How to add a computer to a wireless network


Mar 4, 2010
I just bought a new netbook and I can't get it connected to the internet. My dad had set up the wireless internet so that you have to be on a list of accepeted IP adresses in order to gain access, however, he has since passed away and I don't know how to add my IP address to that list. Do you know? help!


You'll need the username and password for the router's setup screens -- the default ones will be in the literature which came with the router (or download the manual from the maker's site). If the password has been changed from default, reset the router to restore default.

Connect computer to router by ethernet cable. Once in, go to Wireless Settings Access List and disable List (it's pretty useless as a security aid). Note down or renew the wireless security passphrase while you're in there.


It's more likely you have to be added to the list of "MAC addresses" in order to gain access to the router, NOT IP addresses.

Every network adapter has a unique MAC address (sort of like a serial number) that looks similar to this:

00:01:ef:8c:23:4f (six pairs of hexadecimal numbers)

It’s usually on a label on the wireless adapter itself, or perhaps a label on the bottom of the netbook. Or in the worst case, just go to Start->Run, type “cmd” (no quotes), hit enter, in the command window type “ipconfig /all” (no quotes), hit enter, and in the network dump that results, find the Physical Address field, that’s the MAC address. If you know the username/password for logging into the router (usually located at, but it could be different depending on make/model, you'd need to check the manual to be 100% sure), you can locate the MAC filtering section and add your netbook's MAC address. It acts as sort of a “whitelist” of who is authorized access to the router.

All that said, it might just be easier to reset the router to factory defaults and start from scratch, esp. if someone else is now going to be responsible for managing the router. There's no telling what other configuration settings your late dad may have set up that will prove to be further stumbling blocks. The first that comes to mind is the username/password for logging into the routers, and the key/password for wireless security. Or perhaps port forwarding that could leave the network vulnerable. I’m just not sure it’s safe to leave the router in its current state unless someone w/ comparable knowledge can get in there and check it out. Resetting the router to factory defaults which will clear any MAC filtering (not really necessary anyway, wireless security should be enabled, that’s usually sufficient), username/password for login, wireless security, port forwards, etc. Now add those settings back. The most important is wireless security. As long as that’s re-established quickly using WPA2 (preferred) or WPA using a high-quality key, you’ll be plenty safe for now.

To reset the router to factory defaults, hold the reset button on the back for about 30 secs (while powered on, of course) and release. You should now be able to connect just about any wired or wireless desktop/laptop without problems. But make sure to add wireless security back ASAP.

At least that's what I would do under the same circumstances.