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Lesson 1- Getting the Family Room computer on the network and on the Internet


In Lesson 1 we go to the Family Room computer to get it on the network.  We show how to get it online using the configuration utility that came with the wireless network adapter.  Then we show how to get it online using just the configuration utility that is built into Windows Vista.

Recommended Networking Hardware

D-Link DIR-655 Wireless N Router

Encore ENLWI-N Wireless N PCI card

D-Link DWA-140 Wireless N USB adapter

LINKSYS WPC600N Wireless N Cardbus Adapter


ENCORE ENHWI-N Wireless N Router


ENCORE ENUWI-N Wireless N USB adapter



Right now were on the family room computer it's running Windows Vista and this is the computer with the USB wireless network adapter. If we come down and look at the icons by the clock, things are pretty much where we left them in section 2. We have the icon for the manufactures configuration utility which says it's disconnected from a wireless network. We also have a networking icon for Windows that says that there are wireless networks available.

2 Different ways to connect

We're going to show you two different ways to connect to the wireless network. One will be using the makers configuration utility along with utility built in to Windows to connect to the network. The second way will use the configuration utility built in Windows exclusively and not use the one from the maker at all. You can decide which one is best for you.

Configure Windows Networking

Before we connect to the wireless network we need to make sure that a few settings in Windows networking are ready to connect to the router. To do that we can right-click on this Windows networking icon down by the clock and go to network and sharing Center. On the left hand side under tasks you'll find manage network connections and we'll click there.  You'll need to find your wireless network connection and the icon looks like a couple of screens and some signal bars. We'll right-click on that, go to properties. We need to find the Internet protocol version 4, highlight it and go to properties and the options we need set are obtain an IP address automatically and obtain DNS server address automatically. If the computer you're on was previously directly connected to your modem you may have different settings in this box.  Just make sure obtain automatically is set for both options.  Click Okay, close and we'll close down on the two boxes.

Copying over the security key

The next step is to get our network security key we created off of our USB thumb drive. To do that will go to start, computer and on this computer our USB thumb drive is on the E drive. If we double clicked that we'll open up the key and there is our security key. We'll left click and drag across it, right-click and copy. Now it's in our clipboard  and we can close this down.

Connecting with the Makers Configuration Utility

The first way to connect we're going to show you is using the makers configuration utility along with the one built into Windows. To do that we'll double-click on the icon it does a scan of the network and it finds one of our neighbors networks and has two homenets. Homenet is what we named our wireless network and showing up twice here because it's putting out two signals. If you remember in section 3 we selected a mixed network type of both G and N since we have both wireless G and wireless N adapters on our network.

This is a wireless N adapter so we'll choose the wireless N option from the list. We need to click add to profile at the bottom. We'll enter a profile name of homenet. It already has the SSID filled in for us. At the top we'll click authentication and security. It's already detected the type of security were using WPA2 PSK which is the highest and encryption type of AES which is also the highest. Here we'll right-click and paste in our key and click okay. We need to highlight it and click activate. If we look down here by the clock, the networking icon has changed and it says we are currently connected to homenet. It shows the strength of the connection, we're getting three bars.

This means were connected to the wireless network and if we open up Internet Explorer we'll see if we have an Internet connection. This is mainly a kid computer so it's going to bring up looks like four different websites, all kid related. It is working. So we have our Internet connection.

Connecting with the Windows Configuration Utility

Next we're going to disconnect and show you how to use just the wireless configuration utility built into Windows. The main reason I'd think you'd want to do this is for simplicity. If we look here in the makers configuration utility it's pretty complicated. You have to go to the site survey, you choose the one you want, your add it to profile for the profile, you activated it, its way too many steps for an end-user especially if you have kids or just generally non-technical people around the house. It's much easier to connect just using the configuration utility built into Windows.

To do that we're going to go to the profile and delete it and doing that we are going to lose our wireless connection.

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