How to Know If a Computer Has a Wireless Networking Card

You need a wireless card to share Internet access and some devices.

You need a wireless card to share Internet access and some devices.

Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images

by Contributing Writer

A wireless card enables your computer to share files and Internet access with other computers on a network. It also allows your computer to wirelessly connect to many devices, including game consoles, printers and scanners. Most new computers have built-in networking cards, but it isn't always obvious whether yours has wireless capabilities. If you're not sure whether your computer has a wireless card, you can find out by checking the Networking and Internet or Device Manager menu.

Network and Internet

Step 1

Click the Start button, then click "Control Panel."

Step 2

Click "Network and Internet" or "Network and Sharing Center."

Step 3

Look for any of the following words: "802.11a," "802.11b," "802.11g," "802.11n," "Wireless," "Wi-Fi" or "WLAN." If you see one of these words, your computer has a wireless card.

Device Manager

Step 1

Click the Start button and type "device" in the search bar, then click "Device Manager."

Step 2

Click the arrow next to "Network Adapters" in the Device Manager window.

Step 3

Look for a wireless adapter listed under Network Adapters. If you don't see a yellow exclamation mark next to its name, the device is working properly. If you do see this warning sign, double-click the device to determine and fix the problem.


  • Look for a small antenna protruding from the back of your computer. If you see one, it indicates that your computer has an external wireless card.

About the Author

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.

Photo Credits

  • Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images