Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
How to setup a Wireless Router
This guide is going to walk you through the steps on making sure your wireless router is connected and able to broadcast a signal to your other devices in your home. This guide will also show you how to secure that signal so that only your devices can connect to that signal.
This guide is a general guide, this will work for most setups but since some routers use different terms or steps it will not work for all models.
Location The location of the router is very important because it's going to emit a signal that your devices can connect to, the length from the device to the router can play a big role in its connection. If your router is on the 1st floor and a laptop on the second floor opposite side of the house wants to connect to it then you may not get a very good signal.
The placement of the router should be in someplace that is central to all the devices so that they get a decent signal. When first installing the new router, I would place it someplace that's easy to get so it's not hard to troubleshoot, once everything is connected, you can always reposition the router to meet the needs of the other devices.
1) Once you have the location decided then you can go ahead and plug the power cable into a surge protector and then in to the back of the router.
2) Your router needs a signal to convert to wireless; you need to connect your modem to your wireless router with an Ethernet cable. The Ethernet cable plugs in to the router's jack named WAN, Up link or Internet (models have different names).After connecting make sure you reboot the router to ensure it recognizes it.
3) To configure the router I recommend running another Ethernet cable from the first computer to the wireless router. This makes it easier to configure and ensures reliability. Once we configure the router with the first computer then we can configure wireless for all computers and devices.
4) From the wired computer, open up an internet browser and enter in the network address for the router in the web address field of your browser. Most routers use http://192.168.1.1 or http://192.168.0.1 as the default router network address. If these do not work then consult your routers documentation for the default. Enter the router address in the address field of your browser and hit enter.
5) The page that pops up should be the routers home page asking you for a user name and password to log in to the router. Both the user name and password are provided in the documentation. Log in with those credentials. As soon as you log in I would recommend changing the user name and password to something you can remember but also that is not easily guessed. This makes your router more secure.
6) Since this is a wireless router we will want to change the network name (often called the SSID). The SSID can be anything you want it to be called; this will be what you recognize as your network and not someone else's. You can do this in the network setup page of your router. When you name your network you can also set a password for devices that want to connect to your network. I would advise that you set one up for security reasons.
7) Once you have configured the router we can test to see if you are getting a connection. Open up another browser and see if you can connect to the internet,a site I like to test is google.com.
8) Once you verify that your router works then start connecting other devices through the wireless. You have to search for the network broadcast of your SSID network name on the computer you want to connect. Once found then click connect to that network and input the password and you will be good to go. Repeat on any device you want to connect.
9) Here are some tips on securing your router even more:
Turn on encryption (WEP, WPA or WPAv2)
This encrypts the communications between your wireless devices and makes it harder for hackers to see what you are sending.
Change the default SSID
The default SSID can easily be guessed by hackers and default SSID's are more likely to be attacked.
Change the Default log in credentials
If you do not change these credentials then your network can easily be hacked. Default user names and password can be found in the internet within seconds for routers.
Enable MAC filtering
Mac filtering can allow or deny devices based on their built in MAC address. This is handy because it allows trusted devices to connect while denying malicious devices.
Disable your SSID Broadcast
As a default setting your router broadcasts your network name to all devices so that they see it's available.People can look at the available networks and see which ones to log in to. If you disable your broadcast then you can still connect to your network but you have to enter in you network name and password manually to connect.
Do not connect to unknown or neighbors networks
Do not connect to others networks because you have no idea what they do or who they are, if they are tech savvy then they can see your computer and install things on your computer. You can also get viruses that they have by connecting to their network.
Enable firewalls on the router and each device
Firewalls help block unwanted traffic and provide a really good added layer of protection for your router and connected devices.
Turn Off wireless for extended periods of non use
Shutting down your network when not using for long periods of time is the most concrete way to protect your network from hackers.
Posted by Walter... on
Aug 24, 2011 | Belkin (F5D5231-4) Router
May 28, 2010 | Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router
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