How to Check for Wireless Capability


Not all new PCs and laptops have wireless capabilities. Even if your device does have a wireless connection, there are not always any obvious signs like stickers or labels. You can, however, check your PC or laptop's wireless capability by using the Windows Computer Manager.

  • Right click on the "My Computer" icon located on your PC's desktop and select the "Manage" option from the drop-down menu. Windows should automatically open the Computer Manger dialog box.

  • Click on the "Device Manager" tab located on the left side of the Computer Manager window -- a list of your device's main hardware and software components should appear.

  • Left click on the "+" icon next to the "Network adapters" option -- a list of network connections and controllers should drop down below it.

  • Look for any controller or network connection that has the words "Wireless", "WLAN", "Wi-Fi" or "802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n" in its name. If you do see a connection with these words or numbers -- for example an "Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection" -- your computer device is wireless enabled. Connections and controllers that include "10/100" or "Ethernet" are not wireless capable.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also check a PC's wireless capability by looking at the back of the main unit. If there is a small antenna then the PC is likely to use it for picking up wireless signals.
  • All laptops that come with Intel Centrino mobile technology have wireless capabilities. Look below the laptop's keyboard for a small "Intel Centrino" sticker, which will indicate the laptop is wireless enabled.

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