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How to set up a wireless router for your home

Jul 13, 2012, 8:45 a.m.

The electronic industry is stock-full of wireless router products. Brand names abound, and each maker produces a large selection of multi-functional routers. In the business environment, setting up wireless networks can be complex, time intensive and costly. For the home user, the process is typically rather simple. Connecting wireless routers in a home environment is usually a matter of product selection and password management.

Although you should read up on any specifics unique to your chosen router brand and model number, the following instructions address the fundamental stages of setting up wireless networks in a home environment.

Connecting wireless routers -- Setting up your wireless home network

After purchasing the basic wireless network equipment, proceed to the following three steps:

  1. Setup the physical connections of your wireless home router
  2. Configure the software interface of your wireless router
  3. Connect your computer

Physical Connections

Before proceeding, print and retain these instructions. For exact labeling descriptions, please refer the documentation specific to your wireless router and modem equipment. Proceed as follows:

  • Disconnect your DSL or cable modem from the power supply.
  • Disconnect your computer from your modem.
  • Connect your wireless router to your existing modem. On the rear side of your wireless router, connect to the port labeled: Internet/WAN or WLAN. On the rear side of the modem connect to the port labeled: Ethernet. Use the provided length of Cat 5 Ethernet cable.
  • Plug in your modem device. Wait two minutes before moving to the next step.
  • Plug in your wireless router.
  • Wait until the Internet, WAN or WLAN light confirms a successful connection.

Configuration

Use a standard Cat 5 cable to make a temporary physical connection between your computer and your wireless router. You can connect to any of the ports labeled LAN. Turn on your computer and wait for the automatic connection. Proceed as follows:

Open your Internet browser.

Login to your wireless router by typing the required http address into the browser's address bar. Basic http addresses are:

  • 192.168.0.1
  • 192.168.1.1
  • 192.168.2.1

If prompted for a password, consult the documentation that accompanied your wireless router. The typical default username/password is admin admin.

On the router configuration screen, change the following settings to your specific needs:

  • Network name
  • User name
  • Administrative password

Save all settings and then disconnect your computer's physical link to the network.

Connect Existing Equipment

If your computer lacks integrated network support, plug your wireless network adapter into your USB port or insert your wireless network PCI card into an empty card slot. Take care of any matters concerning Windows finding new hardware. Complete the setup of your wireless network as follows:

  • Open the wireless network icon
  • Left click on the View Available Wireless Networks option
  • Select the named wireless network that matches your new wireless router settings
  • Left click on the Connect button in the lower-right corner of the dialog box
  • When prompted, input the encryption password you established in the router configuration menu.

You're done. Open your Internet browser and teach others how to go about connecting wireless routers.

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