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Help! I Need Somebody Who Knows About Wireless Connections And Stuff!

so we bought a new laptop. It was a display model and uses windows vista. its wireless capable, in fact I think it already has the software in it b/c it has the little button on the front that says Wireless. but there is no wireless connection, internet only works when its in the modem/router thingy.

now the broadband router thingy. Its a linksys "Wireless-G 2.4 GHz Broadband Router with a FUCKING SPEED BOOSTER!" and its currently sharing wires with a westell thingy with Ethernet/DSL/USB labels on the front and lights. even though the linksys says wireless, if its not hooked up to the telphone line, the internet wont work.

as you can see, I know zilch about computers and less then zero about internet connections.

the goal here is to make the internet on the laptop work without any wires or its going bye bye. my mothers line of reasoning is "If it doesnt work automatically then Im not going to bother trying to make it work" and then she'll sell it to our neighbor. I dont want that to happen. we got a good deal (?) on this laptopn and Im goign to need on for college and so Im trying to avoid having to possibly spend thousands of dollars of MY money to get one.

can anybody to a technical diagnosis? just ask me for more information if needed and tell me what I may need to buy to make this work or, again, the computer goes bye-bye.