What you need for wireless connection

A wireless capable (802.11 b/g) laptop or PDA. Any Wi-Fi certified wireless network card (either built-in or external PCMCIA type) that is capable of supporting 802.11 b/g standards will work on WestConn’s wireless network. We do not recommend any specific brand of wireless card for your laptop or mobile computing device, but we do recommend following minimum requirements for your system:

How to know if you already have a built-in wireless card

To determine if you have a built-in Wireless card or Wired Ethernet, follow these steps:

Windows XP:

  1. On Windows XP: Select Start > Control Panel.
  2. Double-click on System.
    (If you do not see System, click Switch to Classic View in the Control Panel.)
  3. Select the Hardware tab, and click on Device Manager.
    The Device Manager list is displayed.
  4. Click the (+) sign next to Network Adapters.
    • If you have a WIRELESS card you will see a "Wireless" or "WLAN" entry.

Look under the Network Adapters section by double-clicking on it. If your wireless network interface card is listed (e.g. "Cisco Aironet 802.11a/b/g Wireless Adapter), it is recognized and its driver software is installed. (NOTE: A "Dialup Adapter" is not a NIC, it is a modem.)

The name of your wireless adapter should appear, and there should not be a yellow exclamation point ("!") or a red "x" next to it. The absence of these marks indicates that the adapter is properly installed with the correct drivers and that there are no conflicts. If there is a yellow or red problem indicator next to the adapter's icon, you may have to look at your device guide to troubleshoot the problem, or, if the wireless card is built into your laptop, contact the manufacturer of the wireless card or laptop.

If your wireless adapter does not appear, it could mean that it has not been properly installed.Please contact the manufacturer of the wireless card or laptop for further assistance.

Macintosh OS X 10.2 and Above

  1. Select the Apple menu > System Preferences, and click on the Network icon.
  2. Click the Show: field pull-down menu.
    • If you have a wireless card, you will see an entry for "Airport".
    • If you have a wired card, you will see an entry for "Ethernet" or "Built in Ethernet".

How to Enable or Disable the wireless card

If you do not need wireless Ethernet access (wired jack nearby, or you don't require net access) and are not plugged into a power outlet, disabling your wireless card will conserve battery power. The more power you can conserve, the longer you can work before you'll need to plug your laptop in to power.

IBM ThinkPad T43: Type Fn-F5 and then click Turn Off to disable the wireless card. To re-enable the wireless card, type Fn-F5 and click Turn On.

IBM ThinkPad T41 & T40: Type Fn-F5 to disable the wireless card. To re-enable the wireless card, type Fn-F5 again.

IBM ThinkPad T23: To disconnect, right-click on the wireless Ethernet icon in the bottom right corner of your screen (to find it, hover over the icons until you see the pop-up window illustrated at right). Right-click on the icon and select Disable. To re-enable the wireless card, click the Start button, select Connect To, and then choose Wireless Connection.

How to install external wireless card

Install your external wireless card according to the instructions that came with it, based on the operating system you are using.

Each wireless card comes with a client manager type application that you typically install from an included CD. This application lets you set profiles for different networks that you may encounter.

The default profile usually contains the SSID parameter of 'any' which lets you connect to any available wireless access point. This is the setting you should use to access wireless at WestConn. No other profile settings are necessary.

Before you attempt to login, check that your profile is correct and that your wireless card is enabled. Also, if the program that you are installing requires you to specify the SSID, then you should use “WestConn” as the default SSID.

Wireless Network Card Configurations

These instructions assume you have a computer running Windows XP Professional and an installed wireless network interface card (NIC).

  1. Click on the Start menu, select Control Panel, and double click on Network Connections.
  2. Double click on Wireless Network Connection and then click the Properties button.
  3. Check to see whether Internet Protocol is listed under connection items.

    Note: If Internet Protocol is NOT listed, contact Information Technology & Innovation Help Desk for support.
  1. Under components, select Internet Protocol and click Properties.


  2. Select the options Obtain an IP Address Automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically.

  3. Click OK and then OK again to save the changes.

Where to get more help on WestConn Wireless

Please call the IT Help Desk at (203) 837-8467 for additional help with the WestConn Wireless Network.

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