I am VERY technologically challenged, so please be patient with me! Trying to fix my son's laptop wireless connection, which shows the wireless network is connected, receiving signal, then suddenly drops the connection after a matter of seconds. Try repairing, again connects for 2 seconds, then drops it. Feeling very very stupid trying to figure this out!
Have a look at the literature which came with your router -- you many need to discover the wireless security passphrase which has been set in the router's setup pages and either note that or create a new passphrase which you then apply to the user interface of the laptop's wireless adapter (or in Windows networking).
To connect to the router without wireless you need to find the ethernet cable which (usually) comes in the box with the router.