In this guide I will go over the steps needed to setup a basic home network. In this network, we will have a desktop computer, a wireless laptop, printer, router and cable modem.*All devices should be turned off at this point*
1) The cable modem which is usually provided by your internet service provider, should be connected to your coaxial cable(broadband internet) that is active, and can be anywhere in your household. This modem can also be for DSL connections(phone line).
*If you only have one device you wish to connect to your home network, this device can plug directly into the modem and you will not need a router*
2) Next, you will need to connect the router to the modem. You will use a Cat5 cable to do this. It is also commonly referred to as a Ethernet cable or patch cable. On the modem, you will see a Ethernet port, plug one end of the cable to this port. On the router, you will see many Ethernet ports. The port you wish to use to connect the modem to the router is usually separated from the other ports and may be labeled (modem or internet). The ports labeled 1-6 for example are your LAN ports and normally for computers etc. So, plug the other end of the Ethernet cable into the port labeled modem or internet that is away from the other ports.
3) Now, for each device you wish to have wired network access(computers, laptops, game consoles) you will need to plug an Ethernet cord into each one, and plug the other end into one of the LAN ports on your router.
4) Power on the cable modem, wait 30 seconds then power on the router.
4) Next, you will need to power on your desktop in order to configure the router. Please consult your routers manual in order to do so.
5) Once your router is configured, you should be able to access it from any of your devices and these devices should have access to the internet. If you wish to have wireless access also, you will need to setup wireless security, password and a SSID. Your SSID is the name you give the router, and this is the name that will show up when you search for routers within range of your computer. Below is a picture of a list of wireless access point SSID.
6) At this point there are several ways to connect a printer. For simplicity, you can connect it to one of the computers, and give access to the other computers. The following guide will go over this step,http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Install-a-printer
I hope this guide helps you in your quest to setup a basic home network. There are many factors that come into play and additional steps may need to be taking but this will get you started!