From your desktop, browse to the IP address of the netgear router (check your manual - it is probably something like 192.168.0.1).
Login and on the setup menu, click on the 'Wirless Settings' menu. If the check box for Wireless Access Point isn't already ticked, tick it. Make a note of the SSID.
On the laptop run the 'New Connection Wizard' in Network Connections off the Start Menu and click your way through a wireless network setup.
When it is all up and running, (but not before), I strongly suggest you switch encryption on and use WPA or WEP (Google for instructions).