Desktop computers usually connect to the Internet using a wired connection. But sometimes pulling wires is not very convenient and I want to organize everything using a wireless connection. If you are also interested in how to connect a desktop computer to a Wi-Fi network, we suggest that you read this article.
Equipment for connecting a desktop computer to Wi-Fi
In order to connect a computer to a Wi-Fi network, you need to have a Wi-Fi adapter installed on it. Such adapters are on any laptop, but with desktop computers it is not so simple.
Motherboards for desktop computers are very rarely equipped with built-in Wi-Fi adapters. Such adapters can be found only in the most expensive models or models designed for HTPC. The remaining motherboards are only available with a regular network adapter designed to connect to wired Ethernet networks.
If you don’t know if your motherboard has a Wi-Fi adapter, then just look at the back of the computer where the connectors on the motherboard go. If the motherboard has a built-in Wi-Fi adapter, then there will be two connectors for connecting antennas.
Connectors for Wi-Fi Antennas
But, most likely, you will not find such connectors, which means you will need to purchase a separate Wi-Fi adapter to connect your desktop computer. There are two types of adapters: external and internal. External ones are connected to the computer via USB, like a regular USB flash drive, while internal ones need to be installed in the PCI Express x1 slot.
Wi-Fi adapters for desktop computers
The speed that Wi-Fi adapters can provide depends on the wireless standards that they support and the class of the device itself. Models from the lower and middle price range usually support the 802.11n standard and in practice provide speeds from 50 to 100 Mbps. expensive adapters support the 802.11ac standard and in real use can provide 200 Mbps or more.
When choosing a Wi-Fi adapter, you need to consider not only what speed you need, but also what kind of router you have. If your router only supports Wi-Fi according to the 802.11n standard, and you do not plan to change it to a more modern model, then there is no point in overpaying for an expensive and fast Wi-Fi adapter. Since without support from the router, the Wi-Fi adapter will not be able to show everything that it is capable of.
Connecting a desktop computer to Wi-Fi
Connecting a desktop computer to Wi-Fi is not much different from connecting a laptop. First you need to install the drivers for the Wi-Fi adapter. If your motherboard has a built-in Wi-Fi adapter, then you need to look for drivers for it on the manufacturer’s website. If you use a separate Wi-Fi adapter, then you need to look for drivers on the manufacturer’s website of the adapter itself. Installing drivers is not difficult, they are installed in the system just like regular programs. After installation, you may need to restart your computer.
After installing the drivers on the taskbar, next to the system clock, the Wi-Fi icon should appear. Depending on the version of Windows, this icon may look different. The screenshots below show how this icon looks in Windows 7 and Windows 10.
Wi-Fi icon on the taskbar
To connect a computer to Wi-Fi, click on this icon and select one of the available networks. Below it is shown how this happens in Windows 7 and Windows 10.
Connecting a computer to a Wi-Fi network
After choosing a network, you may be asked for a password or Wi-Fi connection will happen automatically. If you have any difficulties with connecting, we recommend that you read our articles on how to connect Wi-Fi on Windows 10 and Windows 7. There, the entire connection process is described in more detail.