Wireless LAN: how to on Windows Server

At this point, you may haven’t noticed that upon installing Windows Server to your desktop, you may be missing some crucial functionality. One of them being wireless LAN support. Without it, any Wi-Fi adapter that gets installed onto your computer will not functional. This is especially the case for laptops that heavily depend on such functionality. The good news is it can be installed with relative ease.

There’s no need to go through any complex registry tweaks in order to bring it back into the mix. Believe it or not, it is actually apart of Windows Server and can be “Enabled” or “Disabled” as you see fit. Windows Server wasn’t made with Wi-Fi at its core, considering a typical dedicated server should always be connected to an existing wired Ethernet connection for redundancy and reliability.

Before we proceed, we need to make sure we have the drivers for your Wi-Fi adapter installed. Usually if you have already performed an Windows Update, then it has been most likely installed. If not, then it is best to get a hold of the make and model of your computer and researching via Google. The majority of laptops today usually contain Wi-Fi adapters made by the following companies:

  1. Qualcomm
  2. Intel
  3. Realtek

If your computer has one of the three listed above, then download the drivers for your specific model and install them beforehand. It should be a pretty straightforward process. Once that’s done, then you should be ready to proceed with enabling support for wireless LAN.

You will now open server manager from the Start Menu.

Click on Manage->Add Roles and Features.

You can either click “Next >” until you get to “Features”, making sure that your configuration is in order the way you want it to be, or select “Features” on the left wizard pane to go there directly.

Scroll down under the “Features” section until you reach the bottom. You will find a feature called “Wireless LAN service”. Click the check box next to it. We are going to be installing this feature into our computer for our Wireless LAN to function properly.

Click “Next >”, and then “Install” if you’re ready. Once installation is complete, go ahead and click “Close” to close the wizard.

It is recommended that you restart your computer before proceeding with configuration and setup. Once that’s done, head over to your Control Panel via Start Menu->Search and type in “Control Panel”, and click on it. Go to “Network and Sharing Center” and then on the left navigation pane, click on “Change adapter settings”.

At this point you should be see your Wi-Fi adapter listed and ready to connect to your Wi-Fi network. You have successfully configured Windows Server to connect through your Wi-Fi adapter!