How to Set Up a Wireless Network

linksys_wrt54gIf you are thinking about setting up a wireless home network, it is not as difficult as you may think. Follow these easy steps and you will have your wireless network set up in no time.

The first thing you need to do is make sure you have all the right equipment. What you need:

  • Wireless 802.11g or 802.11n Router
  • A Desktop or Laptop with wireless capabilities (Or a wireless network adapter if your computer doesn’t have built in wireless connectivity)
  • High Speed Internet Connection (cable, DSL or other working broadband modem)

Before you purchase anything, double check to make sure your computer has a built in wireless networking support or has a wireless network adapter. If not, you will need to purchase a wireless adapter. There are different wireless networking technologies, but you are better off with an 802.11n, the latest and fastest version, or the 802.11g, which is compatible with all other current networking technologies and still pretty fast. If you need to buy an adapter as well, make sure the router and adapter are the same technology (its best if they are the same brand too).

Don’t forget that you need a broadband Internet connection. Broadband is the most popular type of connection and your local cable or telephone company can set you up if you don’t already have it.

1.) The first step to setting up your wireless router is choosing a convenient location. You will want to set it up near your high-speed internet equipment and desktop computer.
2.) Locate your cable or DSL modem. Unplug the Ethernet or USB cable from your internet modem and plug it into your router’s “WAN” port using the supplied cable. Turn the modem off and then back on so it recognizes the router.
3.) Next, connect the wireless router to your computer using Ethernet cables to your router’s LAN ports. Even if the router is “wireless” you need to temporarily connect them to ensure maximum performance of the router.
4.)The majority of wireless routers will work out of the box, however they are not secure. Therefore, next, you need to configure your wireless router. Open your Web browser on your computer and type in the router’s address to configure the router. Make sure that you are following the instructions in your routers documentation to determine the address. Log in to the router and follow its administration tool (they vary slightly by model). It may give you a password to type in at this point. The default settings will be shown by the program. Most of them are default settings and you shouldn’t have to do anything with them. You will want to change the passwords, but do this after setup is complete to avoid any complications. At some point the tool will require you to enter your internet connection information (PPPoE username and password if using DSL). Just follow the admin tool.
5.) The next thing you need to do is change the wireless network name. Make sure you choose something that your neighbors will not be able to pick up on. Don’t use your last name or something obvious. You want it to be protected.
6.) Then you will need to encrypt your wireless router. You can do this by providing a pass phrase. Make sure it is long enough that others can’t break the code. Finally, you will need to provide an administrative password. This should not be a real word. Combine letters and numbers together, but make sure that you memorize it. It will be used in case you need to change your router’s settings.
7.) Lastly, verify the connection is working and connect any additional computers to the router. Remember that your router will send the information to your computer when you turn it on.

After you have completed these steps, you will be ready to run your wireless network!

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