Setting Up a Home Wireless Network

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Setting up a home wireless network can add Internet browsing to almost every area of a home. Instead of dragging cables to various locations, you can choose to connect wirelessly. With a few simple tools and suggestions, you'll learn how to set up a wireless network.

Things You'll Need

  • Wireless router
  • Wireless router userguide
  • Network adapter
  • Ethernet cable
  • Select a wireless router that matches the wireless technology of your computer. There are several types of wireless connection frequencies such as 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n. In many cases the 802.11g is the most commonly used wireless router for home networking users. Usually, it's compatible with almost any wireless networking product. A wireless router is extremely important to networking your home because it will broadcast the Internet signal to other devices on the same network.

  • Use a network adapter to provide a wireless connection to your existing computer system. Although newer computers have a built in wireless feature, some older models do not. The quickest and cheapest solution to solve this problem is to add a wireless network adapter to it. After inserting the network adapter into your computer system, it will begin to communicate with your wireless router. Network adapters come in the form of a USB device or in a PC card form. Choose the option that works best for your computer system.

  • Unplug your existing cable modem before you begin the setup process. Connect the wireless router to the cable modem via the provided ethernet cable. Plug one end into the Internet slot on the wireless router and the other end into the connection labeled ethernet on the cable modem. Power your cable modem and wireless router on by plugging them into the nearest wall outlets. The Internet light will begin to flash on the router to let you know that it's successfully connecting.

  • Turn on your computer system to start configuring your home wireless network. Open an Internet Explorer window and type the default address of your wireless router into the address bar. To locate this information, you'll need to refer to the userguide that came with the wireless router. Usually, the default address for a Linksys wireless router is http://192.168.1.1. After typing this information into the address bar, the wireless router's configuration page will populate. If you're not comfortable changing all of the default settings, then just change a few.

  • Change your default wireless network name or SSID to something unique. Turn on the encryption capabilities of your wireless router by enabling WPA2. This term stands for WiFi Protected Access 2. It will prevent unauthorized users from piggybacking onto your wireless network to slow it down or steal valuable information. The last step to secure your wireless home network is to create a secure administrative password besides the default one. It will prevent others from altering the secure settings of your wireless router.

  • View the available wireless networks by right clicking the network icon located in the bottom right corner of your computer screen. Choose your home wireless network by clicking the unique name that you previously created. If for some reason it doesn't appear in the list then refresh the page and it should appear. Enter the network key provided to you while configuring your wireless setup. Connect to the Internet via your newly configured wireless home network.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always protect your wireless Internet connection with an administrative password
  • Don't surf the Internet on an unfamiliar and unprotected wireless Internet connection
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