Section 30. Install Adapter Software Utility

30. Install Adapter Software Utility


Install a Wireless Adapter

Add-on WiFi network adapters include software that allows you to configure and monitor the adapter. The software is included with almost all adapters and is typically provided on a CD. Most manufacturers of WiFi adapters also provide you with the ability to download software, drivers, and software updates associated with your particular WiFi adapter. Not only does the CD provide a configuration utility, the CD also contains the software driver you need when you install the WiFi adapter on your PC (see Install a Wireless Adapter).


In most cases, you should install the software utility that the adapter's manufacturer provided for your add-on WiFi adapter (unless otherwise noted by the manufacturer's setup guide). The software is specifically designed to allow you to change the WiFi adapter configuration so that the adapter can connect to the WiFi router's access point and also monitor the adapter's connection. Some manufacturers suggest that you do not need to install the "special" software utility if you are running Windows XP (this exemption varies from manufacturer to manufacturer) because Windows XP provides its own Wireless Connection utility. (Earlier versions of Windows such as Windows 98 do not provide this utility.) You can use the Windows XP Wireless Connection utility to configure and monitor the WiFi adapter. However, the utility provided on the CD that ships with your WiFi adapter often provides greater ease of use and features not provided by the more "generic" Windows Wireless Connection utility. It is your call in terms of how you actually configure and monitor the WiFi adapter, but I suggest that you take advantage of the utility that was provided with the adapter.

Key Term

Driver Software for a device such as a WiFi network adapter that allows the operating system and the device to communicate correctly.

Each WiFi network adapter provides a different software utility for installing the adapter's software. This task provides a look at the software installation for a Netgear USB adapter. Each adapter's software installation process will be different. Some WiFi adapters require that you install the software (and the driver) before attaching or inserting the WiFi adapter on the PC. Other adapters are installed on the PC first and then the software is loaded. Before installing your WiFi adapter hardware or software, read the installation information provided by the manufacturer so that your WiFi adapter hardware and software is installed correctly.

Install Adapter Software Utility

Begin Software Installation

Insert the CD that accompanied your WiFi adapter in your CD-ROM or DVD drive. The software on the CD should automatically open. Select the option for installing the adapter's utility software (in some cases, this option also installs the software driver for the adapter).

Accept the Licensing Agreement

In most instances, you must review and then agree to the licensing agreement for the software that will be installed on your system; click Yes or otherwise answer in the affirmative and then continue the installation process.

Specify a Location for Installation

You will be provided with a default location for the software installation. To change the location, use the Browse button and navigate to the location on your hard disk where you want to install the software. When you have identified the hard disk location, proceed to the next step in the installation wizard or instructions.

Specify a Program Folder

A default program folder is specified for the installation. This folder will appear on the Start menu and provide access to the icons that start the utility associated with the adapter. The utility software you install is used to both configure and monitor the WiFi connection for the adapter (the connection to your WiFi router). In most cases, you will want to go with the default. However, to select another option, select a folder from the list provided. Then click Next to complete the installation process. When the installation process is complete, you can remove the CD from your computer's drive.

Home Wireless Networking in a Snap
Home Wireless Networking in a Snap
ISBN: 0672327023
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 158
Authors: Joe Habraken © 2008-2017.
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