Install Firefox on both computers.
If the Netgear router hasn't yet been set up, on the Desktop insert the CD and restart. Follow the onscreen instructions to set up the router which will require you to attach the router, via an [usually supplied] ethernet cable, to the Desktop. When the CD completes you should be able to connect to the internet. Close the AOL browser and use Firefox instead. You can then, at any stage, enable the wireless option on the router(if it already hasn't been) and the laptop, if it is a wireless enabled laptop (most are nowadays), should detect the wireless signal from the router and ask you if you want to connect. Choose the option to connect and you will be asked to enter a network key (usually printed somewhere on the router), enter the wireless key, confirm the key and click Connect. Now open Firefox and you should be able to browse the internet.
Let us know if you get that far.