3 Ways to Connect Computer to Wi-Fi without Cable

3 Ways to Connect Computer to Wi-Fi without Cable

Are you ready to cut the cord? do you still connect your computer to your wi-fi router with an ethernet cable? Perhaps you have an older desktop or laptop computer without Wi-Fi capability. If you’re ready to get rid of those cumbersome cables that tie you down in one place, then we can help.

there was a day when having a wireless connection was state of the art. connecting to the internet with a network cable, or even a phone line and modem, was the norm. Now all is the opposite. we connect most computers via wireless connections, and we rarely see that blue or yellow cable coming out of the back of our laptop.

Reading: How to connect my desktop wirelessly

While there are still some valid reasons to hook your computer up with a cable, it might be you’re unsure how to move to a wireless connection. If you are still using a wired connection and want to get rid of the cable, you can. It’s easy and affordable, and we can show you how.

why do you want to keep your cable connection?

Besides not knowing how or just not taking the time, there are some good reasons to stay wired. With an ethernet cable, you can get much higher data speeds. connecting directly to your router is often more reliable, allowing you to get internet in areas your wifi doesn’t reach.

I admit it: I’m still using a wired connection on my work laptop. As a software engineer, I need to transfer large amounts of files and data. I am also constantly in voice and video meetings. cable internet is more reliable; helps ensure my connection doesn’t drop when uploading or downloading large files.

That said, wireless is much more convenient. i have a wireless option on my work laptop, so i can disconnect from my docking station when i need to. if I move to another room, sometimes it’s worth sacrificing speed and reliability for convenience.

There are a few things to consider before cutting the cable. it may be convenient to keep the cable available, but most prefer the wireless connection.

Most current wireless speeds are fast enough for audio, video, and most data transfers. unless you transfer large amounts of data frequently, apparently you won’t even notice the difference in speed when connected to a wireless connection.

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what are my options?

If you’re ready to go wireless, this is where to start.

first, you need a wireless router. if you don’t already have one, prices range from very affordable to high-end. you’ll also need some kind of wi-fi adapter for your computer.

There are three basic types of adapters: integrated, pci, or usb. let’s take a brief look at each.


Most computers made in the last decade have a built-in Wi-Fi adapter. you may already have the hardware you need. If you’re not sure if yours has one, find out how to check later in this article.

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If you have built-in wi-fi, it may be worth considering one of the following two options. most of the built-in adapters are of poor quality. they tend to fail or have problems; Unless your motherboard is new, it may not be using the latest technology. you can always test your current build, and if you’re happy with it, you’re good to go.


this type is a card that you add internally. it usually works best with a desktop because they’re pretty easy to manually take apart and add. With a PCI card, you will be able to purchase and install the latest and fastest wireless technology available.


the usb option is the most versatile because you can add it to any system with a usb port. works well on both desktop and laptop. don’t worry about opening the computer, just plug it in and you’re instantly connected. You may not get the cutting edge technology and speed that you would with a PCI card, but these adapters are fast enough for most users.

a great benefit of usb is that you can also use the adapters in other devices. just unplug it from one computer and plug it into another.

next steps

If you need to add a pci card or usb plug-in, here’s what to do.

1. decide which adapter will work best for you

Find out what kind of interface makes sense for you. If speed is your priority, PCI is the way to go. if you want convenience, then consider a usb.

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2. investigate

There is a wide range of adapters available on the market. Do some research and find one that works well and fits your budget. Check out our articles on the best Wi-Fi adapters if you need help.

3. buy the device

once you know what you want, buy your hardware and wait patiently for it to be delivered.

4. install adapter

now it’s time to install. follow the instructions for your new device. many are simply plug & play. if no instructions are included, a simple youtube search usually fixes the problem.

5. connect

once the hardware is installed, your software can be installed automatically. The manufacturer may provide a CD, DVD, or web link to install the software and configure the device. in most cases, it will even connect you to your network.

Make sure you have a network setup with a wireless router in your home, office, or wherever you plan to use it. know the name of the network (network ID) and its password. you will need it once the device software is installed and you try to connect.

checking existing wifi hardware

If you’re not sure if your computer already has the right hardware, whether it’s a built-in adapter or pci, you can always check. here’s how.

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use the following steps on a windows machine:

1. open device manager.

From the start menu or search box in the bottom right corner of the screen, type “device manager”. you should see “device manager” in the list of results. click it to start it.

2. expand the network adapters section.

In the list of devices, find and click “network adapters”. this will expand and show you the list of network devices.

3. look for the “wi-fi” adapter.

if you have a wifi adapter, you will see a device. see the image below.


4. This verifies you have a Wi-Fi adapter of some type.

follow the steps below for a mac:

  • look for the wireless icon. the quickest way on a mac is to look for the wireless icon in the menu bar at the top of the screen.
  • verify via the system information screen. hold down the option key, click the apple logo in the menu bar, and then click “system information”.
  • look for “wi-fi” in settings your network . if you have a card, it will display information about it here.
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if you’ve bought a new wi-fi adapter, hopefully the setup software that comes with it will connect it. if not, there are a few steps you can take to connect. If you already have the proper hardware, but were unable to connect for some reason, you can follow these same steps.

You can also check to see if your computer has an external switch, button, or key that you need to press to turn on Wi-Fi. it will often have a symbol like the one below.

this is a common reason a system won’t automatically connect to wi-fi. if you don’t see the button, you can always do an internet search for your make and model to see if there is an external way to turn it on, but be aware that not all systems will have this.

To enable Wi-Fi through your operating system, you can follow the steps below for a Windows 10 machine. You can use a similar method for older versions of Windows.

windows connection:

  1. click the windows button in the lower left corner of your desktop.
  2. type “settings”.
  3. search for “network and internet” and then click click
  4. click “wi-fi”.
  5. on the wi-fi screen, click the on/off button to turn on wi-fi.
  6. then you can connect to your network using your network name and password.

for mac, follow these steps:

  1. click the wi-fi symbol in the menu bar.
  2. click the “wi-fi: on” selection.
  3. then you can select a network to connect to using the network name and password.

once you’ve enabled and connected your wi-fi, you should be ready to go. no more wires to tie you down. you can move freely around your home or office!

As usual, please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

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