I was told by the pain in the arse that I live with that I can setup my wireless connection for my laptop to the router without going through router setup and using the wep key. I don't see how to do this. My laptop is recognizing the router and it's ssid at the moment, but I can not connect to the internet. When I setup everything through the router, change the ssid, get the passkey and setup it up on the laptop, amazingly everything works then. My question is there really a way to setup wireles connection with out going through proper setup process and using the passkey and accessing the router settings?
If you use a wireless router, and it's configured w/ wireless security enabled (i.e., you must provide the key before it will let you connect), then you must provide it. End of issue. Of course, Windows will remember the key for the next time so you don’t have to keep entering it over and over again.
Now if you want to take the risk and disable wireless security on the router, you certainly can. But I would strongly recommend against it. But if you do, then obviously you won’t be prompted for a key. It’s no different than using an open wifi location on the road (Starbucks, McDonalds, etc.).
Other than that, I have no idea what your PITA was referring to. The only way to avoid the key if wireless security is enabled is to not use wireless, but use a wired connection instead.
The PITA was no doubt a know-it-all but too-busy-to-help boyfriend.
Back to the Op, and the later reference to Starbucks.
Your laptop can be set to connect to any wireless available. If that wireless is upprotected, perhaps as Starbucks, your laptop will offer to connect or will connect automatically if set up that way.
If the open network is encrypted then you will be asked for a passkey. Often this will be freely available and you just have to ask the hotel reception or bar or whatever. This encryption merely stops drive-by hookup but offers you no security.
Short answer, yes, just enter the passkey when prompted by the connection.