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Connect to an Existing Wireless Network

Once the proper hardware is in place, connecting to an existing WAP, or infrastructure network, is a breeze. All you have to do is follow these steps:

  1. Access the properties of the wireless network card. You could do so in one of the following ways:

    • Right-click the My Network Places icon on the desktop and choose Properties. Then right-click the wireless device and choose Properties.
    • Right-click the networking icon in the System Tray (lower-right side of the Taskbar) and choose Open Network Connections. Right-click the wireless device and choose Properties.
    • Open the Control Panel, then open the Network Connections applet. Right-click the wireless device and choose Properties.
  2. Choose the Wireless Networks tab, as shown in Figure 10-3. To connect to an Available wireless network, click the View Wireless Networks button.
    10fig03.gif

    Figure 10-3 Choosing an available network.

You will only see the next dialog box if you're running XP Service Pack 2. (Refer back to Chapter 1 for instructions and an overview of Service Pack 2.) It's called the Wireless Network Connection dialog box, and it presents a list of available wireless networks. This list doesn't necessarily mean you can connect to the wireless network; it just means that the network card has detected a network and will try and connect if you wish. To connect to one of the networks on the list (sometimes there's only one), simply choose the network first with a mouse-click (it will have a shaded background), and then click the Connect button.

You should then see the dialog box in Figure 10-4 as the network card tries to obtain an IP address from the wireless access point.

10fig04.gif

Figure 10-4 The wireless card is trying to connect.

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