All HP Compaq laptops come equipped with an internal wireless network adapter. For most users, this stock adapter will work perfectly well; however, there may be occasions when an upgrade is order. If your Compaq laptop is a vintage model and your adapter uses older technology or is broken, purchasing a new adapter could be very beneficial. Because replacing an internal adapter is beyond the expertise of most home users, installing an external USB network adapter with an antenna is a quick way to extend your wireless signal without having to disassemble your laptop.
Purchase a USB wireless network adapter. Various types of adapters are available. If you want to connect to a Wi-Fi network, look an adapter that supports the "802.11 N" standard, which provides extended range and better bandwidth. If you want to connect to a cellular network, look for a 4G USB modem. Both install the same way and look similar but connect to different types of networks.
Examine your HP Compaq laptop to verify that you have an available USB port.
Install the required software and drivers included with the new adapter. Insert the CD and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation.
Insert the USB network adapter into an available USB port on your laptop. Wait a moment while your operating system initializes the new hardware. You can now connect wirelessly to a network using the adapter's external antenna to boost the signal.
- Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images