How to Detect a Wireless Adapter

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Most laptop computers and many desktop computers are sold with a wireless adapter built-in. The wireless adapter enables the computer to access a wireless network by receiving the radio signal from the network's wireless router. If you are not sure if your computer has a wireless adapter installed, you can use the "Device Manager" utility in Windows to view if there is one installed, before purchasing an external wireless adapter to access your network.

  • Click "Start," then right-click on "Computer."

  • Select "Properties" from the pop-up menu. The Windows System window will open.

  • Click the "Device Manager" text link on the left pane of the window. The Device Manager window will open.

  • Scroll down the list and click the arrow next to "Network adapters." If a wireless adapter is installed on your system, it will be displayed under "Network adapters." A wireless adapter will have the words "WiFi" and/or 802.11 in its name.

  • Right-click on the adapter and select "Properties." The wireless adapter's Properties window will open. Scroll through the tabs to view the adapter's current status, manufacturer, software drivers and wireless settings.

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