|The wireless adapter on the netbook has to be using the same encryption key or password as the wireless device you are trying to connect to. |
If you are using the built in Wireless Zero Configuration program that's built into XP, you can have it search for available wireless connections that are within range.
If a particular connection says Security Enabled, then you must supply the key or password that that connection requires, when you click on Connect, otherwise you can't connect to that one.
Sometimes the available connection has no security enabled - e.g. an internet Cafe - in that case, you just click on Connect - if the signal is strong enough that connection will work fine.
If you are trying to connect to your own wireless router wirelessly, or to a router of someone you know who doesn't mind you using the connection wirelessly, and security is enabled for the connection, you cannot connect to it wirelessly unless you (or Windows) supply(ies) the right key or password. If there is another computer connected to a local network that can access the internet through the same router wirelessly, or via a network cable, you can go into the router's Configuration on that other computer and find the key or password it' s using, and use that same key in your netbook's wireless settings, then your wireless connection to the router, and the internet if it's connected to a high speed modem, will probably work fine.
If there is no other computer that you ( or someone else who's willing to share the connection) can access that connects to the router you want to connect to, you must connect to the router via a network cable between the netbook and the router in order to be able to access the router's configuration settings.
All routers require you use a specific user name and/or password in order to access the router's configuration settings. The default user name and /or password (sometimes only one of them is required by default, the other is blank) are stated in the manual for the router model for the region the router was bought in. If you have the CD that came with the router, the manual is probably on that. If not, get the manual from the manufacturer's web site for the region you bought the router in.
In order to be able to get to where you can type in the user name and/or password screen, you need to either
- type in a specific URL in your internet browser, 192.168.xxx.xxx - what xxxx.xxx is depending on which one your router requires - that's in the router manual too (it may vary depending what region you bought the router in). That accesses the router's configuration program log on screen on the router itself, even when it's not connected to a high speed modem, not the internet.
- or - you need to enable showing UPNP devices in your My Network Places screen on the left - if the router supports UPNP (Universal Plug and Play) , then Windows will then show the router as an icon that you merely click on to access the screen where you type in the user name and/or password, e.g. go to Control Panel - Network Connections and the icon should be there, if the router supports UPNP.