The question in the title is raised quite often when setting up Internet and LAN access. Today I decided to answer it at greater length, so that there is somewhere to refer… (and I didn’t have to repeat myself in personal messages).
In general, when it comes to laptop– in my opinion, all modern devices have a Wi-Fi adapter (except for some special models, but they do not take them home).
A PC is a completely different matter – today there are motherboards in which the module is integrated (and there are in which there is not). And many users are not always able to immediately see “how and what” …
In fact, below are several ways to help… (the note can also be useful in cases where the Wi-Fi adapter driver is not installed and no wireless icon in taskbar).
The content of the article
Ways to Check a Wireless Network Adapter
If Windows starts
The easiest and most reliable option is to open the list of connected devices and see it. In Windows, this can be done in the 📌Device Manager (to access it, click on Win + R and in the window that appears, use the command devmgmt.msc. Alternative option: right click on the START menu…).
Open the tab in device manager “Network adapters”: Among the adapters, see if there is one whose name contains one of the three:
👉 If there is such a thing in the title – means that a wireless adapter is present on your computer (see screen below – left). In this case, see the note on 📌How to turn on Wi-Fi on the computer and connect to the network //Windows 11/10
👉 If nothing like this is seen – check tab “Other Devices” (if available) – if it contains unknown devices, then they 📌 don’t have drivers installed (and there might be a wireless adapter among them!).
📌 To help!
How to install, update or remove the Wi-Fi driver (on the wireless network adapter).
- first you need to run 📌command prompt as administrator;
- then enter the command netsh wlan show interfaces and press Enter;
- a list of wireless adapters should appear in the window: in my case there is only one 👇 (pay attention to the status bar – at the moment there is no connection established with a network Wi-Fi. See how to solve this problem 📌 ).
You can also use the special function utilities for viewing PC characteristics: AIDA, Speccy, etc. As a rule, it is enough to open the tab “Network” (or “Network”) and you can find out almost everything about the network settings of the device.
By the way, I recommend having a few such utilities on the disk – they can help solve various problems with the PC…
If there is no operating system on the PC / laptop
Option 1 (if the device works)
If everything is in order with this PC / laptop (that is, it works, only the operating system is not installed) – you can resort to the help of the so-called flash drive 📌LiveCD (Windows laptop). It is advisable to have such a flash drive in your storage (if you don’t have one, prepare it on a working PC // the link above shows how to do it).
In the note, I will assume that you have already booted from such a flash drive.
Then you can run device manager, AIDA utility, etc. from this flash drive (as described in the first part of this article).
📌 If you chose LiveCD (which I recommended above) – then he has network managerwhich allows to view all the adapters connected to the PC (see arrow 2 – of course, if there is a wireless adapter among them, it will see it!).
If the PC/Laptop is not in good condition (or if you need to “check something” visually), you can take the device apart and see firsthand what’s inside. Here, of course, it is difficult to plan in advance and bring the desired photo below, so the first time you read this topic you can find out whether it has a wireless adapter …
See some examples below:
- on the first, a typical Wi-Fi adapter in a laptop (this is a small card, the size of a “matchbox”);
- on the second Wi-Fi PCIe adapter (installed on a PC in a special slot on the motherboard).
What to do if there is no Wi-Fi adapter (or it does not work and the computer does not see it)
Option 1: in my opinion, the easiest solution is to buy external wifi adapter (by the way, it can also be useful as a backup // or for diagnostics if the current adapter is suspected to be malfunctioning).
It can be connected to the most common USB port and modern Windows 10/11 will install a driver on it without your participation. 📌You can buy external mini Wi-Fi adapters at ros. and Chinese online stores.
Learn more about connecting and configuring an external adapter:
Option 2: instead of Wi-Fi – you can connect the computer to the network via an Ethernet cable or just make the phone an access point (that is, share the Internet from the phone). The last option, in my opinion, is the most versatile: it is suitable for both home and travel!
📌 To help!
How to distribute the Internet from Android to a computer or laptop (via USB, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth)
Variant 3: Contact a laptop/PC service center. They will certainly be able to replace your old out-of-use adapter with a new one in working order (or offer you an option adapted to your conditions…).
More ways are welcome in the comments below!
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I am Bhumi Shah, a highly skilled digital marketer with over 11 years of experience in digital marketing and content writing in the tech industry.