It's time to connect to your new network. Now that you have the devices and wires in place, and with your access point/router configured, it is time for the final step: setting up your Centrino laptop to work on the wireless network.
You'll need to know the SSID and encryption key (password) you used for the network when you configured the router.
The access point/router is now doing the job of "speaking" to your ISP and the Internet for you. It has taken over the task of assigning addresses for nodes within your internal network. So, even if you use a fixed IP within the access point/router to communicate with your ISP, the computers within your network (wireless as well as wired) should be set to automatically obtain their IP and DNS server addresses.
Open the Wireless Network Connection Properties window, shown in Figure 13.17. (See Chapter 3, "Configuring Your Mobile Computer," for information about how to work with the Wireless Connection Properties window.) Click the Add button to create a new preferred network profile. The Wireless Network Property window will open, as shown in Figure 13.18.
Figure 13.17. Click the Add button to create a new preferred network profile.
Figure 13.18. The Wireless Network Properties window is used to enter the encryption key for a Windows XP node on the tarzan wireless network.
Now you are ready to fill in the Wireless Network Properties window. To begin, make sure that the check box labeled The Key Is Provided for Me Automatically is unchecked. Next, set Network Authentication (Shared), and set Data Encryption (WEP Enabled). Finally, enter (and confirm) as the network key the first of the four hexadecimal keys you generated in the access point/router's setup program. (This was shown in Figure 13.11.) Click OK to accept the settings, and click OK in the Wireless Network Connection Properties dialog to accept the changes and close the window.
You can test that you have access to the encrypted wireless network by using your browser to open an Internet site such as http://www.google.com.
In another example, Figure 13.19 shows the Wireless Network Connections Properties window for a laptop communicating with the Braintique wireless network setup using the D-Link AirPlus Xtreme unit from earlier in this chapter.
Figure 13.19. The Wireless Network Connections Properties window shows the Braintique wireless network setup from earlier in this chapter.
If you aren't able to access the Internet, you might need to reboot your computer for the new settings to take hold.
To enter the encryption key and connect to the Braintique wireless network, select the Braintique network and click Configure. The Wireless network properties window, shown in Figure 3.20, will open.
Figure 13.20. The Wireless Network Properties window is used to enter the Braintique network's encryption key and connect to it.
Enter the encryption key in the Wireless network properties window just as you entered it when you configured the D-Link unit (see Figure 3.15).
With the Braintique wireless network connected, you can easily check its status to get an idea of its actual performance (Figure 13.21). You should also check to make sure that you can open Internet pages, such as http://www.intel.com, and see the other computers on your internal network.
Figure 13.21. You can use the Wireless Network Connection Status window to gauge the performance of your new wireless network.
You can always open the access point configuration utility to find out the encryption key you used (in case you forget it).