank or admin also. You will have to Google your router model number for the default password. Once you input the correct password, you will be taken to the router’s configuration page and will be able to set it up. Be sure to change the default password and set some security for wireless, but you may wish to make sure you can connect to wireless with no security first, just to see if it works.

On a side note, if you had your computer plugged directly into your cable modem or DSL before plugging the router into it, on some models of cable modem or DSL modem, you need to power the box off/back on before it will recognize a different device as being plugged in.

Hopefully this all makes sense. Please post back with your results and good luck.

Elly…you’re right to ask. When I have computer problems, I’m lucky enough to have my son as a resource. If he isn’t available, I call my daughter and she calls her brother. He always responds to her…he then calls me ASAP. Whether you have to pay for it or not, like a good mechanic, it’s really good to have one dependable source.
Now, if Barkydog or Oblivion could move in next door…

If this is an old wireless router and the laptop is brand new, I’d suggest that you just get a new dual band wireless router and start from scratch. Old wireless routers tend to be slow, the new dual band will work much better with the new dual band router.

BTW, chances are that your grandson already knows all he needs to know to get it up and running. Just caution him to be sure to assign a password to keep the neighbors and others from using their internet. If a neighbor logs on to their wireless and downloads kiddyporn or anything illegal, guess where law enforcement is going to show up?

Well, I just found out that the folks just had a wireless modem installed in their home. So I guess it will be OK. Thanks everyone for your good imput.

If that wireless modem doesn’t have a built in firewall and if it doesn’t do Network Address Translation, then I would recommend that they disable the wireless part of the modem and get a new dual band router with those capabilities and connect it with an ethernet cable. If the modem is a “myfi” modem, they won’t be able to do this so each computer will need to have the best virus protection you can find and it must be kept up to date.

Good lord, now I am afraid to use it!!

Don’t be afraid, but do be cautious.