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This article provides information about connecting to a basic Wi-Fi network, suitable for most home users. There is also information about Wi-Fi Sense, the new networking feature in Windows 10.
The only requirement to connect to a Wi-Fi network is a wireless router, hooked up and configured. For Internet access, you will also need a modem and a subscription from a cable/satellite/DSL company (many users will have a combination modem/router provided by their Internet Service Provider).
Modem/router combo units may not be as reliable as a stand-alone router connected to a modem. If experiencing issues with your network dropping or performing inadequately, you may want to consider using two devices.
Note: Wi-Fi operates using radio frequency, most commonly broadcasting at 2.4 GHz. These networks are subject to interference from other radio frequency devices, such as Bluetooth, other Wi-Fi networks, microwaves, cordless phones (not cell phones), and more.
Before connecting the PC to your home network, make sure the network is operating normally.
If you need assistance with setting up the modem/router, contact the provider of the equipment (usually your Internet Service provider).
To connect your PC to a Wi-Fi Network:
Turn on Wi-Fi (laptop only):
- If the Wi-Fi icon in the Notifications area of the Taskbar (bottom-right), has a red x, click it to make sure Wi-Fi is turned on.
- If the Wi-Fi square is not highlighted, click it to toggle Wi-Fi on.
Choose your network from the list:
- Click the name of your network from the list of available networks.
- If you would like to save this network, so that the PC will automatically connect to it when available, check off the Connect Automatically box (it should be checked by default).
- Click the Connect button.
- If your network has a password, enter it here. Alternatively, you can press the WPS button on your router if it has one.
- If you wish to share this network with your contacts using Windows Wi-Fi Sense, check off the box.
Note: For more information about Wi-Fi Sense, switch to the Wi-Fi Sense tab.
Once connected, you will see the word Connected under your network.
Wi-Fi Sense is a new feature of Windows 10 that allows you to share your network information with contacts from your Outlook, Skype, or Facebook accounts.
Sense is enabled by default, but you must choose to share specific networks, so your contacts will not get the information unless you choose to share it.
Here are some facts about Wi-Fi Sense:
- If you choose to share a network, it will be shared with All of your contacts. There is currently no way to choose individual people.
- Contacts will be able to join a shared network, but they will not have the network password.
- You must be signed in to Windows with the Microsoft ID that matches the Outlook or Skype account containing your shared contacts.
- Once a network is shared, it can take several days before it's available to contacts.
Note: For more information about Wi-Fi Sense, visit Microsoft's article Wi-Fi Sense FAQ.
Access Wi-Fi Sense Settings by:
To access the new Settings menu:
- Open the Start Menu by clicking the Start icon from the Taskbar.
- From here, click the Settings icon (bottom-left).
Click Network & Internet from the Settings menu.
Click Manage Wi-Fi settings, where the arrow in the image is pointing.
From here, customize how Wi-Fi Sense functions:
- Choose whether to connect to suggested open hotspots, networks shared by contacts, or both.
- Choose which contact types to share networks with. Sharing a network will share it with all contacts in all selected groups.
- Choose known networks to Share, Stop Sharing, or Forget. If you choose to Stop Sharing a network, it may take a few days before it is removed from contacts saved networks.