You are correct the Inspiron 8100 doesn't have built in wireless. You would need to buy a PCMCIA Wireless adapter
(just an example)
WEP is a wireless encryption and is not an issue for a wired laptop.
you do not need to add the laptop to the network unless you are going to share files. You should just plug it into a port on the router and into the ethernet port on the back or side of the laptop and reboot. It should pick up an IP address and you're all set.
If this isn't the case then you need to check that the ethernet adapter is installed with the correct drivers and then see if you have it set to get an IP address automatically.Checking device manager
Checking the IP address
- Hold down the windows key and type the pause/break key
- Click the Hardware tab
- Click the Device Manager button
- In the list look for any yellow !, specifically under Network adapters
- If there are none then move on to checking the IP address
- If there are yellow ! you'll want to get the drivers for these devices off the Dell web site.
- Normally on the bottom is a service tag sticker, enter that at the Dell Support site and get the proper drivers.
There are a couple ways to do this but I will take you where you can change it just in case
- Goto Control panel
- Double click Network Connections
- Right click the Local Area Connection
- Click Properties
- In the list click Internet Protocol(TCP/IP)
- Below and to the right click the Properties button
- There should be a dot beside Obtain an IP address automatically and below that Obtain a DNS server address automatically
- If there wasn't put them there and click OK
- Click Close on the next screen
- If you made changes, reboot the laptop
See if that gets you online. If you want to do file/printer sharing, we can help with that but get online first.