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HP Notebook PCs - Connecting to a Wireless Network in the Mobile Internet Experience

This document pertains to HP Mini models with the Mobile Internet Experience.
Using wireless devices
Wireless technology transfers data using radio waves instead of wires. The wireless local area network (WLAN) device connects to wireless local area networks (commonly referred to as Wi-Fi networks, wireless LANs, or WLANs) in your home, and public places such as airports, restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, universities, and corporate offices. In a WLAN, each mobile wireless device communicates with a wireless router or a wireless access point.
Identifying wireless network icons
Name
Description
Wireless network (connected)
Indicates that one or more of your WLAN devices are connected to the network.
  note:
The number of bars shown indicates the signal strength. The greater the number of bars, the stronger the signal.
Wireless network (disconnected)
Indicates that one or more of your WLAN devices are not connected to the network.
Using the wireless controls
You can control the wireless devices using these features:
  • Wireless switch
  • Operating system controls
Using the wireless switch
The device has a wireless switch (slide switch with light) located on the front edge, one or more wireless devices, and one wireless light. All of the wireless devices are enabled at the factory.
The wireless light indicates the overall power state of your wireless devices, not the status of individual devices. If the wireless light is blue, at least one wireless device is on. If the wireless light is amber, all wireless devices are off.
Because the wireless devices are enabled at the factory, you can use the wireless switch to turn on or turn off all of the wireless devices simultaneously.
Using a WLAN
With a WLAN device, you can access a wireless local area network (WLAN), which is composed of other computers and accessories that are linked by a wireless router or a wireless access point.
  note:
The terms wireless router and wireless access point are often used interchangeably.
  • A home or small office WLAN typically uses a wireless router, which allows several wireless and wired computers to share an internet connection, a printer, and files without requiring additional pieces of hardware or software.
  • A large-scale WLAN, such as a corporate or public WLAN, typically uses wireless access points that can accommodate a large number of computers and accessories and can separate critical network functions.
To use the WLAN device, you must connect to a WLAN infrastructure (provided through a service provider or a public or corporate network).
Setting up a WLAN
To set up a WLAN and connect to the internet, you need the following equipment:
  • A broadband modem (either DSL or cable) (1) and high-speed internet service purchased from an internet service provider (ISP).
  • A wireless router (purchased separately) (2)
  • Your HP MINI (3)
The illustration below shows an example of a wireless network installation that is connected to the internet.
As your network grows, additional wireless and wired computers can be connected to the network to access the internet.
For help in setting up your WLAN, refer to the information provided by your router manufacturer or your ISP.
Protecting your WLAN
It is essential to understand that because the WLAN standard was designed with only limited security capabilities—basically to foil casual eavesdropping rather than more powerful forms of attack. WLANs are vulnerable to well-known and well-documented security weaknesses.
WLANs in public areas, or “hotspots,” like coffee shops and airports, may not provide any security. New technologies are being developed by wireless manufacturers and hotspot service providers that make the public environment more secure and anonymous. If you are concerned about the security in a hotspot, limit your network activities to noncritical e-mail and basic internet surfing.
When you set up a WLAN or access an existing WLAN, always enable security features to protect your network from unauthorized access. The common security levels are Wi-Fi protected access (WPA) and personal and wired equivalent privacy (WEP). Because wireless radio signals travel outside the network, other WLAN devices can pick up unprotected signals and either connect to your network (uninvited) or capture information being sent across it. However, you can take precautions to protect your WLAN:
  • Use a wireless transmitter with built-in security
    Many wireless base stations, gateways, or routers provide built-in security features, such as wireless security protocols and firewalls. With the correct wireless transmitter, you can protect your network from the most common wireless security risks.
  • Work behind a firewall
    A firewall is a barrier that checks both data and requests for data that are sent to your network, and discards any suspicious items. Firewalls are available in many varieties, both software and hardware. Some networks use a combination of both types.
  • Use wireless encryption
    A variety of sophisticated encryption protocols are available for your WLAN. Find the solution that works best for your network security:
    • Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is a wireless security protocol that encodes or encrypts all network data before it is transmitted using a WEP key. Usually, you can allow the network to assign the WEP key. Alternatively, you can set up your own key, generate a different key, or choose other advanced options. Without the correct key, others will not be able to use the WLAN.
    • WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access), like WEP, uses security settings to encrypt and decrypt data that is transmitted over the network. However, instead of using one static security key for encryptions as WEP does, WPA uses “temporal key integrity protocol” (TKIP) to dynamically generate a new key for every packet. It also generates different sets of keys for each device on the network.
  • Close your network If possible, prevent your
    If possible, prevent your network name (SSID) from being broadcast by the wireless transmitter. Most networks initially broadcast the name, telling any device nearby that your network is available. By closing the network, other computers are less likely to know that your network exists.
      note:
    If your network is closed and the SSID is not broadcast, you will need to know or remember the SSID to connect new devices to the network. Write down the SSID and store it in a secure place before closing the network
Connecting to a WLAN
To connect to a wireless network, follow these steps:
  1. Be sure that the wireless device is on. If it is on, the wireless light is blue. If the wireless light is amber, slide the wireless switch.
  2. Click the Wireless Network icon located in the notification area, at the bottom of the Home Screen.
    The Wireless Networks window opens.
  3. Select a wireless network from the list, and then type the network security key, if required.
    • If the network is unsecured, meaning that anyone can access the network, a warning is displayed. Click Connect Anyway to accept the warning and complete the connection.
    • If the network is a security-enabled WLAN, you are prompted to enter a network security key, which is a security code. Type the code, and then click Connect to complete the connection.
    • If no wireless networks are listed, you are out of range of a wireless router or access point.
    • If you do not see the network you want to connect to, click Connect to Other Wireless Network. Enter the name of the wireless network that you want to connect to. You can also click Manual Configuration and choose to manually search for and connect to a network or to create a new network connection.
  4. After the connection is made, place the mouse pointer over the wireless network connection icon in the notification area, at the bottom of the Home Screen, to verify the name, speed, strength, and status of the connection.
  note:
The typical service area for a WLAN is approximately 19 feet. The distance the signal can travel may be shorter if there is interference from other electronic devices or structural barriers, such as walls and floors.
More information about using a WLAN is available through information from your ISP and the user guides included with your wireless router and other WLAN equipment.
For a list of public WLANs near you, contact your ISP or search the web. Web sites that list public WLANs include Cisco Internet Mobile Office Wireless Locations, Hotspotlist, and Geektools. Check with each public WLAN location for cost and connection requirements.
Roaming to another network
When you move your device within range of another WLAN, it attempts to connect to that network. If the attempt is successful, your device is automatically connected to the new network. If it does not recognize the new network, follow the same procedure you used initially to connect to your WLAN.

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