Dell laptops with, for example, a built-in Dell Wireless 1350 WLAN Mini-PCI Card

1) Double-click on the tiny icon in the lower right-hand corner of the screen (near the clock) that has four vertical bars on it:             This is the Dell Wireless WLAN [Configuration] Utility.

Note: WLAN stands for "Wireless Local Area Network."

2) Click on the Wireless Network tab.

Note:  If you are having problems using the Dell Wireless WLAN Utility and want to try using the Windows XP Wireless Configuration Utility, which is the wireless utility built into Windows XP, click to remove the check mark next to:  Ł Let this tool manage your wireless settings. The computer will then use the Windows XP Wireless Configuration Utility instead. (Please see our instructions for using the Windows XP Wireless Configuration Utility for more information.)

3) Under Available Networks, click on the name of your wireless network (for example, homenetwork  or  mywlan), then on the Configure button. If you donít see the name of your wireless network, click on the Add button, then type in or select the information specified in the next three steps.

4) Type your wireless network name in the SSID: box (e.g., homenetwork  or  mywlan or whatever the name of the wireless network you want to connect to is), or verify that the name thatís already in the box is correct.

Note: SSID stands for "Service Set Identifier," which is a unique 32-character identifier attached to every packet of data sent over a wireless network. SSID is equivalent to "wireless network name."

5) Click on the Down Arrow next to whatever is in the Network Authentication: box, then click on WPA-PSK, which is the type of encryption you should use. (WEP is another encryption scheme, but it's more complicated and less secure than WPA.)

6) Type your password in the Network Key: box.

7) Click on OK. Wait a few moments for your computer to connect to the wireless network.

8) Close the Dell Wireless Configuration Utility.

9) Check the four vertical bars icon in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.

Two or more green bars represent a good to excellent signal.

Three yellow bars represent a low signal.

Two red bars represent a very low signal, which means that you may not be able to get on the Internet. Try moving the laptop closer to the Wireless Router, or try rotating the laptop to see if you can receive a stronger signal.

If there are no colors on the bars, then you are not receiving a signal at all. Repeat these instructions and enter a different WPA or WEP password in step #6 above. Also, verify that the physical wireless switch on your laptop is turned ON, if you have one, or check the setting in your software that turns the wireless card ON or OFF.

10) Try your Internet Explorer or e-mail program to see if you can access the Internet.